League of Legends streamer Destiny could “barely afford food” for his family last year


Delayed payments and streaming issues forced Destiny to cut short his contract with own3d.tv last year, said the League of Legends streamer on his blog.

The popular streamer was approached by own3d to switch over from twitch.tv in December 2011. By September, Destiny, real name Steven Bonnell, could “barely afford food and necessities for my child and his mother”.

He wrote: “If you’re an aspiring streamer or a member of a pro team and you’re looking to set up a stream for yourself or your team, I would highly encourage you to stay away from own3d.”

At the beginning of last year, Destiny explained that his reasons for making the leap to own3d.tv were almost wholly financial. own3d offered a better return on advertising, a cash incentive signing bonus in his first month, and 60% of the revenue from a $5/month premium subscription service.

Payment issues began almost immediately with the signing bonus, writes Destiny, which was due to be paid “within 30 days of receipt of revenues from advertising”, with half of the amount to be paid upfront in the first month. It would be May before the first part of the bonus was wired to Bonnell’s account, however, and a full seven months before he received the full amount.

By September, Destiny says, payment for his day-to-day work was arriving “months late”.

“At this point I was stuck [at the Ministry of Win] in Poland after having exhausted a large majority of my savings. I could barely afford food and necessities for my child and his mother while staying there,” he admitted.

“The last paycheck I received from own3d was marked for July. I don’t believe I will ever be paid for the last 5 months I streamed with them. I’m trying to keep this as formal and non-sensationalist as possible, but it’s hard to imagine the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I get from even typing that out.”

And the 60% revenue from subscribers? “I love and appreciate all of you guys that subscribed to me more than you will ever imagine, but I was never (and probably will never be) paid for anyone who subscribed to my stream,” wrote Bonnell.

What’s more, Destiny believes his viewing numbers were damaged by laggy or “otherwise unwatchable” transcodes, which provide the ability to watch in a lower resolution at a lower framerate.

own3d CEO Oleg Kogut explained to Bonnell in a Skype conversation in November that the company had received late payments from global partner CBSi, who in turn had reportedly been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Kogut further wrote that a solution for transcoding issues had already been developed, and would be applied to Destiny’s channel within a week. By that time, however, Bonnell had already cut short his contract with own3d to return to Twitch.

The penalty for leaving his contract early had already been stipulated, says Bonnell: “I should have owed own3d.tv half of ~60% of my average revenue for a month. This penalty was nothing considering my last paycheck from them was marked for July.”

You can read Destiny’s account of the whole, sorry tale in greater detail on his blog.

We’ve reached out to own3d for comment and received no response at the time of going to press.