Addressing the Pokemon Championship Prize Money Controversy: A Call for Transparency and Trust in Esports

Addressing the Pokemon Championship Prize Money Controversy: A Call for Transparency and Trust in Esports

21. November 2023 by Valentin Pasetti

The Latin America International Championship (LAIC) for Pokémon TCG recently sparked controversy among its competitive community due to unsettling issues surrounding its prize money distribution process. 


A disturbing situation unfolded at the LAIC when Pokémon coach Joseph Ugarte revealed on Twitter that top 32 players were required to scan a QR code and complete a survey within five days post-competition to claim their prize money. This revelation, not publicly announced at the event, raised eyebrows for its lack of transparency and potential privacy risks.

Player Concerns

The primary concerns highlighted by the players include:

  1. Lack of Information: The absence of public communication about the QR code and the survey process.
  2. Privacy Issues: Players were apprehensive about submitting bank details via an online form.
  3. Uncertainty and Communication Gap: Participants reported not receiving confirmation emails after survey completion, adding to the ambiguity.

Legal Implications

The community expressed skepticism regarding the legality of withholding prize money, especially if participants failed to comply with the five-day response window. This stipulation raised questions about its enforceability and fairness.


  1. Transparent Communication: Future tournaments must ensure clear and open communication about prize money procedures.
  2. Secure Data Handling: Implement secure, privacy-compliant methods for handling sensitive financial information.
  3. Post-Event Support: Establish a dedicated helpdesk to address post-event queries and concerns.
  4. Legal Compliance: Adhere to legal standards in prize distribution to maintain trust and integrity in esports.


The LAIC incident serves as a vital lesson in the importance of transparent and fair practices in esports tournaments. Organizers must prioritize clear communication, privacy, and legal compliance to uphold the community’s trust and the sport’s integrity.

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Don´t Lie to the Community

The esports industry, while rapidly growing, must remember that its foundation lies in the community’s trust and participation. Therefore, maintaining transparent, fair, and legally sound practices is not just a necessity but a responsibility towards the community it serves.