League of Legends Esports Trade Stirs Up Concerns Among Players

Until the recent player trade between 100 Thieves and FlyQuest, most professional League of Legends players apparently had no idea such a trade was legal. The trade stirred up concern among the young players who, without legal representation, agents, or workers unions are left with little say in their contract details.

Like droves of professional sports players before them, esports pros are now learning the importance of reading and understanding the agreements they sign. As hard as it would be to turn down an offer to get paid for doing the thing you love, gamers are becoming increasingly aware that failing to negotiate their contracts can leave them locked in an unfair deal.

For players William “Meteos” Hartman and Andy “AnDa” Hoang, the deal they didn’t carefully consider clearly states that they can be traded at any moment. Upon being notified of the sudden trade, Meteos tweeted about feeling misled, then later deleted his tweet.

The trade event is among the first one-for-one trades in the North American League of Legends Championship Series, and it was not well received by players. Some responded by asking if such a trade was even legal. Others say they will seek a lawyer to revise their contract.

The treatment of esports players in professional leagues has improved dramatically since the early days when it was common for organizations to leave players unpaid. However, owners of Riot’s newly franchised LCS league are likely well aware of the advantage they have over players who lack agents and unions.

The league is heavily dominated by owners with traditional sports experience. Of the ten team in the NA LCS, nine have owners that hail straight from the NBA, MLB, or NHL.

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