Sponsors drop out of “Gamer Gauntlet” cruise as scamming accusations pile up

The Gamer Gauntlet 2017 Cruise has been advertised for close to a year now as the “Ultimate Video Game Cruise” and, while the hype video will probably give you a mild case of vertigo, it looked like a legitimate venture with partners like Red Bull, Meta Threads, Esports Arena, and Matcherino to name just a few.

The cruise was advertised to set sail from Florida to the Bahamas on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas in October and include a horde of experiences targeted at gamers like full immersion game rooms, cosplay contests, EDM DJ’s and esports tournaments with broadcasts live from the ship. Even major teams like Denial Esports and Method had already committed to attending and competing on the cruise as well.

Sounds too good to be true? Seems like it is. Esports betting company, MoneyMatches was set to be the exclusive betting service on the cruise but as CEO Zach Smith dug deeper into the internal organisation of Gamer Gauntlet he found it was far from what it’s been perceived. Friday, Smith live streamed a phone conversation with Gamer Tech Events founder, Curtis Smith (no relation) as he was confronted about questionable information coming out about the event.

Zach explained after he heard the second in command at Gamer Tech Events had quit after not being paid, he investigated further with Royal Caribbean and found that not only do they have no record of the cruise ever existing, but that they’ve sent Gamer Tech Events a cease and desist order. He then went on to reveal his knowledge of not only Red Bull bowing out, but that Red Bull weren’t even aware of the cruise to begin with.

Hours after the first live stream, Zach began another explaining the timeline of events leading up to this point. He states that after hearing that Gamer Tech’s second in command left due to not being paid, and hearing rumors of Red Bull pulling out they began to investigate further into the legitimacy of the venture and found that all claims of the cruise had been false.

After the confrontation Curtis Smith later took to Instagram to explain, “For starters it’s technically correct. At the same time it is also being taken out of context.” His statement goes on to say that the company lost their original investor and has been working to find a new one but chose not to reveal that to the public, or people who already bought tickets to the ‘cruise’. He then says they expect to have a fully contracted charter within the next week, claiming they have already secured a new investor.

Shortly after Zach Smith’s live stream other partners and teams affiliated to the cruise began catching on and pulling out as well.

Not even 24 hours after Zach Smith live streamed this altercation, it seems that the Gamer Gauntlet twitter account was hacked and further exposed for being a scam. Some of the tweets (most of which have now been removed) claim the hacker also hacked Curtis Smith’s Paypal, showing that 279 tickets have been purchased and that all money from the tickets went personally to the CEO.

While the main page for the cruise, gamertechevents.com claims they will “be back soon”, the ability to navigate the website and buy tickets still remain. 

Esports Insider Says: While gaming on a cruise to the Caribbean sounds like an amazing vacation (despite the sea sickness and probable 500 ping internet), the capital needed to pull something like this off would have to be outstanding. It seems the numbers and the facts just aren’t adding up on the side of Gamer Tech Events. This could potentially be a good idea for the right company in the future, but it would be in the best interest for anyone who has purchased a ticket for the #CruiseCon to ask for a refund as soon as possible.