Riot Games’ Official Esports Partner Has Failed to Pay Prizes, & Pros Aren’t Happy

If they run more tournaments, it'll all be okay right?

Before the switch to a franchised format, Riot Games’ Tier 2 esports competitions were almost exclusively handled by third-party organization Nerd Street Gaming. Dozens of tournaments held by the company since 2020 have dished out tens of thousands of dollars in prize money to winning teams; except, the company hasn’t been paying, and professional Valorant players have had enough.

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Nerd Street has become notorious for delaying payments to players who participated in said tournaments. M80’s Marc-Andre “NiSMO” Tayar has today called out both Nerd Street and Riot Games to get a solution immediately, with his team still owed “20 or 25K” in prize money.

NiSMO’s tweet is just one of many calling out Nerd Street, as many players who’ve participated in previous events, across Game Changers, Challengers, and smaller tournaments, haven’t received payments for months after it’s supposed to arrive. Many of the organizer’s broadcast talent have also filed similar complaints, with Nerd Street reportedly owing thousands of dollars in late payments.

The CEO of Nerd Street has gone on record mentioning the company is in the process of paying the players and talents, but it seems this statement is a work in progress months later. It’s an unfortunate part of the esports scene, but one that shouldn’t be acceptable.

Riot Games has just wrapped up its most recent esports tournament, LOCK//IN, which was won by Fnatic. The EMEA team earned $100,000 of the $500,000 prize pool in the process. The tournament became the second-highest-viewed Valorant esports event of all time, breaking 1 million concurrent viewers.


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Author
John Esposito
I love almost every type of video game, and when I'm not playing them, I'm writing about them... a lot. I have too many favorites to list so feel free to ask about them! Long live Ugly Sonic and the Resident Evil 3 Remake (this is a meme btw).