Gamers First (G1) has made payments to all teams and staff that are part of Women’s Car Ball (WCB)—a Rocket League competition built entirely to support women in North America and Europe. The story of these back payments first came to light on Thursday following several posts on social media claiming that teams and staff had not been paid since March, including its professional roster for Rocket League.
Jeff Simpkins, COO of UK-based esports organization Resolve—who initially brought the situation with G1 to light—provided an update on Twitter explaining that the situation had been rectified:
“Resolve, and I believe all the other teams involved in WCB have now been paid by G1 along with the talent that have been involved.
“Collectively, last night the 8 teams qualified for WCB Champs sent a message to G1 demanding updates, or we would discuss collective action, which included a discussion around boycotting the event entirely as an absolute last resort. Thankfully, around an hour later, we were contacted, and payment was organised.
“I just want to say thank you to the other teams for the open discussions and point out how strong the Women’s Rocket League community is when you stand together.”
Given that the WCB Championship is set to take place Aug. 19 – 20, teams refusing to participate might have caused a significant delay or postponement of that event, among other things. Eight teams have been invited to the Group Stage of the Women’s Car Ball Season 5: Championship, beginning Aug. 19. Those teams will be split into two groups of four to compete in a double-elimination bracket (best of seven), with the top two teams from each group advancing to the playoffs on Aug. 20 (also best of seven). The WCB Season 5 Championship features a total prize pool of $10K USD.
Rocket League content creator and professional Rocket League player Adrián “ByMateos” Mateos—who was let go from G1 in early July—also posted a Discord conversation between himself and G1 CEO Kenny Vacaro about the situation. TEA reached out to Vacaro on Sunday to confirm the validity of this conversation, but he did not respond, as of this writing. Mateos was one of the people who claimed that players on G1’s Rocket League team were also owed money.
TEA has also learned that an announcement scheduled for release on Friday was delayed in light of the public comments on Thursday. That announcement involved both the WCB and the recently-acquired custom gaming PC maker Evolve PC, according to sources.
G1 acquired the WCB from esports organization Kansas City Pioneers for an undisclosed amount in late-February and started Season 5 in March. Kansas City Pioneers acquired WCB in late-2021 but struggled to pay for it near the end of 2022; in January it announced that it would be forced to pause Season 5 gameplay to find a buyer or secure some other type of funding.
G1 also acquired boutique gaming PC company Evolve PC in June for an undisclosed amount of money.
Founded by former Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints defensive back Kenny Vaccaro (who retired from the NFL in 2021), G1 fields professional rosters in Trackmania, Halo, and Rocket League, and supports a number of content creators.
This story was originally published in our newsletter on Aug. 6, 2023.