In a post today announcing its decision, league organizer Riot Games said the organization had failed to pay its players salary on multiple occasions. One of the requirements in the agreement that all teams sign when they enter league stipulates that the team pay its players a “minimum match payment to their players within a set period.” The ban will last for the next two years, minimum, and will only be reevaluated after the 2017 season. Team Immunity’s players are still free to play in the league so long as it’s with another organization.
Stories of mismanaged teams are nothing new in esports, an industry little regulation or protections for players and flush with ambitious but inexperienced owners. On July 9, the Daily Dot reported European organization MeetYourMakers failed to make payments to many of its squad in what has become one of the most notorious scandals in recent esports history. Then there’s the case of Quantic Gaming, whose CEO disappeared in 2013 while still owing $40,000 to his players.
A number of industry personalities, including former Evil Geniuses and Counter Logic Gaming Europe jungler Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis, have advocated for a player union to prevent and resolve these types of issues. But so far, nothing concrete has come from those discussions.
Illustration by Jacob Wolf