Some Overwatch League players wanted to unionize, says xQc

xQc told Hasan Piker that the Overwatch League pressured them into signing contracts.

Image via the Overwatch League

After arriving back in Los Angeles, xQc struggled to stream on Twitch and eventually ragequit, citing that the place he was staying at was “stacked with spiders,” smelled like “death,” and had bad internet. Political Twitch streamer and fellow Shitcamp 2021 participant Hasanabi offered xQc help via Twitter.

Today, xQc made a cameo on Hasan’s stream, a broadcast in which Hasan spoke with Jacobin staff writer Alex Press about unions, Hollywood’s averted IATSE strike, and Amazon. xQc said that he enjoyed sitting back and listening for the most part, but he made a point of jumping in regarding the topic of unionization and brought up the Overwatch League.

“They gave us these big ass contracts,” xQc said. “Every player had to sign to accept the official Overwatch League agreement. And the document was huge. And not everyone agreed with everything that was in the document. We were like, ‘this is kinda stupid.’ And then people started bringing up in the room, like guys, maybe we should unionize, or talk about this. Maybe we should unionize, right?”

But according to xQc, the Overwatch League told the players that they only had 24 hours to sign their contracts. xQc said the Overwatch League pressured them into signing the hefty legal contracts as soon as possible. In response to this pressure, “every player just signed it,” xQc said. “And that was the end of it. They didn’t talk about unionizing for years, and it never happened.”

This isn’t the first time Overwatch League players have called for unionization. Last year, former Dallas Fuel player Seagull said that “OWL desperately needs a players association.” He argued that with Overwatch 2 looming in the future and poor viewership numbers, “team are incentivized to drop players and save money.”

While the league may be far from unionization, higher salaries may be on the horizon for some players. Last week, it was announced that Activision Blizzard will be removing the competitive balance tax and soft salary cap for Overwatch League players.

The reasoning behind this change in policy may be a result of the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust investigation into whether the Overwatch League was violating the Sherman Antitrust Act with salary caps because Overwatch League players do not have a players union.