Women’s Rocket League circuit Women’s Car Ball has paused its operations mid-season citing lack of commercial support, according to its owner KC Pioneers.
Amid community criticism, Pioneers said Season 5 gameplay would remain paused “until new ownership is established or additional sponsors are secured.”
Women’s Car Ball (WCB), previously the Women’s Car Ball Championship, is fully-owned by North American esports organisation KC Pioneers. Founded in 2019, the tournament series is the biggest women’s tournament in Rocket League. Season 5 gameplay started late last year.
In a statement on Discord, Pioneers said it had ‘significant commitments’ at the start of the season to help fund the league and its prize pool. However, the organisation claimed this support has taken ‘longer to materialise’, and that it can no longer continue carrying the ‘sole financial commitment’.
The organisation announced it was in active conversation to find new ownership to take over the league. However, gameplay will remain paused until new ownership has been found or additional commercial sponsors are secured.
“We are sorry the obstacles to gain additional financial support have been more challenging than anticipated. We will update the WCB teams and community members as soon as we have more information to share,” the league’s statement reads.
“We are awaiting answers from potential sponsors and esports organisations to unite that will substantially change how the publisher, brands, and the esports industry views WCB. We will work with everyone on any back pay and earnings while we are transitioning.”
The community has heavily criticised Pioneers for having to pause operations, arguing the season should not have been started if the money was not in place to fund it.
Jeff Simpkins, COO at Williams Resolve, one of the organisations which has a team in the league, said in a video posted to Twitter: “WCB has basically done that age-old thing that esports orgs do where they go ‘oh we’re waiting on sponsors’… Well you don’t run something unless you’ve got the money to do it.
“Either fund it, or pass it to someone that can fund it, but you need to do it now because it is not fair on any of the players, on any of the staff, or on other organisations that are putting money into the scene.”
Sophia de Ipanema, the former League Director of WBC, claimed on Twitter that she’d been offered the paid position as a part-time job, and had started working on the league, but has still not been paid for it. “[Pioneers’] ownership over the League in my time there has been the farthest away from professional or responsible,” she wrote.
Rocket League talent and Williams Resolve Team Manager Euan ‘Tadpole’ Ingram commented on Reddit: “[Pioneers’] statement does nothing to provide answers for the countless staff and production that have gone unpaid this entire season. Pioneers made empty promises and are wholly responsible for the situation they find themselves in.”
It is not clear what this means for the esports organisations competing in the league, nor their players, who appear to have been left in limbo. Multiple major organisations joined the league ahead of Season 5. Gen.G, Misfits, Endpoint, Williams Resolve and Luminosity all currently have teams competing in the league.