Should UK eSports player contracts be enforced? ManaLight comments on LoL scene

ManaLight has responded to rumours it is no longer looking for a pro UK League of Legends team because the UK scene is 'unstable'.

The organisation's general manager Louis Corps sent the following statement to eSports News UK: "We would like to openly state that we are huge fans of the UK League of Legends scene, and there are some extremely talented players that play both within Europe and the UK who are based within the UK. ManaLight values transparency and honesty above all else, and for this reason we feel the need to comment on the speculation.

"It is true that we are very disappointed by how the UK scene operates, with regards to other organizations in the past not offering staff and players the correct terms to allow them to be contracted.

"This has formed a very pessimistic and negative attitude towards any kind of structured approach from a team such as ManaLight that prides itself on its professionalism and infrastructure, which allows for staff and players alike to be paid salaries on the basis they are contracted."

Louis added: "We also believe that due to there being no contracts, it is in the player’s best interest to jump between teams purely for the prize money and could play for a different team each event or league if they wanted to. This is an issue we believe should be addressed by tournament organizers.

"The reasons above only validate that companies will not be able to sustain themselves whilst offering salaries without contracts.

"This will have a ripple effect due to companies such as ourselves not wanting to invest into a scene that is so unstable and continuously changing, without having the ability to contract the right players and staff. This then forces all of the top UK talent to seek salaries and greater prospects within Europe."

Louis makes a good point. One of the reasons why team rosters change so frequently in the UK League of Legends scene is because of a lack of player contracts.

However, would forcing players to be tied into long-term contracts be a sustainable move? In our opinion, in an industry where eSports professionals retire as early as their mid-twenties, locking players into one team for a set amount of time could stint their progress and prevent them from reaching their potential.

Either way, ManaLight added that it is still seeking out UK League of Legends teams, and hasn't given up on the scene yet.

"We are still interested in talking with top UK teams with or without European players that have the potential to reach the Challenger series or beyond," Louis commented.

"However, we have no bias and we simply want the best team possible with all of the correct attributes and mindset to achieve our mutual goals, be it within the UK or Europe."

2 Responses

  1. Good valid points from ManaLight
  2. Jay
    It's a good issue to raise. I find it difficult to see how the scene will stabilise and grow without player contracts, but the UK microcosm seems to still be a way off that stage where an organisation is willing to commit to a group of players. Perhaps further Riot intervention is needed to ensure that for LoL at least, events like Four Nations come back and help give the scene a structure.
  3. […] touched on the topic of player contracts in UK eSports before - ManaLight said that without contracts, players will continue to switch teams for prize money - but now we're exploring the topic in […]
  4. […] UK org ManaLight previously told us they were disappointed over the lack of player contracts within the UK scene. […]
  5. […] Most professional gamers rely on tournament income and live a subsistence life, dependent on how well they perform. It’s an income stream that is uncertain and fragmented due to the varying scope and size of competitions. Few esports groups pay salaries, though some have started to. […]
  6. […] Most professional gamers rely on tournament income and live a subsistence life, dependent on how well they perform. It’s an income stream that is uncertain and fragmented due to the varying scope and size of competitions. Few esports groups pay salaries, though some have started to. […]

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