In response to a GameSpot video regarding player compensation transparency, Immortals CEO Noah Whinston proposed the creation of a public database to track the salaries of professional League of Legends players.
The team, backed by multiple technology, gaming, and media investors, made waves earlier this month when they announced the signings of Huni and Reignover, former players from top European LCS team Fnatic. Following their departure, rumors of significantly higher offers lead Whinston to comment on the topic in an interview with GameSpot explaining that Immortals was, “not the team that offered the highest salaries to Huni and Reignover.”
Shortly after his tweets, Whinston clarified his position on the League of Legends subreddit:
“I’ll follow up here in a bit more detail than I did on Twitter. I think it’s pretty obvious that player salaries need to be public. Without player agents or a union, things are slanted in favor of team owners when it comes to salary discussions and public information can help level the playing field. But I do think that public salaries aren’t going to do enough without also involving alternative forms of player representation.
How is an LCS pro supposed to evaluate the value of a merchandise rev share, or prize money splits? Their job is to play League of Legends, not estimate how joining one team vs another will affect their stream viewership. Salaries are at the point where player agents are sustainable. Period.
Ultimately, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to sharing the growing pie of esports. I’m not the only team owner that wants to see things change in this direction, but the necessary change can’t come from team owners alone. It needs to be more grassroots and it needs buy-in from stakeholders at Riot in order to regulate the new system.”
Yesterday, the Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) released the results of a self-investigation into players salaries following a report by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). In it, KeSPA reports that the average salary of 40 League of Legends players on the 8 KeSPA professional teams is $57,717.