Mobile Games

TSM and Godlike BGMI player poaching drama gets Legal Action

Two teams in the Battlegrounds Mobile India scene have had a lot of drama this week. A player poaching controversy has escalated into the biggest mess in South Asian esports in quite a while. Both TSM and Godlike have escalated things to a point where there are calls for developer KRAFTON to get involved.

The Indian version of PUBG is one of the biggest esports in that region, and both TSM and Godlike really want Arjun “SHADOW” Mandhalkar on their rosters. However, this much drama over it has definitely been unexpected.

TSM and Godlike in Battlegrounds Mobile India

 Team Solo Mid and GodLike both operate in regional BGMI competitions at the moment.

TSM has been working with a large roster since it was first unveiled in July 2021. Although, they’ve had quite a bit of turnover since, the team has a lot of achievements in BGMI. They won the recent Nodwin x Loco All Stars Invitational, the OR Championship, and Skyesports Mobile Open. They also took 2nd at the recent Battlegrounds Mobile India Series. This is definitely a team on the rise.

GodLike has also been active for quite a while. They have a large squad who have mainly been there since 2021. In that time, they’ve had their fair share of good results too. Across 2021, they won LOCO War of Glory, Ranbhoomi Season 1, Skysports Championship 3.0m, and Gamers Without Borders 2020 Asia. That’s along with coming in 13th at the international PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2021 Grand Finals.

It’s safe to say both of these teams are at the higher end of the competition in Battlegrounds Mobile India. So how exactly did the two teams end up in the center of a major drama? It comes down to one player, Arjun “Shadow” Mandhalkar.

Godlike and TSM BGMI player poaching drama

Shadow originally came to TSM in July 2021. He was the leader of the team in BGMI and a key part of their good performance at previous tournament wins. However, he was later moved away from the main roster. Shadow was dropped from the TSM BGMI’s main roster around a year after he first joined. This was due to declining performance, and the team went on to experiment more with different combinations of players.

Shortly after, GodLike announced that they had acquired Shadow for their own BGMI team. However, TSM didn’t seem to think this was all that simple! They said that the player had been unlawfully registered to the Godlike team, and TSM apparently still had Shadow under contract.

That didn’t slow things down though. Within a day, Shadow was streaming fully as a part of GodLike. He talked about his departure from the team. Shadow claimed it was due to harassment, but also a lack of opportunity to grow there. More importantly, he said that he was not under contract with TSM and had cut all ties.

TSM escalates things further

TSM followed up all of this by saying that they were not opposed to a transfer fully, but the way it has been done wasn’t lawful. They later explained that “player poaching is a large issue in Indian esports”.

By this point, it had snowballed into quite a story. A player who hadn’t been part of the main roster for some time was being held back by an old team, despite everyone else involved seemingly thinking nothing wrong had happened. TSMs Global Director of Mobile even took to tweeting at KRAFTON to try and find out what exactly could be done. It seems KRAFTON hasn’t been particularly responsive though.

The situation has essentially been left unresolved from here. TSM have maintained the transfer isn’t legitimate. GodlIke maintains that it is. Who is in the right and what does it mean for the future of these two rosters? That’s anyone’s guess at the moment. Until KRAFTON decides it wants to settle this or one of the two teams gives in, they’re all left in a stalemate.

Jordan Ashley

[Staff Writer] Jordan Ashley lives in the middle of the UK with two dogs who routinely beat him on Mario Kart. He's a big fan of playing Wind Waker over and over again while ignoring all other tasks. His ability to play Fortnite is limited to hiding in bushes. Available on Twitter on here

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