The Samurai Esports Valorant roster drama: What actually happened behind the scenes?

Premal Mehta (L). Atif Kazi (R) reveals why his Valorant organiszation disbanded. (Image via Sportskeeda)
Premal Mehta (L). Atif Kazi (R) reveals why his Valorant organiszation disbanded. (Image via Sportskeeda)

Even though it has been quite a while since the Valorant roster of Samurai Esports got disbanded, the true picture behind the drama just got revealed.

The owner of Samurai Esports, Atif “Samurai” Kazi opened up regarding the situation to officials as to why everything fell apart the way it did as he went live to reveal all the facts.

From a viewers’ perspective, everything seemed simple as Samurai Esports ran out of money through lavish spendings and outrageous buy-outs. However, after watching the video anybody would realize that the problems in Samurai Esports ran deeper than simple monetary issues.

The formation of Samurai Esports’ Valorant roster

In December last year, Atif put out a poll on Instagram where he asked the Valorant community whether he should form a professional esports organization for Valorant or not. He received a huge amount of positive response, which led him to create social media for the new and upcoming Valorant esports organization. But at the time he was not completely sure that the roster would make it that far.

While everything looked smooth in the beginning, according to the video, the beginning of the absolute downfall of Samurai Esports took place soon after one particular addition to the organization. Through normal interactions, Atif came to know about Premal Mehta, who at that time was playing for Saloni “Meow16k” Pawar’s Valorant roster, Team Kuch Bhi.

According to Atif, they became very close friends and at his own request, Premal joined the organization to become the new manager of Samurai Esports. But soon after, through some miracle, Premal rose to power within the organization and became the CEO of Samurai Esports.

What actually went down behind the scenes?

While Premal Mehta becoming the CEO of Samurai Esports was a shock for Atif, what really baffled him was the consequences that followed. Even though the team was doing very well, and despite Atif doing everything in his power to take care of the players, he got to know that the players were not receiving the amount of money that they were promised.

Through rigorous scrutiny and questioning, Atif realized that Premal Mehta, who received all the salary and money for the players from Atif, did not pay the full price to the players. He even created a communication barrier between the players of Samurai Esports and the owner, Atif Kazi.

When questioned, Premal went ahead and threw his own family under the bus to justify his reasons for not paying the players. And what might have caused the real downfall, in the end, was when Karan “Excali” Mhaswadkar joined the roster of Samurai Esports as Atif was forced to pay a huge amount of buy-out clause as the player was still in contract with his previous Valorant roster.

Also when the whole roster along with the content creators was handed over to Team XO, Atif was not the one negotiating the deals. At the time, the money that the organization was supposed to get from the deal went into Premal Mehta’s bank account, rather than into the account of the owner of Samurai Esports.

Even though this sort of behavior from different esports personnel in India is not something new, for a growing and thriving market such as Indian Valorant esports, such a behavior may pose a significant threat. Upon hearing of such issues, it is possible that newer brands and other organizations might hold back from investments into the Indian esports industry for the foreseeable future.

Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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