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League of Legends Casters Boycott Riot Shanghai Event Over Payment Disputes

10:47 AM March 24, 2016

League of Legends casters Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, Erik “DoA” Lonnquist, and Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith announced Wednesday that they will not be attending Riot Games’ Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) due to low freelance payment rates.

In a joint statement released on Medium, the three OGN casters (who cover the League of Legends Championship Korea tournament circuit) revealed that Riot underpays freelance casting work for their events compared to other tournaments in other eSports titles.

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After reviewing the payment rates across events in games such as CS:GO, Dota 2, StarCraft 2, Hearthstone and Halo, the three determined that Riot’s initial offer was “approximately 40% to 70% of the rate received by talent for major events.”

While Riot did acquiesce to a nominal increase, the three still rejected a second offer, citing that it was still “far below industry standard for 2016.”

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The three added that by agreeing to work at MSI for lower wages well below the market rate, they might “…contribute to the regression of standards for freelance casters in the industry as a whole.”

In his tell-all account after the Shanghai Winter Major of Dota 2, James “2GD” Harding said that he was offered approximately $12,000 for working the 11-day event. Riot’s MSI event at Shanghai is scheduled to start on May 4, 2015 and end on May 15, 2015. By the LCK caster’s figures, they would have been offered about $3,600 for the same length of work.

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