At the very beginning of the first season, all players and team managers were sent a rule set and contract that outlined exactly how the league would work and what the NASL would provide to its players. The NASL agreed to provide a $500 travel stipend to each player who advanced to the Grand Finals, in addition to shuttle service to and from the airport and venue. This contract was signed by all players and team managers.
We made the offer to all teams and players that we could handle hotel booking and travel (to and from the airport) for the Grand Finals and subtract those prices from player travel stipends. Almost every player took us up on this offer. The week before the Grand Finals, Koreans expressed difficulty paying for their travel, and asked us to buy their plane tickets. We solved this problem by offering to buy their tickets and subtract the cost from prize winnings and whatever was left of the stipend.
In preparation for Season 2, it was made known to us by Mr.Chae of the GSL that the Korean teams threatened to withdraw from the NASL unless several demands were made: 1) pay for 100% of travel and accommodation cost for the Grand Finals and 2) remove the security deposit. The concerns of the Korean teams, as expressed to us by Mr.Chae were that it is difficult for Koreans to travel to the USA given their generally lower level of sponsorship, and secondly that they don’t think Koreans should have to pay to enter the event [despite the fact that we refund all security deposits, making the league free to play barring any penalties].
In an effort to try to ease the difficulty of travel, we managed to double our travel budget to $1,000 per player in addition to the minimum prize of $500. Unfortunately, we were notified August 9th (our 2nd day of filming) that this offer was unacceptable, and that Koreans were withdrawing from the league.
We presented a final offer, one which redistributed our prize pool to guarantee each player $2,000 (a $1,000 minimum prize in addition to the $1,000 travel stipend). We feel that, for a 1/16 chance at winning up to $40,000, $2,000 is more than fair accommodation expense to get players to come. Despite our best efforts, the Korean teams still have declined participation.
We are disappointed that the Korean Committee waited until the final hour, not only to make these demands but also to notify us of their withdrawal. We would like to apologize to our fans who wanted to see these players participate in the NASL and to the Korean players who hoped to participate. While we do respect the Committee’s decision, we wish it had been made in a more timely manner that did not interrupt the start of our season.
While this does mean that NASL Season 2 will be slightly delayed, we remain steadfast in our commitment to eSports – we will broadcast high quality games every day and bring you some of the very best play the world has to offer.
-- North American Star League