Team Atlantis and pro Fortnite player Mitr0 have mutually announced a split on Twitter. Here's what each had to say about the #FreeMitr0 situation.
On September 16, #FreeMitr0 began trending on Twitter. Professional Fortnite player Dmitri "Mitr0" Van de Vrie wanted out of his contract with his organization, Team Atlantis, and his fellow players were coming to his defense.
Today, September 17, both Mitr0 and Atlantis released statements on the issue, reporting that they had agreed to part ways following this weekend's Fortnite Champion Series Grand Finals.
Team Atlantis Statement
We are releasing a statement about @mitr0's situation soon.— Team Atlantis (@Team_Atlantis) September 17, 2019
Please, stop sending threats to our players or employees.
The statement from Team Atlantis is about what you'd expect from a small organization losing their biggest player. They stated that Mitr0 signed a contract that he and his mother were happy with, that they eventually gave him a raise, and finally shopped his contract when it became clear that Mitr0 had outgrown Team Atlantis.
On the contract front, Atlantis said that they were taking 0% of Mitr0's YouTube and Twitch earnings, and the "industry standard" percentage of his winnings.
The team concluded the statement by saying, "We want the best for Mitr0 and hope he proceeds in making history in Fortnite esports. Therefore after talks with Mitr0 this morning and his agent, we have mutually agreed that his contract should end next week and we will be parting ways with Mitr0."
Mitr0's statement echoed all of the points made in the initial Team Atlantis statement. He expressed his gratitude to the team for taking a chance on him, and that he outgrew the team and looked to pursue larger organizations at the beginning of this year.
This is far from the scorched-earth tactics that Tfue emplored when exiting his contract with FaZe Clan, but it was effective nonetheless.
In his statement, Mitr0 claimed to be surprised by the #FreeMitr0 making waves on Fortnite Twitter - despite the fact that both of his trio teammates, Mongraal and BenjyFishy, were using the hashtag.
The negative publicity was enough to force Atlantis' hand and release Mitr0 after the FCS. They'll have one last chance to take a cut of his prize winnings before Mitr0 moves on to a larger organization like NRG or FaZe Clan - just as his teammates have.
The Contract Problem
This situation, and many others like it, highlight an issue with eSports contracts in general. They're secretive by nature, which forces players to guess whether or not they're getting a good deal.
Organizations are often dealing with 16 or 17-year-old players and their parents who have no experience in the industry. This isn't the NBA or the NFL where all salaries are public. No one has any idea what they're worth or what other players of their caliber are making.
Until this area of eSports changes, this problem is going to continue to take place. Pro players are going to sign deals without any knowledge of what they're worth until they outgrow the contract, at which point it's often too late.
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