ArtStyle: "The more we are paid the better we play – that’s obvious."

Posted by Seth "Sazab" Tompkins at 06 February 2012 06:53
This column is the opinion of the author and does not represent the opinion of GosuGamers

The Ukrainian power house gives an extensive interview on led by fellow countryman V1lat. The dialogue sheds light on ArtStyle's current friction with some of competitive DotA 2's elite while also presenting a few interesting views on the state of the scene as a whole.

The controversy that has surrounded ArtStyle over his professional contractual decisions has seemed to reach a fever pitch in the past few days with several organizations - Na'Vi and M5 among them - "boycotting" the player over supposedly "unprofessional" business maneuvers.'s full text translation of the interview reveals some interesting and somewhat scandalous stories of just how the Russian gaming powerhouse decided to negotiate with ArtStyle and his teammates over financial compensation.


" Firstly, I want to say that all my answers will be completely honest and I will make no jokes today.

I was invited to M5 by NS and promised to receive 1000$ per month salary, good conditions and all possible support from organization. At the same time Darer contacted me and told he wanted to create his own team. From that moment the negotiations have started. We wanted to create one team with two huge sponsors – Darer and M5. Nobody had contracts at that moment and nobody was connected to the M5 tag so we started discussing terms and agreements.

Darer made a very good proposition and we liked it. We asked Dmitriy about his suggestions. Here I must make a digression and say that his words in a recent statement where we totally refused to pay 10% from prize money are lies. We refused to pay 10% because he proposed a 300$ month salary! I think it is not logical to receive 3600$ per year and give away such a percentage from my winnings – I would have losses. And what is business? Business is profit and in our case we would only lose. I can say more. We were even ready to pay 100% of prize money to M5 but in case we had a decent salary. There should be a normal ratio of salary to given percentage but in ddd1ms proposition it was just ridiculous.

I don’t understand why Dmitriy reacted in such a way. By the way, he also wanted us to promote M5 everywhere for this 300$.

So Darer made his good proposition and it was Dmitriy’s turn. Until the very end it was unclear what he would say. Sometimes I heard about 1000$ salaries for 20% from prize money but in a few hours it was rejected and so on and suddenly I’ve found myself being boycotted."

Suspicious stuff to say the least. During the interview there was also a discussion of just how much organizers such as M5 were contributing to developing a legitimate and prosperous e-sports scene.


"As far as I know XPEH invited the entire M5 roster to DTS before Dota 2 Stars Championship with $200 salary and giving away 50% from winnings. I think he noticed that you wont even pay 10% and hence boycotted you."


"It’s quite absurd. These people are developing cyber sports and should work diplomatically."

Absurd indeed; e-sports players are just like any other athlete or professional competitor, you need proper compensation in order to maintain a desirable standard of living while also retaining the appropriate amount of time to develop critical skills and a competitive edge. Organizers and team managers need to foster an atmosphere of honesty and fairness when dealing with talent; backhanded deals such as the one ArtStyle had to refuse will do nothing but trivialize the competitive DotA 2 scene.

There is a reason that Valve deals The International payouts to players alone: the current culture of quasi-legal agreements within teams that make themselves more fluid than a main-line of ex-lax hamstrings the confirmation of a respected and insolvent e-sports community. If DotA 2 and other games like it are to be viewed as truly legitimate arenas of heavy competition then we as a community need to promote a culture of honest and truly co-operative team organization.

This column is the opinion of the author and does not represent the opinion of GosuGamers

Check out the full interview below.

Links - Full ArtStyle interview