Canadian esports organisation Parabellum Esports, owned by publicly-traded esports and iGaming company React Gaming Group, has seemingly shuttered.
Chris Lama, co-founder and CEO of Parabellum Esports, announced he had stepped down from his position just weeks after Parabellum’s Rainbow Six Siege roster — its only remaining team — appears to have been let go.
In an announcement on Twitter on May 25th, Chris Lama said he had stepped down from his position at React on Monday, revealing that he’d be starting a new job in June.
In that announcement, he appeared to imply that Parabellum Esports was no longer operating, stating that “if pB [Parabellum] does return, I have informed RGG [React Gaming Group] that I will be available to support the transition, whatever it will look like.”
React Gaming Group did not respond to two requests for comment prior to publication. Lama declined to comment on the status of Parabellum when contacted by Esports Insider.
Parabellum Esports’ Rainbow Six Siege (R6 Siege) roster appears to have disbanded in early May. Several of the team’s former players posted on social media on May 8th that they were LFT (meaning ‘looking for team’).
“With pB’s future uncertain they have allowed me to explore options,” R6 Siege pro player Brady ‘Spiker’ Lukens said in a tweet. Teammate Chris ‘Spiff’ Park said: “While Parabellum decides on whether or not to stay in siege, I will be looking for other opportunities during this time.” Other teammates retweeted those tweets.
In recent months, the organisation has also dropped its Rocket League roster and women’s CS:GO team. Lama had previously told Esports Insider on March 27th that Parabellum had left those other titles because it could not see a viable path forward in them, but that it remained committed to continuing in R6 Siege.
“Ubisoft has shown potential to not only be viable, but profitable in 2023 for us. We will continue with R6 and only R6 at this time,” the then-CEO told Esports Insider at the time. “We are keeping tabs on the market and [as] with other companies, we feel scaling back will prove to be successful.”
However, a month later, on April 28th, the then-CEO announced via Parabellum Esports’ Discord server that all of the company’s staff had been laid off and that he himself had been furloughed. It came just two days after a Parabellum gun skin was added R6 Siege by Ubisoft.
“I want to personally say I am very grateful for everything this community has done for me and pB,” Lama said in the Discord post. “If this is the end for me, I have achieved everything that I can, and I am proud of everyone who has ever worn a pB jersey.” The co-founder added that he was “actively trying to acquire the brand and take over the operations” from React Gaming Group.
The unravelling of the organisation comes after complaints and accusations by players that they had not been paid. In a statement on May 18th after he was dropped, Micheal ‘Noobsie’ Palmateer, the General Manager for Parabellum’s Rocket League team, claimed things had spiralled downhill ever since React bought the organisation.
React Gaming Group, which also operates esports betting platform LOOT.BET and social gaming platform Compete.GG, acquired Parabellum in March 2022.
The former General Manager alleged that the Rocket League players were still owed money and had not been fully paid, and that React had refused to help resolve the situation. “As of February we were all told by React that React was in good economic standing,” Palmateer wrote. “What has changed in 45 days? I have zero idea as they will not give a direct answer to anyone in pB.”
Palmateer subsequently told Esports Insider later in March that React had told him that “teams that don’t generate revenue don’t get paid,” and that React had frozen Parabellum’s bank cards and credit cards.
Palmateer clarified that there were “no ill words to say to Chris [Lama]” or anyone else at Parabellum, instead taking aim at its ownership group.
Based in Toronto, Canada, Parabellum Esports was founded in 2020. It rose in profile into a notable Canadian organisation and saw competitive success in R6 Siege and Rocket League under its original leadership. Its parent company, React Gaming Group, is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s Venture exchange. Its share price currently sits at CAD$0.04 (~£0.024).