FURIA HisWattson Volunteers to Help ALGS 2022 Unpaid Talent and Workers
Apex Legends pro for FURIA and streamer Jacob "HisWattson" McMillin has once again jumped in to help the Apex Legends community. On 26th October, HisWattson took to Twitter to state that he will pay for the work done by those who put in hours during the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) 2022 and ended up quitting because of not getting paid. This is not the first time the pro player has reached out to the community. Notably, last week, he announced that he shall use the revenue generated from the advertisements on his Twitch channel to aid gamers in need.
Electronic Arts (EA) and Respawn Entertainment introduced the ALGS in 2019 hoping to create a stable esports structure for the battle royale game. However, pros and those associated with the scene have been citing their issues with the esports scene.
EA’s lack of support for the esports scene
Popular social media influencer Jake Lucky collated multiple testaments from those associated with Apex Legends esports. Collectively, they all echoed the lack of support from EA and how poorly they got paid for official gigs.
Apex Legends observer , “Daily reminder that all of the casters, observers, and production staff working PLQ [qualifiers] this weekend are not being paid. This is across every region. Honestly really shameless [of] EA to provide 0 production budget to its community partners that are essentially carrying ALGS atm.”
He added that it has been this way for a while and that there were several instances earlier this year where he was offered nothing for his work in the Pro League. “EA pretty much expects all of their broadcast "partners" to pay out of pocket. They do a lot of shady stuff to screw over their "partners" / community,” bear said further.
Exalting this, Lucky said, “Meaning outside of the NA and EU Pro League it comes down to third parties to fully support the scene, and with so much competition for the talent you are left with people competing against each other to the lowest dollar. Their stories I hope you can see in the responses to this.”
Immediately, HisWattson volunteered to help the talent who worked in ALGS 2022 and those who were not paid for their work. He , “If you worked on ALGS in 2022 and end up quitting because of not getting paid, DM me and I will pay you for work you were not paid for.”
The Apex Legends community has been lauding HisWattson for his efforts and called this a big “W.” TSM’s Apex Legends player Jordan "Reps" Wolfe replied to HisWattson, “I like this a lot but EA needs to fix this. Not you.”
Issues with EA & ALGS
Back in March, Apex Legends esports was set to return to LAN events after three years and players were preparing to travel to Stockholm to compete in Split 2 of the ALGS. Quickly the community labeled the flagship competitive circuit with a $1 million USD prize pool as poorly managed. EA offered no compensation for travel expenses for players and made it difficult for smaller organizations to head to the event. After community backlash, and decided to cover all travel expenses for all live events for the remainder of Year 2.
Notably, during the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) Year 2 Championship 2022, the tournament organizers doubled down on the event’s pandemic policy and stayed firm amidst community backlash, and for COVID-19.
At that time, many pros and streamers lambasted EA’s lackadaisical approach to hosting tournaments. Apex Legends streamer Mac “Albralelie” Beckwith wrote, “One of the only large esports that actively have this rule. Stop making excuses, you're trying to cut corners and save money. If you want this game to be a proper esport it's time to begin really treating it like one in ways other than just playing on a fancy stage.”
Apex Legends is one of the most famous battle royales of today and its esports scene is very promising. However, with the talent and pro players raising complaints regularly, it begs the question of whether EA would change its policy and treat the industry with the love and respect it deserves.