Rocket League Pros Call For Players Union, Claiming Orgs Owe Them Money
Rocket League has an undeniably young player base in comparison to the more evolved esports such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. However, as the community begins to age and gain a foothold in the wider esports scene, players have now taken an issue with organisations, and are wanting to form a players' union to avoid "predatory contracts".
With many top-tier organisations entering Rocket League, most recently Karmine Corp and Resolve Esports, the level of professionalism in a seemingly adolescent esports is beginning to mature. Players in low-tier rosters, or "bubble teams", are also being snatched up by orgs in hope of becoming the next breakout team like BDS.
Despite a sense of growing sophistication in the scene, it appears some players are being forced into "outright illegal" and "predatory" contracts, with good amounts of money being withheld.
Now, Rogue's Leonardo "Turinturo" Wilson has called for Rocket League pros to form a players' union, further asking for some more experienced professionals to speak up.
Turinturo Calls For A Rocket League Players Union
The 18-year-old American recently broke through into a high calibre team in Rogue, back in April, having previously bounced around the likes of Full Metal Gaming and Charlotte Phoenix.
With two Regional Championships under his belt now, the young upcomer has opened up about the struggles of similar-minded players, and their struggles with unfair contracts.
Firstly, Turinturo defends Rogue, as a more prominent organisation in esports and be with a good reputation. However, he soon admits: "There needs to be some kind of real leadership and structure, especially for new and younger players to fall into. I know personally of all too many examples of a player being taken advantage of with predatory contracts or even outright illegal ones.
"I personally am still missing a good amount of money from a previous organization, and I know other players in the same boat,"
He further alleges that the demographic of players targetted (predominantly high-school and college students), is a reason that "the need for a players' union is even greater."
"That disincentive is further amplified when taking into account the fact that many players are still in high school, and generally don't know anything about contracts or how to protect themselves from bad situations," he continued.
"This isn't even taking into account the completely legal but predatory way many orgs handle contracts with new talent, like isolating them from teammates during contract negotiating, staggering the contract timing of players, or adding in any number of new stipulations and obligations during routine contract renewals."
Turinturo Calls Upon Experienced Players, Coaches, And Agencies To Spearhead A Players' Union
As to who should lead this union, Turinturo has identified experienced players, coaches, and agencies to step up to the plate.
"A players; union would represent a large number of young/immature teenagers," he began. "It should be obvious, but that doesn't mean it has to be led by those same people.
There are several experienced and mature players, ex players, or managerial staff in the scene who I would love to see step up to the plate and get something like this going."
A players' union could offer the personal and legal counsel needed for these young and overly-eager players to avoid signing the dotted line on a contract that see's them unfairly represented. It would also allow for a much better channel of communication between players, organisations, and Psyonix, something that was previously criticised in an open letter.
Other esports have also tried to bridge this connection, with Call of Duty's Ian "Crimsix" Porter also calling for a union to assist in the development of the esports scene and protect players against mistreatment.
Some Rocket League players have shown early signs of assisting in the process, although nothing concrete has been formed as of yet.