Why the future of women’s Rocket League is uncertain after being so promising
The owner of Women’s Car Ball, the largest female tournament circuit in Rocket League, KC Pioneers, has not paid any of its staff members since hiring them, according to Esports Insider’s sources.
Women’s Car Ball, which was founded in 2019 with a different ownership group, is currently controlled by North American esports company KC Pioneers (KCP). Around the end of 2017, KCP launched the fifth season of the league. The KC Pioneers have not paid the part-time employees that applied and were interviewed by the WCB to work on the league.
Many sources mentioned by Esports Insider claim that the initial commitment to pay workers at the start of the season was postponed. Finally speaking out for themselves, workers said on January 5th that they would not come back to work until their wages were received.
League play will be suspended as the Kansas City Pioneers (KCP) look for new sponsors for the league, according to an internal Discord post seen by Esports Insider on January 11. The time it was taking was “longer than expected.” The league has essentially been on hold since the beginning of January, however clubs and players weren’t made aware of this until January 11.
The KC Pioneers management disclosed to Esports Insider that the team was in sponsorship talks with a number of well-known Fortune 500 corporations prior to the start of Season 5 in September 2022. As stated in a statement sent to Esports Insider on February 1st, “The intention for WCB’s Season 5 was for all initial funding to stem from partnerships, sponsorships, and support from the publisher,” Although no bids have been submitted, we are still in contact with several prospective league sponsors.
The KC Pioneers have come under fire from participating team owners, league insiders, and outside observers for what they perceive to be the team’s apparent decision to fund the upcoming fifth season in the hopes of receiving financial support in the future from deals that have not yet been finalized. KCP announced a year’s worth of tournaments with a $50,000 total prize pool. In an interview with Esports Insider, Williams Resolve COO Jeff Simpkins said that the business never stated that it required a sponsor or any further funding.
The players and the teams who take part in the league have not earned any of the prize money from the WCB. Additionally, the WCB staff has no financial influence on the league and is entirely different from the KC Pioneers. We have won all three EU events, and we are presently entitled $3,000 in prize money, but nothing has been given, according to Simpkins.
Several major companies, like Gen.G, Misfits, Luminosity, and others, have signed female teams to play in Season 5 of WCB. Unfortunately, there are no extra regular competitive circuits for women’s teams or players in Rocket League.
Simpkins stated that it is a difficult scenario for clubs and organizations. At a time when esports organizations are already struggling, paying a team that no longer has a league to compete in is undoubtedly a bad use of money. I’m certain that there will be a decrease in the proportion of women on rosters.
The league’s television production partner Shine Media has also not received payment. The chairman and co-founder of Shine Media, Britton Shink, told Esports Insider that he had twelve shows spread over three months and was still owed money. I began working on Season 5 in the spring of 2022, but I have yet not received payment.
Our sources claim that KC Pioneers have rejected three real offers to buy Women’s Car Ball from them, bids that included full payment of the prize fund and all unpaid wages. According to several reports, the proposals came from well-known esports businesses and groups, including the North American group Version1. Version1 said that no proposals have been made to buy Women’s Car Ball in an interview with Esports Insider.
In his statement, Josey also said that he had not accepted nor rejected any offers. Although we have had conversations with several organizations and businesses who could be interested in buying the WCB, no offers have yet been submitted. All we need is the cash to fund the league’s operations and pay the players, including for Season 5 and any outstanding wages.
According to two individuals with knowledge of the negotiations, the organization is being challenging because it wants more money in return for the league than would be required to simply settle debts.
Esports Insider’s sources claim that the KC Pioneers are currently considering at least one offer from prospective buyers.
Without funding for league competition, Josey said that “WCB’s goal over the past several years has been to create a safe space for women in gaming,”