Team Immunity, one of Australia’s longest-running eSports teams, has been banned from League of Legends tournaments for two years, after failing to pay the players. Riot reportedly handed down multiple warnings, but the team did not make minimum match payments to its League gamers, failing to meet the requirements of the Oceanic Pro League requirements.
Because we live in a world where people are paid for being good at video games, all teams in the Oceanic Pro League sign an agreement with Riot promising to pay players a minimum amount per match, within a set time period. Following the first two splits of the 2015 season, Riot received statements from players alleging that Team Immunity had not paid up within the agreed-upon time period, putting the team firmly in breach of its agreement.
Riot Games, through the OPL, will ensure that all affected gamers are given the payment that is owed to them, and has promised to help players to continue playing in OPL under a new team name.
League spokesperson Daniel Ringland explains:
Team Immunity has repeatedly proven they are not capable of operating at the standards we expect on behalf of their players and fans. The players themselves, however, have done nothing wrong here, and we will work with them as they decide what path to follow in the 2016 season of OPL.
Ringland explains that this is part of Riot rewarding top-level players for their investment into the game.
The OPL believes it is important that professional players in Oceania receive match payments to compensate them for the time and effort they put into their play, as well as the pressures they face. We believe it is unacceptable for organisations to repeatedly withhold or delay payments owed to their players.
The owners, and the organisation known as Team Immunity, on the other hand, has been banned from the OPL and any other official League of Legends tournaments for the next two years. After that time has passed, a review will be conducted to consider allowing Team Immunity back into the competition. And, “to avoid doubt”, the ban will be applied to any Riot competition, including at university level as well as professional and semi-professional games.
Team Immunity has taken to Twitter to make a public comment:
We are currently in discussions with Riot management as we believe a mistake has been made. We will issue a further statement in due course.
The comments both on the OCE post and the Team Immunity Twitter suggests that this is perhaps not the first time that the team has short-changed its players (StarCraft II player Targa claims the team owes him $1,500 for a tournament win), so it will be interesting to see what this “mistake” actually is.