Deadly Alliance (DA) is a professional Smash Bros. team founded by Wes in 2002 and currently representing the Smash division of the company Empire Arcadia (EMP). Before 2015, Smash players represented Empire Arcadia directly and as of today, some players refers to the team as Deadly Alliance Empire Arcadia (DA EMP).
Originally, Deadly Alliance was a Smash Crew consisting of Wes, HellFire, Kamaal and KillaOR. Centered primarily in New York, the group was known for pioneering the meta games of certain characters such as Link, Samus, Luigi, Mr. Game & Watch, Falco, and Peach. This helped establish certain techniques like Samus's super wavedash and pivoting, also known as the DA Dash.
In 2005, Wes met with Triforce (CEO and founder of Empire Arcadia) at Neutral Grounds in Manhattan. Wes agreed to have Deadly Alliance represent Empire Arcadia as the official Smash Bros. competitive gaming division. Now representing Empire Arcadia, Deadly Alliance has won a number of competitions which were eventually documented and certified by Guinness World Record via Twitter and Facebook, naming Empire Arcadia as the most documented tournament winning team in competitive gaming. Several members of DA created a non-profit community service organization called SOS Gamers.
As Empire Arcadia, Deadly Alliance featured numerous famous players over the years, including Mew2King, Armada, PC Chris, Jtails and DKwill as well as several FGC players such as Jwong. Deadly Alliance is still competing as of today, but as a crew rather than as a sponsor. Deadly Alliance is one of the oldest crews involved in Smash, running for 18 years without interruption.
Despite being among the most successful teams in the FGC, the founder and self-proclaimed CEO of Empire Arcadia, Isaiah "TriForce" Johnson, is known for dealing with contracts with successful Empire Arcadia-sponsored players in questionable ways. For example, he claims that players in Empire Arcadia receive a regular salary, but several of them report that the managers of Empire Arcadia do not pay them anything. Due to this, Sanford Kelly, one of Empire Arcadia's top players, was initially unable to afford attending EVO 2014, and the managers could not afford to cover his payment. TriForce is also known for his tendency to manipulate other representatives of companies, or even other professional players, in order to raise money. When he had to find a way to raise money for Sanford's trip to EVO, he attempted to "bait" a third party into giving him money for free, an action that was accidentally streamed and revealed on Empire Arcadia's Twitch channel.
Mew2King, one of Empire Arcadia's top professional Smash players, claims that the managers of Empire Arcadia take a 20% cut out of all of his earnings and repeatedly delay debt repayments to him, or refuses to acknowledge them altogether. Even though Mew2King himself has loaned his own money to managers TriForce and Gregory in order to cover travel fees for other top EMP-sponsored players, he reports that they seldom repay him and still owe him more than $6,000 combined. He also claims that Empire Arcadia offered to fly Armada to Apex 2014 for free, but forced Armada to pay some of the cost and join the team in return, which many view as an unfavorable compromise. In addition, TriForce is known to turn away and even harass alternate sponsors for EMP-sponsored players in an unconventional way. When Evil Geniuses recruited several former Empire Arcadia members, for example, he threatened to sue them and the former players for violating Empire Arcadia contracts. Mew2King was once offered with a sponsorship from Team Razer, the professional eSports group that sponsored Axe, but TriForce used Mew2King's Twitter account to remove mentions of the Razer promotion on his wall, causing people to believe that it was Mew2King himself who was turning away the Razer offer, which is untrue.
Both the owner of Deadly Alliance, Antoine "Wes" Lewis-Hall and TriForce refute the allegations of back paid still owed to Mew2King. There was no legal contractual agreement that the organization would pay Mew2King anything, rather he and TriForce had a verbal agreement on finding a sponsor to pay Mew2King for him to continue playing for the eSports brand team. In 2015, Empire Arcadia found a sponsor in Cyberbox who agreed to cover the requested funds for Mew2King, who then agreed to stay with Empire Arcadia. During deliberation, Mew2King decided to no longer represent the team and left to join MVG, which concluded both parties communication, effectively walking away from the agreement.