Last week the founding of the World Esports Association was announced on ESL’s website. The association consists of eight top European CS:GO teams and its goal is to “further professionalize esports” by setting industry standards, tournament regulations, and ensuring good player representation. The eight founding teams of the organization are Fnatic, Natus Vincere, EnVyUs, Virtus.pro, G2 Esports, FaZe, Mousesports, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Although the intentions of the organization seem noble at first glance, the CS:GO community has been in an uproar at its creation. In particular, people are concerned about the amount of power ESL has in the association. ESL has been notorious in the past for trying to negotiate exclusivity deals and reduce their competition. WESA contains two ESL employees on their board while the other two board members have connections to ESL also. None of the other major CS:GO involved companies such as MLG, CEVO, Faceit, and more have representation in WESA and members of these companies have even stated on Twitter that they were never approached by WESA about potentially working with them. The biggest concern here is whether or not the intention of WESA is to further the agenda of ESL. On Reddit, the founders have stated that WESA is completely independent from ESL, but that remains to be seen.
Another part of WESA that has the community skeptical is the lack of representation outside of Europe. There isn’t much debate that Europe has the largest CS:GO scene at the moment, but many other regions have large scenes of their own, especially North America, Australis, China, and Brazil. Yet there are no teams from these region that are part of this organization. WESA has stated that they have contacted some teams outside of Europe, but none have come forward to say that they were approached with joining WESA. Simply, the lack of representation from regions other than Europe is a big glaring concern in the creation of WESA.
And finally, the biggest concern is that WESA does not have many clear rules and regulations to govern themselves. When looking for a real life example, FIFA comes into mind as a similar situation where a governing body of a sport (in this case, an esport) could do whatever they wanted. In the case of WESA, there is nothing stopping them from having their members boycott a tournament simply because they did not want their competition to get business. The founders have stated that this is not the goal of WESA, but nothing is stopping them if they so intended.
Whether or not WESA is a good thing for CS:GO and esports in general remains to be scene. A lot of big questions still remain about the organization and a lot of issues still need to be addressed. The creation of WESA has been met with negativity and it is up to them to prove that they are needed.
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