MY STORY ENDS HERE
Yesterday I was notified that both my EU and NA WoW licenses have been suspended for 6 months because of real money trading. I want to start by saying that I did participate in real money trading and therefore the suspension is justified.
I've been competing in the AWC for several years now and have been seeing a lot of success, including winning last year. However, despite my success - the current WoW Esports ecosystem does not allow players like myself who invest a significant amount of time into competing to do well financially. WoW Esports are notorious for having a relatively low prize pool in comparison to other games and just like with any other competitive game, you have to invest a significant amount of time to even have a chance of doing well.
I am by no means defending coaching or promoting real money trading, I’m just trying to give everyone a perspective on what it’s like being a professional WoW arena player. I want people to understand why I felt forced into coaching and why it feels so unfair to be banned for something that professional players in other Esports games do not feel forced into doing all because they're actually able to make a living from competing alone. The monetary gain from competing in WoW Esports is barely a competitive annual salary, and that's just if you win. What about all the other players that give it their all to compete and do well but aren't able to be as successful? How are they supposed to support themselves? As I already said, you have to invest A LOT of time to do well in Esports, and the only way to reliably monetize that skill within WoW Esports is to coach as the Esports program does not offer a stable support system for players that compete which just leaves me wondering, why do we ban for coaching? Why is something that happens in other games a problem in WoW? I'm not sure what the answer to these questions, I just know that trying to survive on just an income from WoW Esports alone just isn't feasible.
With all of that being said, what's next for me? Well, I started consistently streaming on Twitch back in November of last year and I fully intend to continuing pursuing that path. I'm very lucky to have grown my community so quickly and am incredibly thankful for all of the support I've been getting over the last few months. Sadly this ban means it's very likely I will never compete again.
Thanks for reading and I hope that one day we all have a better solution for players that are struggling to get by with how WoW Esports are currently setup.