League of Legends is exploding in the world of esports. In just a few short years, it's easily eclipsed its Warcraft III map inspiration and has become not only the most popular esports title, but one of the highest earning games for professional players the world over. Unfortunately though, when big money gets involved, not everyone is going to be a nice guy. That's what one pro player has been speaking out against in a recent statement, saying how he believes unscrupulous managers are the new bad guys of the LoL esports scene.
Patrick “MegaZero” Glinsman, said that managers were one of the biggest flaws in esports at the moment, pointing at his ex-team's (MRN) manager Martin “Marn” Phan, as one such example. According to Glinsman, the man took home three times as much as the highest paid player and held far too much power. He controlled the roster, the team's PR, everything – which might sound like the sort of thing you would want a manager to handle, but Glinsman believes there needs to be more democracy involved, especially in younger teams.
He described how often, newer players, “don't take managers seriously and usually just hire a friend or a popular player. I'm not saying every team does this, but because the manager role isn't like a real sport yet, you put these young players in a situation where their career can be totally ruined just because there's someone that controls their fate.”
Riot Games understands the issue to some extent, and does have some safeguards in place to make sure that managers don't get too power hungry. One example in the Season three rules, says that players are entitled to a minimum compensation of $12,500 – stressing the “minimum” part.
Glinsman however, wants to take things a step further and implement a voting system. He believes that major decisions affecting a team, such a change in roster – or even selling the team – should only be given the go ahead by a majority vote among the team's players. He also suggested a vetting procedure for manager roles, including background checks and references – though the latter part of that sounds more like a common sense thing for the players to do before officially hiring on a manager.
In-fact, since there isn't much of a legal precedent for this sort of thing, until there is, most of MegaZero's advice should be taken as he says, for younger and newer players just coming up in the game.
However, while Glinsman might have cited his previous manager as someone you don't want running your team, the man himself didn't take long to reply to the Reddit thread (thanks PCGamesN) via his Twitter. He said that there was always two sides to the story and that he would write a response on his blog. In a later tweet, he suggested to one commenter that in-fact, the players were trying to get rent money from him.
KitGuru Says: A lot of this seems like common sense in hindsight, but it's probably understandable why players would get caught out early in the life cycle of a competitive and money earning game. We've had a few ex-pro players comment to us before about Esports. Did any of you run into managerial problems?