Payments should be easy. It's a task that takes a few clicks in theory, and in an almost entirely digital industry, you'd think sending money in esports wouldn't be a problem.
The opposite is the case, however. The controversy surrounding late payments, be it the payment of prize money by tournament organizers or salary payments by organizations, has been present in the esports industry since its inception and remains widespread to this day.
It has become an industry standard to receive payouts months after the tournament has ended. While not over-voiced, stories and angry posts about late payouts still occasionally crop up, revealing the need for a workable and sustainable solution.
According to a Twitter post from Immortals COO and former CS: GO analyst Tomi Kovanen, the average waiting time for prize payouts from tournaments played by MIBR, the organization's CS: GO Brazilian squad team, is 2019 was five months. That's an uncomfortably long time, especially when there are bills to be paid.
Admittedly, this affects not only eSports people waiting for their winnings, but also broadcast talent and other production workers whose bills are not paid on time, like a handful of them with Dexterto. shared .
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Let Payment Companies Do Their Jobs
Dan Houl, Head of Esports, Gaming, Digital Payments at a global payment technology company  Nuvei, comments on the current state of esports prize payments: "The sad thing is that this is still the case because esports industry leaders haven't had time to sit down and close discuss what would be the best solution. "
In his view, tournament operators are turning a blind eye to this issue and try to avoid time, effort and money in order to find the right and trustworthy partner for payment distribution.
"Of course they want to keep it in the house as long as possible," said Houl. “You want to be the one to take care of prices because you've been doing it for so long. They just don't feel comfortable using someone else.
“We are talking about millions of dollars in money that go to a third party bank account. You need to make sure that your payment company is able to handle transactions of such large amounts, which will not be a problem even with anti-money laundering policies. And don't forget that there is also the commission you have to pay for the service. ”
According to Houl, tournament operators should focus on what they do best and let payment companies do the payouts as that is The firm's area of expertise is.
"It shouldn't be the responsibility of the promoter, and in some cases even the publisher, to handle the payouts," he said. “You are here to launch the game and host the competition. We're here to handle the payments. ”
You can get more from such partnerships, including customer loyalty and reputation, what ultimately leads to higher revenue.
"Reliance on the right payment partner can solve complex headaches through outsourcing and it can also turn into a sales booster," added Houl.
Why is it taking so long?
Given the global nature of the eSports space, there are a handful of obstacles standing in the way of a smoother prize payout, especially when the rewards are high.
If the organizer of an international tournament is to distribute millions of dollars between multiple teams from different countries, they will likely have to do so in different currencies.
In addition, all sides have to deal with taxes and regulations in a variety of countries, and since prizes are won by skill, Houl says it is not bound by the same regulations as winning the lottery.
"I think tournament organizers just want to make sure they don't have a problem in that regard," said Houl. “They just want to make sure the payment isn't problematic and that they don't have to deal with unexpected regulations afterward. Therefore, it can take up to a year for a prize payout to be completed.
“It is difficult to deal with regulations in esports, but we need them. We just need international regulations that simplify the whole process, not complicate it. ”, And KYC verification. Photo credit: Shutterstock
The solution is still missing.
“Numerous payment companies like us are trying to figure out a solution, but it's still a bit of a mess. I think the solution starts with a conversation, ”said Houl on this one. So you need a company that works in this industry, understands it, and is ready to have these conversations. "he said.
Transactions of this amount and above must go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification process, an expensive and slow process whose purpose is to prevent businesses from breaking from criminal elements to money laundering.
Such measures are simply inevitable, but when it comes to finding an effective solution to this complex problem, there are some concepts worth exploring.
"If we all decided together to switch to cryptocurrency, this problem would go away overnight," Houl stressed.
In theory, this could work, but crypto has its own complications, such as  high volatility lack of regulation or negative environmental impact . If crypto is the answer, it's not there yet.
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Houl sees the solution elsewhere: “I think the best solution would be if winning a tournament were viewed as a salary. Essentially it's a job and it would make the whole process a lot easier because it would be a paycheck. ”
However, a universal solution at this point is only theoretical and would require the joint effort of payment companies, organizations, tournament organizers and the authorities many countries require – a seemingly unreal scenario.
However, nothing is impossible and as Houl says: "Everything starts with a discussion."
Supported by Nuvei