Blizzard’s feeder league, the Overwatch Contenders, may have failed to meet financial obligations towards players, Dot Esports has reported recently. According to the media, citing players who reportedly haven’t been paid, the Overwatch Contenders still owes money to participants and specifically players who competed between March and May and June and August. While you can find more offers here when it comes to gaming, it is definitely poor marketing when you see a big and established esports organization fail to meet financial obligations.
The last time this happened was a few years ago when the H1Z1 League collapsed and was embroiled in a massive scandal. At the time of the league’s collapse, information surfaced that the company had brought in a lot of overseas workers without the proper permits and that no money has been paid to players and workers, making for a very poor exit for the league as a whole.
Blizzard Explains the Statements
According to Blizzard, less than 10% of all payments haven’t been met as of the present moment, the company confirmed for Dot Esports. Yet, this doesn’t entirely fix things. Failure to meet financial obligations has been worrying, to say the least. Similar to some sports organizations – such as the Major League Baseball (MLB) – players become over-reliant on payments from their parent organization, be that the publisher or host of a tournament or their teams.
With esports growing and more people looking to go pro, there have been some concerns that many organizations will be forged on a promise to pay their players if they succeed. This is unfair for at least two reasons. First, players need proper financial support to be able to fully focused on their gaming, and secondly – playing requires a dedication that hardly leaves room for pursuing alternative career paths.
In the case of Blizzard’s Contenders, though, there were four-months delays. As Dot Esports has pointed out, the Contenders league has no official guidelines as to when official payments will come through. A spokesperson for the company has said that the remaining players will receive a payment within January 2020.
Blizzard has also acknowledged that payments were a significant issue in general and that players deserved swift remuneration without unwarranted delays. The company also pointed out that things had got much quicker since 2017 when the first Contenders season was launched.
Avoiding Payment Issues
Player remuneration is an essential aspect of the entire esports experience. To put it this way, if you want to avoid issues with the integrity of the sports, it might be worth to invest more in the actual players.
There is a reason why sports pros are paid a lot, and that’s not just media rights have been bringing a good buck. Sporting bodies are well aware of the challenges that underpaid athletes present specifically in regards to potential match-fixing.
All players need to be appreciated for what they do to boost the integrity of any competition. If living on the poverty line is what esports bodies want to do out of players, then they can expect the quality of competitions to go down.
Of course, for the companies that have already established a footprint, things are only going to look up. Yet, there have been a few high-profile scandals in the recent past. The best way to protect the integrity of esports is to ensure timely and respectable salary packages.