WESA mandates independent 3rd-party review of NiP allegations
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Following the serious allegations leveled on Ninjas in Pyjamas and its CEO Hicham Chahine, the World Esports Association (WESA) has announced that it will launch an independent investigation into the matter.
The investigation is to be carried out by sports lawyer and commissioner of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC), Mr. Ian Smith. It will be concluded by the end of the month, with its findings shared in a statement shortly after.
The situation began when former NiP CS:GO player Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson accused the organisation of withholding prize money and unfair contract clauses. His claims were further backed by former teammates Adam "friberg" Friberg and Richard "Xizt" Landström. A few ex-staff members also spoke up about their own troubles with the organisation.
Even after NiP CEO Hicham Chahine made a statement which claimed that all the organisation's outstanding financial obligations to Fifflaren and other players had since been settled and that these issues were the result of NiP's former management, the controversy only grew.
Fifflaren went on to leak internal documents from 2014 and 2015 which contradict Chahine's claims. He has also now moved on to accuse former NiP CEO and CS:GO legend Emil "HeatoN" Christensen of lying in court, using the organisation's funds to pay his lawyer and employing his then-girlfriend in the organisation with a higher salary than that of any of the players. Fifflaren shared emails that indicated HeatoN planned to withhold the players' sticker money and avoid paying taxes.
HeatoN dismissed the allegations as false and promised to provide evidence of no wrongdoing. NiP also recently revealed that it had resolved nine out of ten cases dating back to 2014 regarding issues of mistreatment. It also encouraged any other individuals with grievances to come forward so these issues can also be resolved.
"When we joined WESA along with our fellow teams, we signed a Code of Conduct and compliance framework that we take very seriously," states the announcement. "We welcome WESA’s investigation and will work with them to ensure it is as thorough as possible, including providing access to records, documents and individuals as needed. As per WESA procedures, this investigation will be held independently and the findings will be made public at its conclusion."
WESA was created in 2016 to regulate the esports scene with NiP being one of its 13 members and a founding organisation. Chahine also serves on the executive board which has caused some to voice fears of his title influencing the results of the investigation.