A plethora of Counter-Strike talent called attention to the toughest part of working as a freelancer in the esports industry, shared stories of not being paid on time, and even threatened to start calling out tournament organizers who are allegedly still behind.
Being owed money is the worst feeling, especially when you’re the person who has to keep reminding the person who owes you. What makes it even more annoying, is when it’s a larger company that keeps pushing back the payment date.
For people in esports, this is more of a common occurrence than it should be, especially in a scene like Counter-Strike where nearly all the talent consists of freelancers.
Caster and commentator Vince ‘OnFireVince’ Hill expressed his concerns online on October 24, and alleges that he’s still owed payment from over two months ago, and has reached out several times to only be ignored further.
Dear TO's (some not all)
I'm understanding about not being paid after a month or two, after that is taking the piss, especially when I've reached out and been ignored multiple times. We need to pay bills and frankly worry when this happens. Sort it out.
— Vince (@OnFireVince) October 24, 2019
Fellow caster under the Room On Fire team, Jason ‘moses’ O’Toole, replied to Vince saying that he himself was tired of handling it internally, and may resort to publicly calling out these organizations.
Vince warned of the dangers of “burning bridges” by doing so, and acknowledged in a follow-up video that just by making the tweet, he may have “put himself in the crosshairs.”
But Vince doubled down in his video, calling more attention to the issue and driving home how frequently it allegedly happens. “Event after event after event. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, it isn’t even the tenth time it’s happened. It happens all the time to all of us.”
This notion that it happens to multiple casters and talent at the very tops of their games was backed up by a slew of talent replying to his original tweet with their own tales of woe regarding late payments. This isn't even the first time there's been massive outcry from casters regarding the issue.
Commentator Cory ‘Megaman’ Gilbert said the longest he’d gone was 10 months without payment. Lauren ‘Pansy’ Scott said that her stream literally saved her from not being able to pay rent.
Scott ‘SirScoots’ Smith of the CS Professional Players’ Association suggested that talent start signing contracts with payment terms and penalties for late payments, but numerous people replied saying it would be near-impossible for organizers to agree to sign those.
While none of the talent opted to name any of the organizations and organizers that owe them, it’s only a matter of time for the frustration of late payments to wear away at casters, until action is taken and/or organizers are called out.