100 Thieves’ founder and CEO Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag has explained why the organisation had to pull the plug on a charity Call of Duty: Warzone tournament the day before it was set to take place.
On June 17, 100 Thieves tweeted an announcement that the Gamers for Equality tournament would not be going ahead because Activision “denied” its request to play the event on Warzone due to the competition’s affiliation with Cash App, one of 100 Thieves’ main sponsors. The tournament was billed by 100 Thieves as being “presented by Cash App,” who were putting up the money for the $100,000 prize pot, with another partner in JBL being a supporting sponsor.
As a result, there was criticism on social media towards both Activision (for stopping a tournament that would’ve raised money for charity) and 100 Thieves (for announcing a Warzone tournament before consulting with Activision and getting its permission). A few hours after the initial announcement that the event would be cancelled, Nadeshot posted a video to Twitter explaining the situation and saying that the whole thing has been “blown out of proportion.”
The former Call of Duty pro says that Activision reached out to 100 Thieves after it announced Gamers for Equality and told the organisation it can’t run Warzone tournaments with sponsors like Cash App to “monetise” the tournament. Nadeshot then argues it was never the organisation’s intention to profit from the event, only to raise money for charity.
“First and foremost, I want to clear this up and make it undoubtedly clear; we weren’t making money off this tournament,” he says. “We might have got more exposure from bigger streamers playing in the tournament, but we weren’t making money and monetising it like we normally do with our sponsorships and the content we create. This was just solely $100,000 going to charity, and that’s it.”
Wanted to take a minute to clear up what happened with 100 Thieves, CashApp and Activision earlier today in regards to our $100,000 Gamers for Equality tournament. pic.twitter.com/d51EgZwFiM
— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) June 17, 2020
Nadeshot also says Activision informed 100 Thieves it could run the tournament if it dropped Cash App as its sponsor for the event, but the organisation said it would not be able to do that as they were the provider of the prize money.
He goes on to say that he understands and respects Activision’s decision and apologised for any “inconvenience or drama” the cancellation announcement may have caused. The Gamers for Equality tournament will go ahead at a later date, with Cash App still partnered, but on a different game with a different publisher. A likely contender will be Riot’s Valorant, which has been actively encouraging and now supporting third-party tournaments with its newly announced Ignition Series.
While Activision’s stance on third party tournaments – particularly those raising money for charity – will frustrate some, it was certainly an oversight on 100 Thieves’ end to have announced an event without consulting Activision first.