Adding to growing list of gaming organisations that have parted ways with the Australian and New Zealand competitive scene, JAM Gaming have made it public that they will no longer be entering a team into Heroes of the Storm events.
JAM Gaming’s owner, Chris ‘Pulse’ Bridle, said that the decision was made after a roster reshuffle left them with two empty spots on the team that they were unable to fill.
“Conflicting goals and personality issues within the team forced us to look for two new players,” he said.
“After an extensive search within the community we failed to find high calibre recruits who were also satisfied with a professionally contracted esports environment.”
While it is long rumoured that there have been previous organisations within the region who have used contracts to take advantage of players, Pulse was quick to point out that this is not the case with JAM Gaming.
“I can tell you that we tried our best to satisfy any amendments the players wanted and we were extremely flexible in the agreements,” he stated.
“Our terms did not ask for anything from the players except for brand exposure. We did not take a percentage of prize money.”
Pulse was unable to go into specifics of what the contracts offered to potential candidates may have looked like, but he did take the time to clarify what kind of support a player signed with JAM Gaming would have access to.
“The direct support was Player Jerseys. Our Heroes of the Storm team did get their jerseys,” he said.
“Non-financial support was extensive. Exposure on our social accounts, management team, assistance with their personal youtube/twitch (if they desired).”
— JAMBenjy (@JAMBenjy) February 6, 2016
JAM Gaming is not the only organisation who have come up against resistance to signing contracts by top tier players. Heroes of the Storm Team Manager for Exile5, Luke ‘HappyRage’ Rogers, confirmed that he too has encountered a similar issue as recently as February of this year.
“After the Exile5 team decided to go their separate ways, we did keep an eye on the scene. During the 2016 Season One qualifiers we approached former member Ninja and offered to pick up Negative Synergy,” he said.
“We discussed a lot at length, but at the end of the day they were not interested as Blizzard pays for flights for their events and external LANs don’t exist so there is no need for an organisation to cover those costs.
“After that disappointment we came to the conclusion that maybe Heroes of the Storm in ANZ isn’t big enough for organisations to be involved.”
Thankfully, JAM Gaming have not given up on competitive Heroes of the Storm entirely, and Pulse stated that he is watching the scene to see how it develops.
“I am still interested in the scene. As with all of my team acquisitions, I look for dedicated and mature players who want to take their game to the highest competitive level and are willing to put in the work to get there.
“Having a scene which aligns with this vision would be important. If multiple serious, professionally operated teams can exist they can help increase the level of the entire scene,” he continued.
“I think this development needs to come from the high level player base. Particularly from the top 3-4 teams.”
JAM Gaming competed in the Season One qualifiers, as well as many other tournaments in the second half of 2015.