Filipino Valorant Casters Allegedly Receives 50% Less Salary Compared to Other Regions

According to people familiar with the incident, Mineski Philippines paid local Filipino casting companies around 50% less than other organizers in the area for significant events.

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The Philippine Pro Gaming League, which is owned by Mineski and organizes regional Valorant and Wild Rift events in the Philippines, paid talent at low rates and after their contracted dates, according to former Philippines Valorant caster Franco "Ilustrado" Bernardino, who made the revelation on Twitter on June 8.

In the past, Ilustrado was a client of Mineski's agency, Mineski Academy. After working on several VCT broadcasts, including the APAC Last Chance Qualifier and the Filipino broadcast for VCT Masters Berlin and Valorant Champions in 2021, Ilustrado has since stopped casting.


According to two sources who corroborated Illustrado's claims, Mineski routinely paid past the agreed-upon pay date, and the Filipino talent on the English-language broadcast received compensation for the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 that was 50% less than their usual day rate working the broadcast. Ilustrado claims that during the first year of VCT, Mineski occasionally paid less than $100 per day.

Mineski Philippines responded to Dexerto's request for comment, saying, "Mineski has always paid our hired casters commensurate to their local market rates and what is within our operating budget as it fluctuates from project to project. However, our minimum guarantee is comparable to the market norm."

One source reportedly said that the tournament's organizer paid observers less than $20 per day, which was below the going cost for freelance talent.

In an interview with Dexerto, Ilustrado stated, "The instant we got paid from VCT, all of it went to paying back debts, paying rent, returning money we borrowed from somebody else or something like that." "It made us quite anxious."

Conditions and pay have recently improved, according to sources close to the VCT Stage 2 APAC broadcast, with Filipino casters now working around one series each day.

Casters only received one game per day during the group stage, which had four series per day, which drastically reduced their workload compared to the previous stage, where they may be casting three of the four series for a pay rate that was lower than their new current rate.

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Ilustrado and two other sources claim that Mineski has also paid employees after the due date specified in their contract. Several reports also claimed that this is not solely a Mineski issue and that numerous event organizers in the area habitually pay their participants months after the scheduled payment date.

In response to those accusations, Mineski stated that they had only ever paid casting talent late once.

“The late payment was due to a delay in funding that meant we had to renegotiate with our vendors on the payment dates. We have not had delayed payments for VCT through the course of the year after that incident,” Mineski said.

However, according to two sources, Mineski rarely made deadlines before lately. Ilustrado claimed that throughout the many years he spent working for the company, payments were frequently made late.

Ilustrado claimed that when Mineski delayed paying him, he took on other hosting gigs outside of esports to help with the rent, and other casters joined other local esports teams or downsized their belongings to make ends meet. Ilustrado has also stopped acting and announced he is relocating to Europe to pursue his studies.

“I was thinking of quitting even before getting taken out [of the Stage 2 APAC broadcast lineup],” Ilustrado said. “The rates were low, we were basically made to work full-time jobs and we had no job security. But them taking me out was just the final push.”

The APAC international qualification tournament will be conducted by Mineski throughout 2022 after Riot Games rotated through a number of tournament organizers during 2021, including ESL Asia, ONE Up, ESL Thailand, and Eliphant. Mineski presently holds the rights for VCT tournaments in the Philippines.

According to two sources, Filipino athletes were compensated at their standard rates for the 2021 VCT Stage 1 SEA Masters and Stage 2 Challengers Finals events in which Mineski were not competing. According to Ilustrado, Mineski was successful in obtaining the rights to the 2022 Valorant APAC events, which qualify teams for the Masters competitions, due to cost-cutting strategies that included including casters in their tournament-running expenses.

The Filipino caster claimed, "They absorb all the costs, including the skills, which is why they were paying us much, much lesser.

Mineski confirmed that their proposal to Riot and other publishers comprised mostly league operation and production expenditures when questioned whether this was accurate.

Casters and talents are an accessory to the overall pitch, but they are susceptible to alter throughout production, and we follow local market pricing, according to the statement.

Since APAC is televised throughout South East Asia in several languages, additional tournament directors also oversee the transmission in their tongue. For instance, ESL Thailand has its own analysts and casters, who are compensated independently of Mineski.
VCT Stage 2 APAC concluded on July 26 and the only APAC event left scheduled is the APAC Last Change Qualifier.
 

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