Players Say They Haven’t Been Paid for IPL 5
The players who took to Twitter to say that they hadn’t received their prize money included DongRaeGu, HuK and Snute. DongRaeGu also said that he heard that IPL 5 champion Leenock had not received his prize money yet either. A contractor who worked on IPL 5 mentioned on Reddit that neither he nor a friend were paid for their work during the event.
Back in April, the assets of the IGN Pro League were bought by Blizzard. As both IGN and Blizzard reported that Blizzard bought the assets of IPL, that means that Blizzard is not obligated to pay IPL’s debts. Barring some sort of unusual terms of the purchase, the IPL is still obligated to pay outstanding prize money owing to players. Depending on the legal structure of IPL and how it’s related to IGN, IGN itself may not necessarily be obligated to pay IPL’s outstanding prize money payments.
A quick perusal of Twitter and Reddit responses say that late prize payments are a regular occurrence in eSports. While we obviously don’t have anything but anecdotal evidence to back that assertion up, I think that we might see more of these stories pop up as awareness about various issues in eSports increases. Currently, another /r/StarCraft thread says that at least a couple of players, mOOnGLaDe and HelloKitty, haven’t received their prize money for WCS America Season 1.
As of posting, we are waiting on a formal response from IGN. Their head of communications told me to expect a statement soon and we’ll update the post when that hits our inbox.