MGG / Video Games Articles and stories / Overwatch / Overwatch League Season 3 /

Overwatch League: Report suggests Blizzard asked talent to take pay cuts

OWL 2019, Overwatch League season 3: news, results, teams.
Overwatch League: Report suggests Blizzard asked talent to take pay cuts
0

The bad buzz is definitely piling up for Blizzard. A new report from journalist Richard Lewis for Dexerto indicates that the company has asked its broadcast talent to accept a reduction in their salaries for the 2020 season.

Overwatch League: Report suggests Blizzard asked talent to take pay cuts

In recent weeks, many Overwatch League talents have distanced themselves from Blizzard, including Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles, Erik "DoA" Lonnquist, Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat and Malik Forté.

Now, a report by Richard Lewis for Dexerto has learned that Activision Blizzard had pushed some Overwatch League broadcast talent to cut their salaries for what was already shaping up to be a turbulent new season.

Once again, the departure of Nate Nanzer was pointed out. With the former Commissioner no longer involved, the report reads, an important ally between the talent and the company was lost.

Since losing Nate, the broadcast team lost its advocate, and a lot of problems that had been patched up in the past suddenly didn’t have solutions anymore.
Anonymous on Blizzard Departures (Source)

Blizzard's request for talent to take a pay cut is apparently not new, and has been on the table for a while. However, given the reported good results for Season One, talent had been expecting a raise. One of the talents spoke to Nanzer, who had no idea what was going on.

When we realised how little some of the talent was being paid we actually agreed it would be better for some talent to forgo pay increases and instead make sure those on the lower end of the scale were properly compensated. With that, going into season two, most people had approximately a 5% pay increase, but it was hard fought. When we realised how little some of the talent was being paid we actually agreed it would be better for some talent to forgo pay increases and instead make sure those on the lower end of the scale were properly compensated. With that, going into season two, most people had approximately a 5% pay increase, but it was hard fought.
Anonymous on Blizzard Departures (Source)

For Blizzard, the cuts are explained by the reduction in work to be done for this third season, which will last less time (7 months) and with fewer working days (only two days per week). However, this does not take into account the many trips across the globe that will be required.

For Kotaku, Malik commented that he was not satisfied at all with the amount proposed by Blizzard, confirming Dexerto's report.

I can speak for myself and say that, after years of being a part of this community, traveling the world, interacting with fans, making shoulder content, advertisements that ran on national television, and lots of hard work— I was expecting a little more than what was proposed for 2020. I guess they didn’t think I was worth what I asked for, so we never reached a number that made sense for me to continue on.
Malik Forte on OWL Departures (Source)

After interviews with the various team members, Richard Lewis heard the same complaints several times about the potential disdain Blizzard executives would show toward broadcast crews.

As one team member stated, "it's clear they don't want our comments at all. They just want us to sit there and do the show and not have a say in what we talk about or what we present. For a lot of us, it's not even a question of money. We just want to do a show where we have a certain level of involvement."

Given the sentiment in the Overwatch community, it's entirely conceivable we see more departures in the run up to Season Three.

overwatch-esports

Is the Overwatch League creating an economic bubble in esports?

The Overwatch League is one of the biggest competitive scenes in esports, but is quite young and therefore fragile. With the departure of many key people, new questions have arisen about the future of the League.

0

More Stories

08:56 The team behind Overwatch 2 said that porting to Switch is "challenging"
08:35 Overwatch event "Deadlock Challenge" focuses on Ashe
03:12 RunAway announces end of its Overwatch venture
11:59 Blizzard shows off character model updates for Overwatch 2
06:37 Overwatch is getting Cross-Play soon
05:25 "What's Next" displays Overwatch 2's PvP system, showing off new maps and Hero changes
11:30 Overwatch 2 "What's Next" Livestream starts soon, showcasing the upcoming game's PVP
11:53 Overwatch Anniversary 2021 is live, and here is all the content it brings with it
03:03 Riot Games suspends sinatraa for six months for not cooperating with sexual assault investigation
01:30 Overwatch Anniversary is back for 2021

Discover guides

Echo is available on Overwatch's live servers
Overwatch World Cup 2019: USA are your World Champions!
Overwatch League 2019: all the results of the last weekend of Stage 4