The dark side of esport
As of writing this post Mkers organization still owes me salary for 2 months as well as reimbursement for 2 WCS tournaments in Kiev (WCS Spring and WCS Summer). I was hesitating about coming forward with this information for the past 2 months as I was still hoping we can resolve this situation on good terms but Mkers has ceased all communications with me and it shows that they want to keep my money in their own pocket.
This message will be about the dark side of esports and bad treatment of players by teams which might go unnoticed if players don’t decide to come forward with their own problems which very often are sad and embarrassing. I am pretty well known in Starcraft 2 scene and had a fair share of success in my career, so imagine if it happened to me then it can happen to any of your favourite players and especially players that are less known than me. I consider myself lucky because in 9 years of my career I always parted ways with teams on good terms but unfortunately it is a different story with Mkers.
Before signing with Mkers we agreed that all main Starcraft 2 events travel and accommodation will be paid by the team (if agreed beforehand) and everything went smooth in those regards only for the first event under the contract – IEM Katowice 2019. After that I tried to contact the organization to prepare the accommodation and travel for WCS Spring ahead of time so we would get cheaper flights as well as hotel. Very often time is of the essence in this matter because hotels close to the tournament venue are usually booked really fast or prices skyrocket and you unnecessarily have to overpay. But it might be just matter of convenience. For WCS Summer and WCS Spring tournament organizer required players to confirm their participation by sending your flight tickets and hotel booking around 1 week before the tournament started.
The biggest problem is that Mkers organization never responded to me before WCS Spring and I was finally forced to book everything myself at the last moment before the tournament (less than 1 week) or I would be risking withdrawal from the tournament. I was already talking to the organizers that I have troubles with the team booking and asking them for additional time to confirm my slot in the tournament. The thing about all of this is that it puts insane amount of pressure on the player when the team acts like what I described above. Traveling abroad for professional tournament should be planned beforehand from start to finish. Of course I tried signaling this to the team but I might as well have been talking to a wall. In terms of salary at this point I was still being paid although the payments started coming in late like 1 month and I usually had to ask many times for them. Before WCS Summer Mkers informed me about the termination of my contract which was signed until the end of year although they might have forgotten that there is a month of notice in the contract.
The whole communication from the upper management was run through managers who couldn’t really get in touch with the organization itself very often and all my official emails to Mkers were never really responded to.
My salaries for last 2 months playing for Mkers were never paid. As of today I am still fighting to get my money back but of course Mkers is hiding behind the cost of legal dispute over contract between entities from different countries.
I bring this story forward to open your eyes about problems that many players have to deal with but many times are not heard of. If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone in Starcraft 2 scene. We need to hold accountable those teams that hurt the players and fail to fulfill their obligations because it is not always possible or easy through court.
Thank you for reading and remember to support your favourite players in the best and the worst times.