A former G2 CEO explains why his organization passed up the opportunity to sign Team Vitality superstar Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut signed off in 2023 with the BLAST Premier World Final 2023 MVP crown. The Vitality ace has won five MVPs this year, undeniably earning him a place among the best Counter-Strike players in 2023 list. ZywOo has been one of the prominent names in the scene over the past couple of years, but 2023 was the year he shone at his brightest. As ZyWoO enjoys the best form of his life, Carlos “ocelote” Rodriquez, former CEO of G2, explained why his team chose not to sign the Frenchman.
Why G2 Didn’t Sign ZywOo
Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez talked about his time at the organization in a recent interview with CyberShoke. When asked about ZywOo possibly joining G2 for a $10k salary but choosing to finish school first, the former CEO denied this story. He said they missed the chance to sign ZywOo because of cheating accusations, not because of the school situation as rumored.
“Not true. There was something else at play. We could've gotten him. It's true. But different people from the CS, too. I'm not talking only about the players, but also staff, who thought he was cheating, actually. But that was before he became popular. It's normal, by the way. It's not completely terrible to think that a 15-year-old, completely unknown, is killing it on FACEIT, destroying everyone, highlight reels everywhere. People start to ask questions. And the pros, or the staff team, ask questions.”
“They weren't sure he was cheating, but he couldn't take the risk. You can afford it when you're a “Mr. Nobody” team. But when you're G2 and take the risk, replace one of your players with him, and he turns out to be a cheater, he f**ks your whole shit up. Even if there's a 10% chance he is a cheater, you cannot pick him up. There's too much risk: your sponsors, the fans, you can get banned from a league… You see the catastrophe that can happen to your organization with 200-300 hundred employees? You cannot do it.”
Ocelote also disclosed the salary range for tier-1 players in leading teams. Although he couldn't specify the current wage trend as he is not currently part of the scene, he drew from his past experience to provide an estimation.
“I don't know exactly right now because I'm not involved. I think that for tier-1 players, if we take HLTV Top 10, two best players from each team will probably get around $20-$30k per month on average. [Do they deserve such money?] Some do, some don't. It's not a ‘one size fits all.’”
“If two players are paid $30k a month [each], that's $720k a year. Now, imagine there's another player paid $25k, which is another $300k a year. That's $1,020,000. They still have two players left and the support staff. Let's imagine that would be $1.5 million just in terms of player salaries. Then you have a staff team that will very likely be another $600-$700k. It's $2.2 million. On top of that, there are all the bootcamps, gaming houses, traveling, and all the one-off things you have to do for them. That's another $300k.”
“That's $2.5 million just for the counter-strike team. Now, how do you generate all that money from sponsors? It's not easy. I tell you already: A very, very, very good sponsorship would pay a single team half a million [per year].”