In traditional sports, you’ll rarely hear about a team owner refusing to pay his players. In esports, however, as young as the industry is and as much as a team can be built on promises and passion — and not always profit — it’s unfortunately more common.
Dot Esports is reporting that five ex-members of professional Heroes of the Storm team Naventic are suing their former owner, James Ross Elliot II, alleging that they are owed over $50,000 in unpaid wages, prize money, and interest. Elliott “disappeared” in April 2017 and “Operations at Naventic continued by staff until the players terminated their contracts in August 2017 as a result of Elliott II’s absence.” Naventic was sold that same month.
Players aren’t the only ones Elliott is purported to have missed payments to. The lawsuit alleges that he didn’t pay Naventic’s taxes in the state of Arkansas, leading to the company’s LLC being revoked, and that Elliott “used the Naventic bank account for personal expenses.”
With Blizzard abruptly shutting down Heroes of the Storm’s esports programs late last year, there’s not much more for the players to do other than wait for the courts to catch up to their case. According to Dot Esports, lawyers will meet with the court in late February.