Blizzard delayed payment of North American Overwatch Contenders 2019 players for months, in some cases failing to pay at all, according to a Friday report by Dot Esports.
One player told Dot Esports they had yet to receive payment from Blizzard for competition in Contenders Season 2, which concluded in August. Two more players said Blizzard didn't pay them until five months after they finished competing in Season 1, and a fourth player said Blizzard took four months to pay them. Dot Esports withheld the names of the players.
Blizzard confirmed it was late with some payments for Overwatch Contenders Season 2, but claimed less than 10 percent of payments were affected.
"Over 90% of Contenders players globally have been paid for 2019 Season 2, and we’re working directly with the remaining players to process payment this month," Blizzard's spokesperson said.
"We understand this is an important issue for our players. We’ve cut down on payment time significantly since Contenders began in 2017."
Players complained about lacking transparency from Blizzard, citing days-long waits for replies from administrators.
Blizzard's spokesperson said is employs a liaison between Contenders players and Blizzard to ensure timely payments and communication in the future.
Problems with payment have run rampant throughout the esports industry for years. Valve filed a lawsuit against GESC in 2019 for failing to pay $750,000 in prizes and wages.
Blizzard may be the most high profile case of late payments. Activision-Blizzard, its parent company, made $1.28 billion in revenue in Q3 2019 with a net income of $204 million.
"Player wellbeing is incredibly important to us, and our payment system is designed to protect our players by giving them the option to collect winnings directly from Blizzard," the spokesperson said.