In a Reddit post created by professional Paladins player Patrick “sleeppyy” Ratzow, former captain of Mousesports’ Paladins team, the player alleges that Hi-Rez studios, creator of Paladins and popular MOBA Smite, has not been paying its players.
Ratzow, who won $400 (£295) at the Masters LAN Gauntlet, a LAN qualifying event in April 2017, claims to have asked repeatedly for his tournament winnings but has been ignored by Hi-Rez throughout the ordeal.
In an interview with Twin Galaxies, Ratzow summarised the situation, saying: “I got a Google Forms link emailed to me on April 24, 2017 that I had to fill to get my money, two days later, I got tax papers sent that I had to fill which I did. A couple months passed and I had heard nothing from Hi-Rez, emailing them several times with zero response. I ended up having to message a Hi-Rez employee outside his employment times on Discord to finally get a response. I hadn’t filled one of the tax papers, which was totally my fault, so I accepted it and moved on, waiting for my money. More months passed and emails sent, zero response. I ended up having to post about all of this on Paladins’ Subreddit (a few days ago as of this publication) to get a response from Hi-Rez, which happened within hours of my post as it rose to the top of the Subreddit.”
Since the post blew up on the Paladins subreddit, multiple pro Paladins players have come out as saying they are also owed money by Hi-Rez, including Ozon3TV who claims to have gone through a similar ordeal following the PGS Phase 3 event.
Following this, Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris took part in a short AMA with Paladins subreddit moderators, claiming that they “prioritise the treatment of [our] players very highly, and it’s unacceptable that people aren’t getting paid”.
Harris does, however, state that, despite the rumours, all organisations within the Paladins Premier League will have been wired their money and any issues regarding this will have been a result of something being blocked along the way, such as incorrect paperwork.
Esports Insider says: This is concerning news for Hi-Rez studios that does not reflect well on them as a developer nor studio. With the Paladins League being sanctioned by WESA, one would hope this issue will be resolved smoothly in the near future.