League of Legends shoutcasters Erik "DoA" Lonnquist, Christopher "PapaSmithy" Smith and Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles will not work the upcoming Mid-Season Invitational in Shanghai due to low freelance rates offered by Riot Games, the three announced in a joint statement today.
The casters said that after reviewing freelance casting rates across esports, they determined that Riot's initial offer was "approximately 40% to 70% of the rate received by talent for major events." The individuals also rejected a second offer from Riot because, they said, it was still "far below industry standard for 2016."
The group added:
Since we are freelancers and not Riot employees, we rely on these contracts for our income and feel that we would damage our careers in the long term by accepting below-market rates. Furthermore, by agreeing to a significantly lower wage we fear that we may contribute to the regression of standards for freelance casters in the industry as a whole.
DoA, PapaSmithy and MonteCristo regularly cast Korean League of Legends matches, as well as many international events. MonteCristo is also the co-owner of North American organization Renegades.
A Riot Games representative declined comment to Polygon.