Two weeks ago, I posted a blog that examined the outstanding claims made against longtime fighting game communities member Arturo “NYC_Furby” Sanchez regarding his sacking from eSports platform Matcherino for “mishandling prize pool funds.” Up to the time of that post and for several weeks afterwards, Matcherino had remained silent as allegations of theft ran rampant and a flow of receipts and evidence were released that ran counter to that narrative. In the interest of trying to decipher what was real and what was phony, I gathered up all the lingering threads and put them into one blog post. Ultimately, even my sewn-together post was not going to suffice until Matcherino or Arturo himself had more to say.
The silence has finally broken.
A few days ago, gaming and eSports news outlet theScore Esports released a video on their YouTube channel that was a follow-up to their previous video on the subject. In it, host Josh Bury breaks down the incident in great detail, punctuated by appearances from Brian Courtade, the Head of Product at Matcherino.
The video’s most valuable contribution is it establishes a firm timeline of events leading up to Arturo’s stream on January 3rd. Here’s that timeline in an abridged format:
- From June 21, 2022 to September 27, 2022, a series of tournaments had Matcherino pots that were not dispersed by their admin, Arturo Sanchez, totalling near $6300
- Matcherino is made aware by a tournament organizer on December 12, 2022, of the outstanding payments
- On December 13, Matcherino CEO Grant Farwell calls Sanchez regarding the late payments, and Sanchez assures that he has the money to pay back. Also notes that he has been chipping away at payments for Defend the North and others in the meanwhile.
- Arturo is formally let go from Matcherino at some point before the 18th of December
- On December 18 and 19, Farwell and Sanchez exchange texts, with Farwell urging Arturo to address the situation so it won’t be “a major blow up”
- Between December 18 and 22, Farwell and Sanchez continue to discuss the matter over text message
- On December 23, an email from Matcherino’s legal counsel was sent to Sanchez to serve as an official legal notice for remittance. The email was sent to an unused email address
- Also on 23 December, Matcherino paid out the remaining discrepancies via the Matcherino website. This was money directly from Matcherino, with the expectation that they would be repaid by Sanchez.
- On December 29, Sanchez sends $300 to Matcherino, the first of many payments he was to make to them
- On December 30, Matcherino released their initial Twitter statement. 40 minutes after that post, after a call between Farwell and Sanchez, Sanchez sends $6300 via Paypal to Matcherino, and an additional $2500 later that same day.
- Also on 30 December, Sanchez posts a statement on his Twitter that was fact-checked by Farwell in advance. Farwell also forwards him the legal remittance request that was improperly sent to the wrong email address
- On January 3, 2023, Arturo hosted a livestream to answer questions about the situation. During that stream, an employee of Matcherino suspended Sanchez’ main Matcherino account for unexplained reasons. Sanchez also sends another $400 to Matcherino, but this was not necessary and may have resulted from an accounting error
As of December 30, Sanchez had paid back everything that was owed to Matcherino, who had paid out the players owed money from prior tournaments. Those are the facts as we know them – they are not disputed by any party
As I too was using only what was publicly available, I understood when I wrote my blog it was certainly possible there could be future evidence that might disprove some of the things I wrote. As this saga has shown, transparency, honesty, and humility are somewhat lost nowadays, and so I believe that it is only right to acknowledge where I was wrong or have been corrected.
One of the claims I responded to was that Matcherino paid out of pocket to make up for Arturo’s late payments. I had said this was unproven, and there was no evidence that Matcherino paid with anything less than the money recovered from Arturo to use on the site.
Given the clear receipts shown in the thescore Esports video, this is actually a proven, true claim.
The timeline above clearly states that the December 23 payment last year was, in fact, all done from Matcherino’s own funds, and they did not receive repayment of the funds Arturo had until the 30th. While they clearly had communicated with Arturo and there was a legal notice sent out the same day for his previously-agreed-upon remittance, the fact remains that my judgment of the claim in my prior blog post was incorrect.
While the vast majority of my assessment of the claims was proven correct by thescore Esport’s video, I feel I should acknowledge where they weren’t as well. I’ll be adding a strikethrough of the incorrect text in my original blog, and making sure there is a link to the addendum posted at the top.
Now, back to what we learned recently.
If there was only a few takeaways one could take from this recent video, it’s probably three-fold:
- Matcherino is not interested in pursuing any claims beyond the already-addressed late payments
- Matcherino is only not allowing Arturo to organize through the platform – he may still participate in tournaments or stream tournaments that feature a Matcherino fundraiser
- The only reason Matcherino waited so long was because they were taken aback by the explosive allegations made in the wake of their announcement
That last one, I think, speaks to my argument at the end of my previous blog: claims made out of turn by uninvolved people not only hurt Arturo, but also contributed to the truth being set aside while nonsense was dealt with. It speaks to a far larger issue amongst the culture, but that’s a topic for another time.
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