Noble under fire for alleged payment issues
Florida-based esports organization Noble is under fire for alleged payment issues, management troubles, and overall financial troubles — somewhat relating to cryptocurrency.
The organization: Noble isn't among the top tier of organizations in North American esports but it wasn't seen to be an amateur venture by any means.
- Based in Miami, Florida, the organization fielded competitors in Apex Legends, Fortnite, Gears of War, Rocket League, and fighting games.
- Noble's website links to Nobility, another venture that's based in cryptocurrency which, according to its roadmap, aimed to produce NFTs and had plans to launch an esports betting platform in the second quarter of 2022.
The drama: While a lot of the controversy is yet to be confirmed, the court of public opinion is generally sided with the organization's former workforce.
- It started with a now-deleted tweet on the official Noble Twitter account from the social media team, stating that they wouldn't resume working until they were paid.
- Partnerships Manager Dan "Dizbog" Goodman tweeted soon after that he had departed, naming the org's owner Kyle McDougal as a prominent reason behind his decision.
- Goodman stated that Noble's money had got tied into blockchain technology and NFTs through the Nobility brand, resulting in failed payments towards employees and T-Pain — a major recording artist who promoted tournaments for the org.
- Other former Noble contractors and employers, including a designer and a social media manager, followed up by also alleging that they're owed payments. One stated that they didn't go public before now because they were "afraid" it'd prevent them from getting "another job" in the industry.
The response: Noble owner Kyle McDougal responded to the accusations via a statement on the org's Twitter account, citing that he "never thought in a million years we would get to this point."
- "Not once was a payment to a player or staff member ever missed" to his knowledge, McDougal started the statement with. However, he later confirmed that the org moved payment providers and "some staff/players were receiving their payments and others were not."
- McDougal claimed that all payments were facilitated through PayPal for the first two years of the org's existence, though he switched to using the "company bank account" after noticing how much money was "being wasted on PayPal fees."
- The first time Noble attempted to make the switch was unsuccessful due to the org "also using the account for cryptocurrency," something the bank apparently wasn't fond of. The owner claimed that all payments were sent but not always received, using the Apex Legends players as an example.
- He maintained that he was "vocal about the situation" with staff regarding payments but also that some "individuals were lost in the process" as he was "working off of several Excel worksheets." However, he also conceded that "the damage has been done" and sent apologies to those who are still awaiting payment for their work, assuring that they "will be paid" for their work.
For now, the future of Noble is unclear. The organization has lost some, if not all, of its workforce and it's unlikely new staff members will be found while payments to former staff and players are outstanding.
Hitmarker will update this story in due time when further developments have been made.