During this one year I noticed there's an huge issue many people are not aware of and I would like to bring it to public attention. The problem is very simple: when you win money on Starcraft 2 tournaments there's a good chance you will have to wait for several months to get it or, in worst case, you will not get it at all. This applies to big tournaments but also small weekly cups. Of course there are exceptions to this but so far my experience has been very negative and I'm still waiting for a sum of around 6000$.
I know there are many companies or new people organizing stuff in esports, especially since Starcraft 2 came out, so I will just write what I didn't get and why I'm concerned about this so you guys can have an idea of what I'm talking about.
- December 2010: I got 2nd place in EPS Germany. ESL (the company organizing EPS, IEM and many other tournaments) gave me, Socke and Demuslim big checks on stage for our top3 places. I am supposed to get around 2000€. Up to now nobody ever got any money for that tournament. One of the main ESL admins Shawn told me the money was supposed to come soon at Gamescom some months ago. It turned out to be a lie and according to a mail in answer to this ESL has no plan of giving any money to us so far.
- March 2011: UGC in Italy. The italian quake progamer Stermy held this tournament with good prize money. Some top players attended and the Starcraft 2 tournament had nice prizes. Hasuobs got first place and I got second. I was supposed to receive 1600$ from that. Up to now I've been contacting Stermy over and over and he kept delaying the date of the prize, saying the sponsors still owed him the money that was supposed to be sent to the players. Today he told me we will receive the money this week, 7 months after the event.
EDIT: the correct amount was paid the day Stermy told me. Even if with serious delay I can say that at least he never evaded any question or never ignored me and when he gave me an exact date for the payment he sent the money without having me wait more.
- October 2011: this is very recent and you guys would think I have no reason to put it here. But well I'm very concerned for different reasons so I think this will be a big question mark in the future. I got top8 in ESWC 2011 in Paris and I'm supposed to receive 2000$ for this. Yet this is the first time nobody every asked me for bank details or contacted me at all after the tournament. Litteraly nobody ever spoke to me about the prize money so far and I have no clue who to ask aswell. I know ESWC has an history of not paying their prize money in the past and it really sucks playing a tournament knowing you might never get what you win, especially if you practice day and night for it and you have high expectations, like I do.
EDIT: the players who attended ESWC and won prize money have received an email asking about bank details for payment. http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=281161¤tpage=75#1487
These are just big examples, but I could give more. It took many months for my IEM Kiev prize money to be paid even if I didn't make it to the groupstage and the sum was very low (250$ I believe). Also when I won Go4SC2 cups I had to litteraly beg ESL admins to pay me over and over for long periods (more than a month or two for a sunday cup win). I got top 16 in the dailymotion cup where I lost in a very close series against Morrow 3-2 several months ago. I never got any money from it and I was supposed to get around 200€ I believe. Or the most recent I won XMG cup last saturday but I was never contacted about my prize money and I wonder if they will ever do it unless I harass them.
EDIT: XMG contacted me about prize money and sent it.
EDIT: Dailymotion cup prize was paid. It was my mistake putting them in the list. I didn't get a payment from a cup in that period and I wrongly thought it was Dailymotion. I apologize to Dailymotion, ESL and TheRogue (main admin of the cup) for this serious mistake.
I hope I could give a generic idea of what's like for a player winning money in tournaments or cups and being afraid of never getting it or having to deal every day with admins for several months to finally receive what you deservedly won several months before. Currently the only income I'm sure that comes in time is the salary from my team and every time I win something I always wonder if I will ever get it or how much time and effort I have to waste to get it paid. I know there are serious guys there who pay in time and are extremely professional but from my own experience it is not the norm, like it should be. I hope this will change in the future and that the organizations behind tournaments start to take this issue seriously, because chasing all the time after already won money is something nobody wants and likes to do.