Soon after publishing our story in regards to unfavorable contracts in competitive Fortnite, more news broke. Dmitri “mitr0” Van de Vrie and his representing organization, Team Atlantis, released coinciding statements about the #freemitr0 social media movement.
“...In September 2018, we signed a renewed contract, which Mitr0 and his mother were happy with. The contract secured a salary raise in January 2019, too. All parties at this time were happy with the contractual terms and conditions. All in all, Mitr0 and his mother has signed the contract three times with Team Atlantis.
Some important facts about the final contract signed with Team Atlantis are as follows. Without disclosing details of the contract, his salary at this time was one of the highest amongst the world-caliber Fortnite esports competitors and it’s nothing close to how low the social media channels are announcing it. Last time Mitr0’s salary was raised was in January 2019. Regarding his Twitch and YouTube earnings - we are taking 0% from it, it all belongs to Mitr0. For the % of winnings going to Team Atlantis, we referred to a set industry standard, which we both (Team Atlantis and Mitr0) agreed on. Again these figures are nothing close to the exaggerations that have been stated in the media.”
Team Atlantis appears to have drawn up a player-friendly deal Van de Vrie from the outset. The Fortnite professional was earning a base salary and Team Atlantis benefitted from the tournament winnings. All signs point to Team Atlantis working toward contractual satisfaction with Van de Vrie and his mother. Unfortunately for Team Atlantis, the inevitable took place and Van de Vrie ascended to new heights in competitive Fortnite.
“However as time went on, Mitr0 became increasingly popular and grew faster than our start-up organization. We, of course, we're extremely happy to see what he was achieving but were also mindful that his social growth, popularity, and winnings would cause us to offer a salary which was impossible for us to provide if we wanted to continue expanding our project.
Mitr0 soon declared that he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to seek other opportunities with larger organizations. We supported this and understood his reasoning. We reached out to various organizations regarding a buyout from Mitr0’s contract, but unfortunately, all offers received were way below the minimum requirements to cover the damage that Mitr0’s release would’ve caused.”
As previously surmised, no one expected the rapid ascension Van de Vrie in the competitive Fortnite scene. His results speak for themselves, 6th place at the Fortnite World Cup and multiple time Fortnite Champion Series qualifier with Kyle “FaZe Mongraal” Jackson and Benjy “NRG benjyfishy” Fish. Team Atlantis seems to be in full acceptance of the fact that they cannot compete with the perks and monetary offerings that come with signing to one of the top organizations.
“After internal discussions and calls with Mitr0, a group decision was made that with only a few months left in his contract and no reasonable offers being received from larger organizations, we would wait until the contract ended and Mitr0 would part ways with Team Atlantis.
This is where we are now and it is truly unfortunate that false information has been announced to the community.
We want the best for Mitr0 and hope he proceeds in making history in Fortnite esports. Therefore after talks with Mitr0 this morning and his agent, we have mutually agreed that his contract should end next week and we will be parting ways with Mitr0.“
Effective beginning next week, Van de Vrie is free to field offers from prospective organizations. After the Fortnite Champion Series concludes, he will be open to signing with any organization that he deems fit. This adds even more importance to the Fortnite Champion Series Finals this weekend. Although Van de Vrie, Fish and Jackson are a dominant force, the future of Van de Vrie brightens significantly with a win as the FCS comes to an end. Van de Vrie released a statement of his own alongside his agent.
“...Last night I was just as shocked as everyone else at what happened with #freemitr0
A lot of the claims being made about my contract are far from the truth and exaggerated. I can’t go into the specifics of my contract, but I can say in September 2018 I signed my final contract with Atlantis which included a salary raise in January 2019. At that point, I was happy with the terms. Over time that changed, and I outgrew Atlantis. I let Atlantis know in January 2019 that I was ready to move on to a larger org. Team Atlantis and I tried to come to various solutions since then but none of them have ended up working. So I decided to wait for my contract to end and find a new org as a free agent.
After talking with Atlantis management today, it was mutually agreed that Atlantis would release me after FNCS. I wish Atlantis, their staff and all of the players nothing but the best moving forward.”
Rumors often spiral out of control, and this was the case with the contractual dispute between Team Atlantis and Van de Vrie. The monetary value of Fortnite is catastrophic in its current state. There is no telling how long it will remain a popular title so it would be wise to strike while the Epic Games title is at its peak. With fellow teammates Fish and Jackson apart of NRG Esports and FaZe Clan respectively, Van de Vrie felt it was time to move on from Team Atlantis. Although we may never truly know the contract details, the #freemitr0 movement ultimately fulfilled its purpose.
The one noteworthy takeaway is that Fortnite is still young and this all is a learning experience. Many of the best players in the world range from 13 to 18 years old. There is no telling exactly how a player’s popularity will rise or fall on any given day. With outlets of exposure such as Twitch, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, a player’s recognition can skyrocket overnight. In Van de Vrie’s case, Team Atlantis was willing to work through the situation, however, this will likely not always be the case. Future professional Fortnite players should be conscious of the terms and conditions of their contracts. For now, we eagerly await the results of the Fortnite Champion Series and keep an eye out for which organization Van de Vrie ultimately chooses.