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Overwatch League Team Signs Marve1, Roster To Reportedly Pay For His Salary

Immortals Gaming Club has cut costs when it comes to their Overwatch franchise since last year, potentially reaching a new low after signing Marve1.
Overwatch League Team Signs Marve1, Roster To Reportedly Pay For His Salary
A bizarre report has surged courtesy of Overwatch League insider Arran "Halo" Spake, who reported that the signing of main tank Hwang "Marve1" Min-seo for the Los Angeles Valiant will be partially financed by the coaches and roster themselves.

How? According to Halo, they'll pay for Marve1's salary. "Keen to have Marve1 in the squad, head coach Wang ‘NoHill’ Fuxing and the rest of the team will pay for part of the tank’s wages out of pocket," Sparke mentioned in his report for Dexerto

The Los Angeles Valiant, Immortals Gaming Club's Overwatch League franchise, has seen its budget cut dramatically over the last couple of seasons as IGC is looking to save money amid an uncertain pandemic period.

In 2021, IGC brought LGE.Huya to manage the operations involving the Valiant franchise, letting go of their entire Western and Korean roster and coaching staff in favor of an all-Chinese team just weeks before the start of season 4. Sadly, they weren't able to bring top talent from the region, having to scrape by, poaching players that hadn't taken part in competitive Overwatch in years. The result was a disastrous 0-16 season record.

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Marve1 was signed by Boston Uprising for 2022 but was dropped after the Kickoff Clash qualifiers. (Picture: Boston Uprising)

For 2022, the Valiant, which is still operated by LGE, is trying to become a more legitimate endeavor. The team ended with a 1-5 record in the Kickoff Clash qualifiers, winning against the Chengdu Hunters and going to map 5 versus 2021 OWL Champions Shanghai Dragons, Hangzhou Spark, and eventual Kickoff Clash winners, Seoul Dynasty.

While there's still plenty of work to be done, adding the likes of Weida "Diya" Lu, Song "Sasin" Sang-hyun, and more is bringing legitimacy to the renovation, with Marve1 seen as the last piece of the puzzle to fill their tank position. 

Marve1 is a hot commodity within the Overwatch League after having spent three seasons with Seoul Dynasty, reaching 2020's Grand Finals. 2022 saw the Korean player move to North America and compete alongside the Boston Uprising, where things didn't work out for him, leaving the team during the Kickoff Clash qualifiers, and being poached by the Valiant in a shocking move, due to the player's potential high salary demands.

Is there a salary cap in OWL?

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Marve1 spent three seasons with the Seoul Dynasty. (Picture: Seoul Dynasty)

In a report by Dot Esports, they revealed the 2020 Overwatch League salary cap was set at $1.6 million. If teams went above the mentioned threshold paying roster salaries, they'd have to not only cover the cost of said salaries but pay the league a "luxury tax" that would then be distributed to non-offending teams.

After the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into this situation, both OWL and the Call of Duty League (CDL) dropped their salary cap and luxury tax for 2022 according to several reports

It's highly unlikely that Valiant is financing Marve1's salary in the way they are to avoid hitting any sort of salary cap if there even is one, to begin with. Rather, this is an absurd way for a team on a tight budget to punch above their weight by signing a reliable, potentially season-changing player. 

At the time of writing, both the Overwatch League and the Valiant have yet to issue a statement of some kind regarding the reports of Marve1's salary being partially funded by coaching staff and players.

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Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.