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Indian BGMI esports scene’s future looks bleak as TSM FTX India reports player poaching incident

Team Solo Mid aka TSM is one of the biggest Esports organizations in the world. They expanded themselves in India almost three years ago by partnering with the Indian esports organization Entity Gaming. After the disbanding of TSM-Entity in 2021, they continued as a solo organization. They acquired rosters in multiple games like Battlegrounds Mobile India and Free Fire. Recently, a player poaching incident of Shadow has been reported involving TSM India, which has further created a big controversy in the gaming community of BGMI Esports.

Following their disbanding in 2021, TSM FTX India acquired the line-up of ST8 esports for BGMI. They also became the runner-up of the first-ever official BGMI tournament, Battlegrounds Mobile India Series (BGIS). Recently, their manager Nizhum Karmakar aka Armin stated on social handles that, one of their players and the in-game leader of the BGMI lineup, Shadow is being poached by another Indian esports organization, which is illegal. In this article, we are going to discuss the ongoing poaching controversy in the BGMI community.

Player poaching in Esports

In most contracts, other organizations are not officially allowed to contact other organizations’ players, unless the contract-owning organization allows it. Poaching means that other organizations have bypassed the legal way of contacting the parent organization and talked to the players directly to recruit them. This is illegal and destroys the spirit of sport.

Current scenes

Poaching is quite common in the Indian gaming community. Previously, we have seen many instances where a player was poached by another organization. Recently, TSM India posted the following on their social media handle.

According to some rumors, one of India’s biggest Esports organizations, Team GodLike had approached Shadow without the consent of TSM India. This incident set the entire topic on fire. Previously, GodLike was criticized for the sudden transfer of Viru, Gill from Team X-spark. The player Shadow also expressed his view on this matter by posting the above note on his social media account. After this post from Shadow, TSM and their manager replied on this matter too.

To be very clear, we talked to Shadow and gave him permission to explore options with the expectation that orgs interested in Shadow will connect with TSM. We have communicated to Shadow and Godlike that we will loan him out for free to start at this upcoming LAN event. This has been communicated for weeks but this organization does not want to do a proper loan and/or transfer agreement as any professional organization would.

So far, we have received no communication from any organization wanting Shadow. Yet, he has been registered under another team for the upcoming Nodwin tournament.

Player poaching and tampering is a large issue in Indian esports. TSM will ensure that business is done professionally. It’s unfortunate that a player is choosing to make false claims because he’s disappointed he got benched.

Armin, Manager- TSM india.

Final Thoughts

TSM India has said that they have remained ready to loan him out to another organization and encourage any interested organizations to reach out to us, through the normal league process. A standard practice in our industry is that the organization needs only to reach out to TSM. This has been communicated to Shadow for weeks. The current situation exists only because other organizations do not wish to do a loan and/or transfer agreement, as a professional organization would.

tsm_ftx_roster_india BGMI Esports TSM player poaching
Image via TSM FTX India

Instead, Godlike Esports have chosen to instigate drama in an attempt to coerce TSM or another organization to let the player go for free. This is incredibly unprofessional. TSM has clearly stated that they have reached the developers of BGMI, Krafton due to this matter. Shadow is also going to take legal action against his ex- organization. Now, only the time will tell who will come victorious in this matter.

What are your thoughts on the latest player poaching incident involving the likes of TSM and Godlike Esports, which has caused a stir in the BGMI Esports community?

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