Kubz claims Golden Guardians did not pay for three months of work - Upcomer
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Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 20 to include Golden Guardian General Manager’s response.

Kublai “Kubz” Barlas, the recently retired Golden Guardians Academy coach, alleged Saturday in a Twitter thread that he was not paid for three months of work for the organization.

The nine-year coaching veteran said that the Golden Guardians organization did not pay for his housing or travel and told him a week before entering the United States that he would not be paid for his offseason work. In the thread, he wrote that he did not blame the organization but wished that the situation was communicated to him better.

“Got paid League minimum and forced to get your own housing in LA among other things,” Kubz said in a reply to T1 streamer Nick “LS” De Cesare. “Certainly been a wild 2 months I did not anticipate when signing my nice shiny 3 year contract in the off season. Also didn’t get paid for any of the work I did before I was in the US.”


The thread also highlighted that he paid for most of his travel and housing himself. The Canadian is also in the process of gaining entry back to his home country, but has had trouble because of COVID-19 regulations. His former organization, he claimed, has not been helpful.

“Going home during [the pandemic] and being on my own with no help is a bit tragic,” Kubz said in his Twitter thread. “I was told last night they would get me a flight back home but ‘it’s up to you if you take it’ after ghosting me for the last day and a half when I had already had to book my accommodations home.”


The veteran said that his comments were to just highlight how he lost money in his pursuit of coaching for Golden Guardians. Kubz also said that the intention behind his comments were to vent about his final act in esports coaching and not to call out the organization.

Golden Guardians General Manager Danan Flander responded in a thread of his own about the former coach’s contract situation.

“It’s unlikely Kubz intended any slight, but I’ll speak to a few of the things he mentioned in his tweets. As a P-1S worker, Kubz’s contract start date was contingent on his entry into the US on a work-authorized visa status.” Flander wrote in his Twitter thread. “Separately, Kubz negotiated for a signing bonus, which he also received upon providing proof of US work eligibility. Finally, per the standard P-1 regulations, Kubz was offered a return flight to his home country following the termination of his contract, which he ultimately declined.”

Kubz responded with another thread of his own, stating that he was under the impression that he would be back paid for his work and that the organization response is framed incorrectly.

“As Hunter Leigh wrote on reddit he wants me to clear this up. I will once again say that I was venting last night and am disappointed I lost money to move to LA however no one is at fault for that. I don’t like the framing attempt that it was known I wouldn’t be paid for 3 months.” Kubz said in the thread. “What I don’t like is when that some people willingly and knowingly withheld information from me until the last possible second. And waking up to see the response given is a slap to my face. Do not disrespect me further. Good luck in Summer, you are most certainly going to need it.”


Kubz’s retirement and time with Golden Guardians

The former Giants Gaming and Fnatic Academy coach retired Wednesday after two months with the team. He has worked with premier and academy North American and European teams over his coaching tenure. In his retirement post, he said that he would discuss his reasons for retiring at a later date and to give him time.

In his time with the Golden Guardians Academy he led the team to mediocre results in Challengers Uprising, NA Academy 2021 Spring. But, he did turn things around in his final weeks, putting together a losers bracket run in the Giant Slayer Gauntlet 2021 Spring. The team went on a five series win streak before Kubz stepped down the day before its Grand Finals match with Evil Geniuses Academy. The team went on to reverse sweep their Evil Geniuses counterparts 3-2.

Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.