Esports star Yuri Kasdorp has split from the R8G team today in somewhat of a dramatic exit. Both parties tweeted their separate statements just after 11am UTC.
The rFactor 2 and iRacing expert alleges that there were flaws in his contract that meant that he was being “exploited” by Romain Grosjean’s team.
Kasdorp joined the newly formed team last June and was intending to take part in the iRacing Daytona 24 Hour race this weekend – this seems fairly unlikely now with such an acrimonious exit.
UPDATE: Since the initial news broke, Kasdorp has released a longer statement about the incidient. You can read it here on Twitlonger or carry on reading below:
I want to clear up the situation of me being kicked from R8G.
At this moment I do not have the exact reason I was kicked. The reasoning I have been given is:
“damaging the team image in many occasions and for breach of contractual obligations”
I do not know at this point exactly what this refers to.
Some people said I was selling our team setups, which I want to make sure is not true. These accusations have come up multiple times especially on the iracing side and as a result of that, the only setups I have sold on the iracing side are F3 setups which Chris Lulham made for me and we would split the profits. I always made sure these were not based on a team setup or another setup shop. I had one regular customer on rfactor2 for the GT challenge series, which is 1 week after GT-PRO which we all did in the corvette. The setups I sold for the corvette there were based on a setup I built on stream. The setups for especially the Corvette in rfactor are fairly unimportant. Of course this was a delicate situation because I did not want to share what we found in the setup for GT-PRO so how I handled this was to start from baseline and change the setup without using special things that someone in the team found with exception of the wing because you are able to tell that quickly looking at top speeds. Anyone that is close to me or drives with me knows that I try to keep setups to myself as much as possible. When doing officials for example I have raced with friends from other teams making a setup together and if I did not feel like I put input myself on the setup I would not share it to any of my teammates. I also have confirmation from the team that they are not accusing me of this.
The exploitation I mensioned in my initial tweet refers to coaching. As some of you may know I am running “Yuri Setup Shop” which mostly started as a joke, but I was doing a bit of coaching and setups there. Last year this even included coaching Juan Pablo Montoya for example, and some other amazing icons of the sport for the Race all star series. R8G started their own coaching service which was a good opportunity for all of us, me included. The issue here comes that we were not informed about this before it was already live, and I was forced to give up all new coaching clients on YSS. I would not have had a problem with this if we had input on anything in the team coaching, but we had nothing. Since that happened I have had 0 coaching sessions. We were given a contract extension about the coaching which I did not sign immediately because I did not want to lock myself into a coaching platform that didn’t have any succes so far.
Recently I got a job opportunity to do coaching for someone involved in real motorsport, which is what I am trying to get involved in. I have worked as data engineer in the Mazda MX5 cup as a volunteer for 2 years now so I was very exited. I asked if it was possible to go through R8G coaching and it was not. Without signing a contract that mentions coaching in any way, I let R8G know regardless and asked them about the options. They kept delaying the answer for days until the job opportunity was gone, and the answer I got was that coaching is part of gaming so they want to review the contract and get paid a fee from my work. I did not give any comment to this but at this point it was clear there was friction between me and the team.
There were some more arguments about a decision in the team prior to this, but after voicing my concerns I accepted their decisions and lived with it. Even though I did not agree with how it was handled, there was nothing wrong with it. This only added to the friction however.
The only other argument I can recall is the one that happened yesterday/this morning. A list of all the drivers full adress, phone numbers and mail adresses was shared to the whole team. I am unsure if others filled in their adress in this document, but personally I only filled in my size. I voiced my concerns over this and instead of deleting the column with personal info, or deleting the document they only deleted my name/info and left the rest up. I am not comfortable with 20-30 people having all of that information about me without my consent. After voicing my concerns in my private channel in discord, I was told that I added my information myself (which I didn’t), I had no obligation to fill it up and that it is an internal document.
I will copy past my last reply that I can only assume is the reason for the kick, because after this I had no more interaction I was having my morning coffee and the messages started pouring in:
“I never added my address, phone number and personal mail to this document. I am not ok with that.
Regardless if you say all other drivers in this team are third party, which I believe they are.
I am not ok with the way that for example even this issue is handled. In my first message I point out very reasonably if in the document shared to us the addresses can be left out.”
As an end to this statement I want to say that I enjoyed almost all of my time in the team, and I loved working with all the drivers in the team. Every driver driver I have worked with has been very supportive and I could not have wished for better teammates. I want to wish all my teammates the best in the future and I am sure they will keep bossing it.
I am sure there are 2 sides to this story, and for them sometimes I was a pain because I am not scared to speak up when I do not like something. I am dutch, it’s how we work. I prefer to voice my concerns and if they keep their decisions at least they know my opinion and I will accept it. I should also not have rushed a tweet out immediately and I hope I have clarified the situation with this post.
For my future I will take a step back at first. My aim is and will be to keep competing at the highest level in simracing on both rFactor and getting there in iRacing. I also want to build my stream because I enjoy doing it a lot.Yuri Kasdorp, via Twitlonger
As the popularity of esports increases, there have been in recent times a number of allegations of exploitation. Popular, real-world racing driver David Perel recently posted on Twitter about reviewing one such unsavoury contract. Perhaps it was even the same one mentioned.
Some of this can be attributed to growing pains in a fast-growing sector but a reminder for anyone going up the ranks that they should ideally have their contracts reviewed by a professional.