Professional eSports Association announced
In news, that can only be described as historic, the formation of the Professional eSports Association, or PEA, was announced today via press release. The PEA is going to be an owner-operated league that will be modeled after the NBA. In their own words:
“The PEA represents something new in eSports an association of top teams running their own league and sharing the profits and the decision making with the players… This has been the architecture of traditional major sports leagues for many decades, but it is a new evolution for eSports. This will allow us to finally build a stable, healthy, long term environment for the players, the community, the media and the sponsors.” – PEA Commissioner Jason Katz
eSports- up until recently- has been sort of a free-for-all in many ways across the board. We have seen cases where players are taken advantage of by sponsors, teams not paying their players, and all sorts of controversies in-between. Many times, the competitors in professional gaming are very young and there has not really been a culture of looking out for the athletes best interest via collective bargaining, retirement, or healthcare. Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne said it best,” This marks the end of the ‘Wild West’ days of eSports. The community and players want stability and dependability.”
The PEA is going to launch January of 2017 with an inaugural season of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, holding a stable of seven already well-known and respected teams: NRG eSports, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, SoloMid, Immortals, Cloud9, and compLexity Gaming. Until now, most of the tournaments we follow have been publisher leagues, or third party leagues where, besides prize money, not much else is shared with the competitors that make eSports great. The PEA is making it a priority to benefit the players in a major way. Players and owners will be sharing profits 50-50, and services like retirement, investment planning, and health insurance will all be included.
I’ve already read a whole host of comments from the eSports community about this change. Most of them are intelligent, but some are just ridiculous. One theme that I keep hearing is that “Politics will kill eSports.” This is a mentality that I fear might hinder the growth of the sport. This is not “politics,” this is a league of experienced owners that are going to protect and help foster an environment where the players thrive and grow. This appears to be a pivotal day in the short life of eSports that will carry it to the next level.
For more information on the PEA they have launched an official website
or you can follow them on Twitter