xQc Claims Overwatch Players Previously Tried To Form A Union
Prior to becoming one of Twitch's most high-profile and most successful streamers, Felix "xQc" Lengyel rose to fame through a career in Overwatch, notably representing Dallas Fuel before moving to Luminosity as a content creator.
The now streaming superstar was once among the starting rosters for the inaugural year of the Overwatch League, back in 2016. Even though he was the ninth member of Dallas Fuel's roster, xQc soon got his break in the league, making multiple appearances for the franchise, although he was hit with two four-game suspensions.
Now, xQc has opened up about signing his contract in the OWL, and entered the discussion around a players' union.
After taking a break from his new house renovations, xQc joined fellow streamer Hasan "HasanAbi" Piker on a stream, and joined in with a conversation surrounding an OWL players' union chat with Alex Press. The ex-pro then admitted that Overwatch players wanted to join a union back in 2016, but talks fizzled out after they were given just 24 hours to put pen to paper on their contracts.
"They gave us these big ass contracts," he began, "Every player had to sign to accept the official Overwatch League agreement. And the document was huge. And not everyone agreed with everything that was in the document.
"We were like, 'this is kinda stupid', and then people started bringing up in the room, like guys, maybe we should unionise, or talk about this. Maybe we should unionise, right?"
However, the discussion was quickly thwarted, as xQc explained the league representatives gave players just 24 hours to sign the dotted line, and "every player just signed it", ending the union rumblings.
It's not the first time Activision's franchised leagues (OWL and CDL) have been questioned over their use of contracts. Recently, Call of Duty's most decorated player in Ian "Crimsix" Porter re-opened discussions of a union again, amid contract issues and wage caps.
After previously calling for the CDL players to form a union, Crimsix revealed that a range of lower-tier teams were refusing to pay players more than the minimum wage, often opting for 'desperate' players rather than higher-calibre talent who cost more.
Both OWL and CDL are expected to scrap wage caps in their leagues, which could turn the tide for players to finally form a union and protect their own stock.
For xQc, his finances seem to be in tip-top condition, thanks to statistics leaked by Twitch, meaning his thoughts of a union are long gone. Going into Overwatch 2, maybe players will finally heed his five-year-old advice.