KnOxXx Exposes Eagle Gaming – Overwatch Players Not Paid For Months | Akshon Recap
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KnOxXx Exposes Eagle Gaming – Overwatch Players Not Paid For Months | Akshon Recap

October 21, 2019

I’m Darren from Akshon Esports and this
is Akshon Recap. The show we cover various ongoing stories within the
Overwatch esports community. Despite finding success as the champions of
Overwatch Contenders Europe Season 2 new information has revealed Eagle
Gaming has actually been struggling to hold itself together and unfortunately
left its players in a financial mess. On Thursday Jean-louis KnOxXx Boyer
announced via Twitlonger his retirement as a professional player.
Known for his time as a veteran in the competitive overwatch scene as a member
of the old Rogue roster, KnOxXx recently played on the now-defunct Eagle Gaming
and used his retirement announcement to bring to light how the organization had
not been paying its players for three or four months leading up to its cease of
operations. According to KnOxXx he first signed a short-term contract with Eagle
Gaming in mid-november 2017 and believed that he would start to work with the org
upon his return to France quote “it was explicitly said to me that as soon as I
would come back to France I would sign my employment contract to start my
engagement.” He added that despite frequent requests no such employment
contract was ever sent his way but continued to keep playing on with his
teammates. It was only later in his tenure with the org that KnOxXx says he
learned that Eagle Gaming had never even held the rights to offer this type of
fixed term contract. By December, the player saw the first of what was to
become several payment delays at the time he was too focused on the
preparation of the team for the first season of Contenders to dig deep into
the situation beyond asking the management who had already dodged
questions and merely told him to be patient as the months went on Knox
states that Eagle Gaming’s management became increasingly hostile when asked
for salary fulfilment and even told him that the players should be grateful that
they received any money at all for playing video games in the first place.
Big yikes. In retrospect, this should have been more
than enough of a reason to leave the team and prevent further player
mistreatment but the players soldiered on as they competed in contenders the
only thing they could do was trust Eagle management on their word and when that
trust was lost they hoped that would be eventually resolved but in the meantime
they continued performing well in Contenders
as hopes of catching the eye of an overwatch league scout took priority. By
July 2018 Eagle gaming’s players were notified that the organization had
encountered major financial difficulties because “some investors were no
longer holding their commitments or even had retracted.” A month later KnOxXx says he
was informed the organization would be liquidated
due to its insurmountable financial struggles and could no longer stay
afloat. During this period of distress the roster went on to win European
Overwatch contender Season 2 in front of a home crowd. It was only after the
victory that Eagle Gaming management announced to the community that they would be
releasing its players from the buy out component their contracts to encourage
Overwatch League teams to recruit their players. The organization’s president and
founder Xavior Calvi resigned last week leaving Eagle Gaming’s players in dire
straits. “The structure has left the players without contracts and with
financial problem:. We haven’t been paid in three to four months and have never
received our tournament earnings,” wrote KnOxXx. Not allowing the organization to
get away from how they treated the team KnOxXx writes that he and his former
teammates are currently working with a lawyer to seek justice. “Today we are nine
players engaged in a legal dispute at the Labor courts and the inactivity of
Eagle Gaming has left us no choice but to unilaterally terminate our contracts
that we can go forward with our careers.” Five of Eagle gaming’s former nine man
roster have since been signed to the Copenhagen Flames. KnOxXx meanwhile is
retiring as a pro player but ended with a message stating that he may return to
the esports industry in some capacity in the future, “I just regret that my
playing career ends on the failure of a French investor Eagle gaming who has
ruined the hopes of a team of talented players.” This news is both unfortunate
and sad but seeing organizations taking advantage of and failing to pay their
employees in esports is not that uncommon especially in the tier 2 and
tier 3 Overwatch scenes there have already been previously several cases on
record where management of these organizations have taken advantage of
their players through unfair contracts or outright failure to fulfill their
responsibilities as an employer because of the lack of oversight from a
governing body and their being next to no real consequence
as of right now. In Overwatch, notable cases include the failure of Envision
Esports and Denial Esports to properly pay their players who have yet to be
compensated to this very day. It’s becoming more and more clear that this
is continuously being at issue in esports so I turn things to you what do
you think we should do to resolve this what can we as a community do or what
should we look to for Blizzard is a governing body of the Overwatch esports
scene to ensure that players in the Tier 2 scene are actually compensated for
their work as always let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If
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notified. This has been Darren from Akshon Esports and we’ll see you in the
next one.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Do you think Blizzard should be stepping and protecting players in the Tier 2 scene if Contenders is to continue to grow?

  2. Blizzard has to fix the tier 2 scene right now. For the players giving it everything, dropping out of school or work to pursue this opportunity only to get abused by untrustworthy orgs is ridiculous and needs to stop if the path to pro system has any chance of surviving.

  3. The worst is that in the french community nobody expected that , because we thought Xavier Calvi was a very good CEO. It was said in multiple interview of french players and during there stream that Xavier Calvi was a really good guy pretty kind and worried about his players. We all trusted Xavier because we didn't know a lot about him so when we were aware about the problem we were all really surprised that : 1st they didn't receive any wages or CP and 2nd that they still managed to stay together and won the contender
    Btw I love your prononciation of "Jean Louis"

  4. Ok Akshon it is really unprofessional to put stock image of a boss scolding an employee and say "Yikes" in reaction to Knoxxs unfortunate predicament. I though I subscribed for professional esports coverage now you remind of Mykls channel (not a compliment)

  5. as a french person, i was rly respectuful of eagle gaming and still am a big fan of the roster, but i really feel bad for the players

  6. How about Blizzard push for some eSports legislation to go into effect that requires proof of salaries or contracts at least in order to have teams compete in tournaments? It makes sense, at least in the higher levels of contenders. Low level competitions wouldn't need to have contracts, but there should be proof required for teams competing to show that they're properly treating their employees before they get entered into official competitions.

    You wouldn't try to take a team from the minor leagues of baseball and let them compete if you didn't know if their players were being abused behind the scenes, desperate for a chance to see stardom, would you? Same should apply for eSports. The world is seeing enough abuse, can we try to not incentivize it for teams of semipros and pros?

  7. Here's my thoughts: within the esports fandom we need to make it common knowledge that the second you want to go pro and join teams with contracts that you should join a players Union at the same time. Obviously someone will have to create the union and that'll be a lot of work. But if you're wanting to play the game professionally, you should be thinking "I need to be the best player I can be, I need to join the best team that I can, and I need to join a union that will protect my interests." Those three thoughts should be ingrained in amateur players' minds.

  8. I am even surprised that any Organisation can pay their player with blizzard not promoting the t2 scene at all, I mean contenders has like 2-3k viewers avg that's just embarrassing

  9. The only solution is to create circumstances where the law can intervene quickly and without problems. These players should be looking for legal advice BEFORE joining a team, to make sure the contracts they are signing are fair, legal and binding on their 'employer'.

    Having said that, even if Eagle Gaming did not have the capacity to offer fixed-term contracts, if the law in France provides for equitable remedies like the Commonwealth courts, the players shouldn't have an issue eventually getting their money.

  10. I think Blizzard can reference some paying methods from riot who have faced similar problems and have found mature ways to avoid them and to protect players.

  11. Tournament host should require teams that enter to have documents that with criteria that need to checked. What those criteria are idk im no lawyer but legal proof that the team has responsibility for the well-being of the team members of some kind. Teams shouldn’t be allowed to enter if they don’t take care of the members

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