Former Dallas Fuel star Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned has revealed the restrictive contract he and his teammates refused to sign from the Overwatch League, something that was always suspected to be a major issue.
Seagull was part of Team Envy, which were one of the most successful western Overwatch teams before becoming the Dallas Fuel when the OWL got started in 2017. He would stick around for the Inagural season, before retiring just after it ended in August 2018.
Now he’s come out and said that and his teammates from that squad, were asked to sign very strict contracts that basically controlled every aspect of their streams.
This didn’t all just come out of nowhere either — Seagull was replying to Call of Duty pro Seth ‘Scump’ Abner’s complaints about his own streaming agreement.
“COD players aren’t alone on this one,” Seagull quoted Scump’s Tweet. “OWL players were given a set of streaming rules/policies at the player’s summit, to sign.”
COD players aren't alone on this one.
OWL players were given a set of streaming rules/policies at the player's summit to sign.
Included were clauses signing away my rights to my streaming platform and the right to criticize the game "Overwatch"
My team did not sign. We walked. https://t.co/sJnTMvq0AG
— Brandon Larned (@A_Seagull) November 15, 2020
These rules were incredibly restrictive according to the streamer, who said he and his teammates all walked away without inking the deal.
“Included were clauses signing away my rights to my streaming platform and the right to criticize the game ‘Overwatch,'” he continued. “My team did not sign, we walked.”
Obviously, Seagull and the rest of Envy did end up playing in the OWL during the 2018 season, but not before their contracts were apparently renegotiated.
It is a bit ironic that both pro Overwatch and Call of Duty players have similar complaints about how they’ve been treated by their respective leagues, which are both owned and operated by Activision Blizzard.
Each does have its own staff and they are separate entities for two different games, but you would think lessons learned in one esports league could maybe be applied to the other to avoid this exact kind of situation.
One of the most famous examples of a player running afoul of these streaming agreements has to be Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, who was heavily fined before being released by the Dallas Fuel in 2018 due to his on-stream behavior.
The Canadian may be having the last laugh though, as he’s become one of the most-viewed and highest-earning streamers on Twitch since.