Korean Overwatch organisation Mighty Storm has been accused by its players of abusive and exploitative actions towards them. Korea is one of the strongest regions in eSports with the South Korea team recently winning the Overwatch World Cup in a 4-0 manner.
On paper the distribution of the Prize Money was in the ratio of 70%-30% favoring the players. However the statement reads that the players have not received their prize money from several tournaments. The Organisation has had no communication with them regarding the payment of the Prize money.
The contract allows them to stream which would in turn generate revenue for the players. However the PCś provided to them for streaming are below par and do not have the hardware and are unfit for streaming purposes.
The players confessed that the living conditions were miserable and the help promised by the coaches was non-existent. Coaches were never involved in helping to develop strategies. On the contrary they were always trying to insult and talk derogatorily to the players.
The living conditions in the boot camp were below standard. There were almost 10-16 people in the house with only one bathroom provided for them. The place was cramped and overcrowded which caused around 6 players to sleep in the living room.
There were abusive instances before matches, such as the coach telling the team, “You guys will lose 0-3 today.” When the team lost at the OGN APEX, the coaches did not provide meals for the day, telling them they did not even deserve to eat.
Following their October 19th loss, the Coach asked them to get off the car. The players were made to walk it back to their practice house.
The general atmosphere in a practice house is supposed to be relaxed and focussed on improving the gameplay. Nowhere in these accounts do we see any efforts to improve the players. On the other hand we see a string of insults and abusive behaviour by the organisation. This is definitely no way to treat the players, irrespective of whether they won or lost matches.
When the players could take no more, they wanted to leave the organisation. They were told that their contracts bound them to the team and if they would leave the team, they would lose all rights and KeSpa (Korean Esports Association) would debar them from professional Gaming for life.
AkshoneSports contacted KeSPA Chairman Byung-Hun Jun.
“We have received extensive reports of this unfortunate happening over the last month. eSports has multiple teams across numerous games, but we are aware that not all players are guaranteed the proper rights that a professional gamer deserves. The fact that pro gamers are often young further exacerbate problems when it comes to gaining the required resources and support of a properly constructed contract.”
He further adds, “Not only will KeSPA provide legal support for the Mighty Storm players, but to all players under the title of KeSPA-certified eSports. If these players are treated unfairly or obligated to abusive, one-sided contracts, we will aggressively pursue legal action against these organizations.”