Trig Social Media, sponsor of Smite and League of Legends teams and the highest-grossing StarCraft II player in the world, is under investigation by multiple European financial authorities for ‘suspicions of irregularities.’
The Swedish Economic Crimes Bureau and the German Federal Financial Standards Agency (FSA), BaFin, are investigating the Swedish company after their auditors PwC stepped down from their duties prematurely. The accounting firm filed a notice of early termination to the Company Registration Office on April 17 when their own analysis didn’t match Trig’s stated numbers.
"Trig Social Media has on a repeated number of occasions emphasized the importance of their member database of more than 3 million members," PwC stated in their termination notice. "Our analysis has revealed that the company has a very low proportion of active members that generate revenue."
On top of PwC’s reports, Trig’s legal advisor Lars Hellewig left his position on the board of directors last week amid falling sales reports from last quarter of 60,000 units compared to 232,000 during the same period in 2014.
The social media company, which floated on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in September last year, opened at a value of 5m Swedish Krona (~380,000) but quickly rose to be worth more than 10bn Krona (~770m) in six months. Positioning itself as a competitor to Facebook and other leading social network sites, Trig attracted multiple large investments and partnerships in the months leading up to their stock market debut.
However, PwC’s actions and independent analysis has caught the attention of Swedish and German regulatory authorities, such as BaFin. "We have been informed that there are suspicions of irregularities in Trig Social Media," Jonathan Holst, Head of the FSA, told Swedish business site Veckans Affrer."We have had contacts with the Economic Crimes Bureau during the day. We investigate market abuse but not all forms of economic crime. There are issues that lie at the Economic Crimes Bureau. I also know that German FSA, BaFin, had contact with us regarding Trig Social Media."
Trig eSports has a Smite team, currently in the EU SPL, formed at the start of this year by members of Team Solo Mid and Fnatic and lead by Simon "Zimpstar" Hagert. At the announcement of the team, Hagert said: "Trig Social Media contacted us sometime after the qualifiers for worlds with a proposition for season 2, and we accepted. This proposition would facilitate our ability to devout as much time as possible for playing the game since it would be profitable enough and far surpasses that of average salary rates."
The company also sponsorsEnrique xPeke” Cedeo’s Team Origen, a popular Spanish League of Legends team, and the highest grossing StarCraft II player in the world,Jang MC” Min Chul.
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