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KoinGaming

Esports is a shady business

16 posts in this topic

Please read This before continuing.

 

About 1 year and 7 months ago, I was part of a Starcraft 2 team called "Alloy Esports", which was at the time an "Aspiring Esports team aiming for the top" . I was part of the management, and my job was to organize team matches, make sure that everyone attended practice and organized the line-ups for SC2ITL (A starcraft 2 team league with cash prizes. A team of 4 will play a Bo7 games. The winner will advance and the loser gets eliminated. So it's a series of 1v1 matches where 1 player can kill the whole enemy team if he's good enough and I was there to make sure that wouldn't happen.). 

The level of play was quite low in Alloy and it more reminded me of a casual team, more then anything else. We had a few GM's (Highest league players, similar to challenger in LoL.), but most of them were masters players (The difference between GM and Master is far bigger then Challenger-Diamond 1.. It's more similar to Platinum 1~.)

 

So the team had ways to go, it wasn't too bad managing it, but there were a lot of problems with Stephen Moore (The leader.) not paying the wages he promised. And to make things worse he had a silly story about his "dead grandfather who gave him a large company, but the management didn't want to let him get his hands on it". A silly story, but the players had nothing else to do anyway and we didn't have any proof that he DIDN'T have an income, while we had a list of things that he didn't do, which he should've done if he had any money (Is late with his promised wages, which at the time was at the level of "15$ to the best player in the team", and said how once he gets his hands on the money from the company it will be all up from there..). I ofc knew that he didn't have money and that it was a whole lot of BS (But later on he did change his excuses and explanations so he did smarten up with that shit at the very least.). And then came a time when it was obvious to me that he won't be able to afford anything that he had planned, and then I and 1 of my fellow managers got up into his face and asked the final question "Do you, or do you not have the money, cause if you don't then this is the time to jump the boat and turn this into a casual gaming team". He said "Everything's fine". Then we asked for his business plan on how he plans to make this into a profitable organization (At the very least if he had a good plan I would atleast run along with him a bit longer.". After a retarded "business plan", which was "Hire a top level player for free and get him to earn money, he'll win tournaments ....." . You might wonder what that "...." at the end was. It basically was Stephens "Idea" that all the winnings go to the player saying "it belongs to them". From which came a question "How do you plan on earning money then"? (For clarification. Most teams that support pro gamers take a large amount of money from the winnings, but for that they provide for the player, take care of the housing, food, travel costs and it's generally far safer to get a small sure-fire split from the winnings, earn salary, and not pay for any of the needs that teams usually provide for the players. Teams usually have sponsors to take care of the HUGE costs and even teams like Axiom who're doing really well, are in the red.) . That was basically a sign for me to jump ship. Which I'm now regretting cause if I had stayed it would've been annoying for me, but I could've prevented shit like this.

After I left the team I found out that Stephen had been recruiting far higher level players and had promises of a fantasy world that he himself lives in. I was surprised that he managed to aquire them, but thankfully it was a short-lived "alloy experience" as most of the better players did leave soon after. Though this Austrian did go through some serious shit. 

Felt the need to talk about this topic as it's a very real thing and it's a thing to look out for.

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You'll find this kind of rubbish all over the world in everything humanity does...

Gone too likes this

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I agree with Twisted Chi, it is all over, I can tell you it is pretty common in the USA. Can't speak for other countries though.

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This is not the first time something like this happened, something similar happened in LoL Esports, I don't know the details, but apparently the manager was also hiding some stuff and lying. This is kind of normal...sadly. It's human nature, there is always something shady. Anything that brings in money and is controlled by a human is in one way corrupted. 

 

I'm not surprised to read this.

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This is not the first time something like this happened, something similar happened in LoL Esports, I don't know the details, but apparently the manager was also hiding some stuff and lying. This is kind of normal...sadly. It's human nature, there is always something shady. Anything that brings in money and is controlled by a human is in one way corrupted. 

 

I'm not surprised to read this.

Well it wasn't the manager with this thing, but the founder.

And yes it isn't anything completely new seeing as Quantic gaming had a similar thing (They compared Alloy with quantic in the article.. Although i would say that Quantic was a far bigger organization and it was a bit more serious.) . But it was something I was directly linked to in the past, so I thought it would be a good thing to talk about this issue and get the word out.

Apex Spartan likes this

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I thought this was going to be about how the NA scene is dying, because everyone is outsourcing and getting the koreans to come over with work visas.

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As a fan of SC2 scene and a person who studies Esport history I disagree entirely with the thread title, you cannot judge Esports based on one bad upstart team composed of absolutely unknown players. By the same token I could be saying that Esports is awesome business because EG, TL or Acer is awesome. I echo Twisted Chi's argument.

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With all due respect, before you join a team, any team, do some research. Legit teams usually don't just pop up out of nowhere. Say what you will, but those guys who basically got duped by that Moore guy had plenty of other options to get noticed. Hell, worst they could've become were training partners, but instead they decided to take the first offer thrown at them. That's not really a smart idea.

Apex Spartan likes this

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The only way you will genuinely be able to make money is through sponsorship deals and advertisements, that's how all professional gamers of any stripe even those in football ( No not soccer you damn Americans >_< ) make money. I realise It's ironic from somebody who gets bitched at about getting a 'real' job but I can say safely unless your producing something people will want which is a basic rule in economics you won't make any money doing this.

 

People who do this will likely already have gained sponsorship and so on or will be entering those tournaments that have cash prizes and you'll probably be squaring off at them anyway, I don't understand how people could do this kind of thing myself as I only play games for fun but there you go.

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As a fan of SC2 scene and a person who studies Esport history I disagree entirely with the thread title, you cannot judge Esports based on one bad upstart team composed of absolutely unknown players. By the same token I could be saying that Esports is awesome business because EG, TL or Acer is awesome. I echo Twisted Chi's argument.

I agree with this post the most.

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Humanity has a free functioning intellect and there are always those willing to use it to fuck you over.

No exceptions.

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But it's kind of hard to tell, from the outside. The first time I met CEO of mYinsanity two years ago, I thought what he plans can never work... and today it's pretty much the biggest name in european SC2, so it's really hard to make a call in this business...

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As a fan of SC2 scene and a person who studies Esport history I disagree entirely with the thread title, you cannot judge Esports based on one bad upstart team composed of absolutely unknown players. By the same token I could be saying that Esports is awesome business because EG, TL or Acer is awesome. I echo Twisted Chi's argument.

The thing is we're not talking about large teams. To join Team Acer or TL or EG you need to stand out and even highly skilled players who are top 50 GM won't have a easy time getting into any of those teams (You need to be top 25 I'd say and have atleast some results out.). So it makes sense to find a smaller team that's willing to help you get some tournament results. 

But THIS has happened many times in the past with smaller teams (And there have been a ton of problems with match-fixing, especially in the SC scene in korea as well.). I don't think you can say that esports is a completely clean business because that shit has happened more then a few times.

But the topic title was chosen because there was a line for that in the article, and I thought it was somewhat fitting. I never said that the WHOLE esports scene is shady, but a part of it was and you need to look out for it.

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I dunno, doesnt seem like anyone learned a lesson IMO... Doesnt anyone sign a contract they agree to? I mean if you hav a written contract which clearly outlines the responsibilities of both parties, i dont see why "getting money back" should be a lost cause. Or are foreign internationals working in the states not allowed to get legal justice? I honestly dont know.

I mean i wouldnt board a plane without getting a contract i can agree to first.

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 I don't think you can say that esports is a completely clean business because that shit has happened more then a few times.

Like Twisted Chi said that's valid for everything humans ever invented in the recorded history of everything. You can't say the Laundromat/music/traditional sports/gaming(38 studios)/politics/TV/Movie/Construction/Technology/law enforcement businesses are completely clean either. Hell democracy is one of the most long-time celebrated human inventions and it barely works at all, Esports is doing better than most of those in the corruption scale.

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Like Twisted Chi said that's valid for everything humans ever invented in the recorded history of everything. You can't say the Laundromat/music/traditional sports/gaming(38 studios)/politics/TV/Movie/Construction/Technology/law enforcement businesses are completely clean either. Hell democracy is one of the most long-time celebrated human inventions and it barely works at all, Esports is doing better than most of those in the corruption scale.

Doing better doesn't mean it's a non-issue. It's still an issue that you need to look out for. Meaning that getting the word out is still useful. I can't understand why you're trying to say "It's better" while I did say that I chose that name just because I saw it in the article and found it a good fit? I never meant that the whole esports scene is shady and I didn't say it anywhere. I was talking about something that happened and people suffered cause of it. And it's also a fact that such kinds of things have happened before.

 

I dunno, doesnt seem like anyone learned a lesson IMO... Doesnt anyone sign a contract they agree to? I mean if you hav a written contract which clearly outlines the responsibilities of both parties, i dont see why "getting money back" should be a lost cause. Or are foreign internationals working in the states not allowed to get legal justice? I honestly dont know.

I mean i wouldnt board a plane without getting a contract i can agree to first.

Well this case was that he had been part of the team for a while and had good experiences with the management (Not the leader.). And doing contracts over the net is a biiiig minefield (Especially when it spans continents.) so you can't be 100% sure if the contract is binding or not.

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