To start with, let’s talk a bit about the Xtreme background. This is what the rules reflect, so it’s worth understanding. So, how does hiring players work? What motivates Sponsors?
For players it’s all about trust. Trust and money.
In the illegal world of the DBX game you have to be careful who you talk to and who you believe. After all, there really are police and DGB spies lurking in the shadows, and both Sponsors and players have been busted before now. Many times. While the Sponsors may have enough power, influence and cash to buy their way out of trouble, most players don’t. A decade or two rotting in the slammer is not a happy prospect. A player’s best defence is not getting caught in the first place. Hence the trust.
Players want to play for people who will come through as promised. There will be a payday at the end of the match (assuming you survive), and if you don’t then you will get rezzed or your family/mates/local dog shelter will get the cash in your place. You need to believe that you aren’t taking all this risk for nothing.
Players trust the people they know best, and if they don’t know you then they’re going to need convincing. For some this is as simple as giving them more cash. For some, money talks. For others, this means proving yourself. If you claim to be legitimately corrupt, then show me. Do something that no DGB narc would do. Make me believe you are who you say.
Cash is simple. Every player needs to be well rewarded for taking his life in his hands, which is exactly what he does every time he steps out into the arena. The better the player the higher the price, just like anything else. The best players can command very large payments per match, as you’d expect. After all, even the best players don’t last long. At the other end of the scale, the more desperate players will take bigger risks playing for less money and for people they don’t really know. These are the folk who get arrested most often. Luckily there’s always another hopeful looking for a way to make some quick cash.
Sponsors need the trust too, but really it’s about the money. In order to be a Sponsor you have to be powerful and wealthy already. This means that they have an infrastructure of henchmen and flunkies who will make troublesome people disappear into the recycling vats without any questions asked. Filtering out the spies and informers is all part of business as usual rather than a specifically DBX thing.
For a Sponsor, the main issue is money. There is a great deal of money to be made by putting a team onto the arena and sharing in the profits of the game being run. Then there’s all the betting scams and other more dubious financial dealings to arrange. A typical Sponsor will have their fingers in many pies.
A Sponsor wants to hire players that will make them look good. They have a reputation to maintain as well as cash to earn, and without the former the latter is much harder to do. On the one hand you might think that they’d want the cheapest players they could find, and sometimes they do use this ploy to save cash for later matches. More often, a Sponsor will buy the best team he can afford for a match. Winning is always better than losing and his standing among the shadowy folk who organise these Xtreme matches is only as good as his last match or two. Did he put on a good show that brought in the crowds? If he did then everyone else made money too, and that’s good. If he put a rubbish team out that got flattened in a couple of rushes then who’s going to want to see his next match? Nobody. And that means no money on the door, no percentage on the betting and so on.
All this makes Sponsors quite careful about who they hire. They don’t just pick the first person who comes along and says he can play. Not at all. He’ll have to prove himself in real or training matches. Maybe the Sponsor (or one of his flunkies) will watch the player in action in another Sponsor’s team; perhaps they’ll put them through their paces themselves. After all, there will be several teams’ worth of likely candidates that all need testing out. Pitting them against each other weeds out the unworthy pretty quickly, and also lets the Sponsor see who plays well in what role and which players gel together as something like a real team. Meanwhile, a Sponsor will be getting background checks done just in case. Trust isn’t the main issue, but they’d be foolish not to ask a few questions…