PlayVS under fire following several damning reports

by Adam Fitch  ·  Updated 
PlayVS under fire following several damning reports

PlayVS, a start-up that facilitates high school esports competitions in North America, has been the subject of several controversial reports in recent weeks.

The controversies: We've rounded up the allegations and revelations from the reports.

  • On March 30, Upcomer reported on PlayVS' relationships with its competitors. This includes blocking students from being able to compete on certain titles due to 'exclusive' deals PlayVS has with developers.
  • On April 5, Jacob Wolf detailed that the company had allegedly misled Epic Games by allowing players outside of educational institutions to compete in its competitions. Wolf cites six former PlayVS employees and a seventh source as he details a host of allegations.
  • On April 11, The Washington Post reported that the company had sent cease and desist emails to (at least) five other high school esports organizers, stating it had exclusive licenses to games from Activision and Blizzard and Nintendo. Both games companies denied exclusivity when responding to the publication.
  • On April 12, Jacob Wolf reported that former PlayVS employee Rachel Waynick was suing the company for alleged discrimination and wrongful termination, both relating to pregnancy.

The retort: PlayVS' CEO Delane Parnell has responded to some of the allegations.

  • Parnell posted a YouTube video branded as 'The Delane Report' on April 7, mimicking Wolf's Substack publication, where he responded to the allegations.
  • He later claimed that Teddy Amenabar, the journalist who penned The Washington Post's story, needed to "post clickbait" to "drive subscriber engagement" and reaffirmed that his company's deal with Activision Blizzard does indeed include exclusivity.
  • On April 11, the PlayVS CEO tweeted that "none of these stories are particularly newsworthy" and that the reports from Amenabar and Wolf were "outright inaccurate."
  • Parnell vowed to ignore any further allegations (which he referred to as "negative chatter") on April 12.
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