OGN casters Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles, Erik "DoA" Lonnquist, and Christopher "PapaSmithy" Smith have released a statement alleging that Riot Games offered them freelance rates that are 40 to 70 percent of the rate received by talent in other esports to join the broadcast crew for the Mid-Season Invitational.
In the statement published on Medium, MonteCristo, DoA, and PapaSmithy said that they "failed to arrive at an industry standard rate" with Riot after receiving invites to cast the event.
"Since we are freelancers and not Riot employees, we rely on these contracts for our income and feel that we would damage our careers in the long term by accepting below-market rates," the casters wrote in their joint statement. "Furthermore, by agreeing to a significantly lower wage we fear that we may contribute to the regression of standards for freelance casters in the industry as a whole."
The casters apologized to fans who expected them to attend MSI and reaffirmed that they will continue to cast League of Legends on OGN and in international events "not produced by Riot Games."
All three casters cast LCK matches every week during the spring and summer splits, in addition to other LoL events internationally.
The 2016 Mid-Season Invitational will take place from May 4-15 in Shanghai.
theScore esports has reached out to Riot for comment, and will update the story when they do.
Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.
Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly quoted the OGN casters as saying they would be paid 40-70% less than the rate casters in other esports make, rather than 40-70% of the rate other casters make.