Korean Overwatch team Mighty Storm is in danger of disbanding, as various reports have surfaced on a long history of player abuse and fraudulent misrepresentation.
Players of Mighty Storm have contacted Daily eSports, a Korean eSports publication, and reported their accounts of abuse, harassment, and blackmail from the team's management and coaching staff.
Here are some of the accusations the players have provided to Daily eSports:
- A contract without an annual salary, which splits profits from various events 30:70, in favor of the players. The team has yet to pay the players for those events.
- The team promised the players the opportunity to stream, but provided under-powered PCs that were incapable of streaming.
- Practice times were brutal, extending from 12 pm to 4-5 am, with only one or two meals per day. 6 portions were provided to 16 individuals.
- 10 members were forced to sleep in a single room, with 4 in the living room. Only one bathroom was present for the entire practice house.
- The coaching staff promised to help with in-game strategies, but never provided help.
- There were abusive accounts before matches, such as the coach telling the team, "you guys will probably lose 0-3 today." When the team lost at the OGN APEX, the coaches did not provide any meals for the day, telling them they did not even deserve to eat.
- After a loss on October 19th, the coaches screamed at the players for an underwhelming performance, and when nobody responded, they were told to get off the car. After 40 minutes of walking back to their practice house, the coach told them, "you aren't even worth the effort to teach," and went back to their room.
Mighty Storm has went on to rebut, accusing the players of lying about the entire report. They said they had treated their players exceptionally, and are extremely saddened by their ungrateful and deceitful nature.
According to research conducted by Daily eSports, the above rules have been proven to be false, as nowhere along KeSPA's rules did they find those terms to exist. KeSPA later on confirmed this, and responded that Mighty Storm included these fraudulent terms in the player's contracts, which the team used to blackmail the players.
KeSPA Chairman Byung-Hun Jun made a clear stance on this controversial subject.
"We have received extensive reports of this unfortunate happening over the last month. eSports has multiple teams across numerous games, but we are aware that not all players are guaranteed the proper rights that a professional gamer deserves. The fact that pro gamers are often young further exacerbate problems when it comes to gaining the required resources and support of a properly constructed contract."
He further adds, "Not only will KeSPA provide legal support for the Mighty Storm players, but to all players under the title of KeSPA-certified eSports. If these players are treated unfairly or obligated to abusive, one-sided contracts, we will aggressively pursue legal action against these organizations."
Image credit: Daily eSports