Riot has yet again manifested the way its game runs and control the ecosystem around it. Recent reports suggest that Riot wants the teams to employ the players.
Esports teams, and League of Legends teams in particular are known to contract their players instead of employing them as full time employees. While from a spectatorś view this might not change a lot of things, it does affect the players and the organisations in a big way.
Employing their players would mean several noticeable changes for the teams, the players and the way salaries are given out. By making the change, players participating on League Championship Series professional teams will be eligible for employee benefits, including healthcare and 401(k) retirement plans. Teams would also need to deduct taxes from the salaries of players upfront. This would be contrary to current practises where majority of the teams contract the players instead of employing them.
This move also seems to be a step closer towards making eSports a mainstream job and a way of living. eSports has remained in the sidelines of traditional sports for a long time. With recent infusion of funds from Sports organisations and players alike, the time seems to be ripe to make changes in the way things work.
According to ESPN, currently only six teams employ their players. These six teams are Cloud9, H2K Gaming, Immortals, Team Liquid, Team SoloMid, and Unicorns of Love. If this report is true, then the remaining teams will need to change the way they function. This might also result in some contracts being rewritten.
In addition to the employment change, sources say Riot Games is currently considering increasing the player minimum salary distributed by Riot Games to teams for individual players. Currently, the Riot Games minimum compensation is $12,500 in North America and €11,250 in Europe per player, per split which would equal $25,000 and €22,500 per year respectively. Riot has reportedly not yet decided what the minimum will be.
Source – ESPN