Tournaments failing to pay out the prize pool is a thing of the past, right? Wrong - several teams speak up about the lack of payment from WESG 2017, WCA 2017, and China Top 2017. Reddit might be sympathetic, but will anything change?
SG took to Twitter to protest about WESG 2017 debts, with the team looking to get their $10,000 prize from the South American qualifiers. Their tweet came a few hours after TNC made a similar post relating to a different event. Several teams have come forward to detail their payment issues, with Col_Beef sharing that CompLexity has yet to be paid for WCA 2017 and another comment indicating that HR and Planet Dog were owed about $40,000 from WCA 2017.
WESG 2017 and WCA 2017 aren't the only tournaments that have surfaced as still having debts to pay. Despite the previous fall out from going to social media, as mentioned above, TNC decided to go straight to Reddit to publicize the fact that they had not yet been paid for their first place finish at China Top 2017 (about $152,000 USD). Demon confirms on the same Reddit thread that Digital Chaos also remains unpaid for China Top 2017.
Curious what other tournaments have delayed payments? This piece by @pandoradota2 details a huge list of tournaments and their various payment issues. There may be a lot of money listed as up for grabs in the professional Dota scene - but it seems like winning is the easy part when it comes to getting paid.
Unfortunately, there is little that these teams can do. Reddit and Twitter may sympathize, but do any of these Chinese event organizers care?
If we take a step back for a moment, this is just the latest in a growing list of tensions between the Chinese community and the rest of the Dota 2 world. Whether or not these organizations are facing legitimate issues, public opinion is being heavily influenced by these payments issues. As WESG 2019 kicks off and we move closer to an International hosted in China, these continued tensions could set the tone for Dota moving forward.
Will it remain a truly international esport, or will it fracture under the strain?