Seven of the biggest and brightest North American eSports teams have joined forces to create the Professional eSports Association (PEA), an organisation aiming to support pro players.
I bet you can guess one of the games in our list of the best FPS titles.
The PEA founders are some of the top eSports teams from across North America: Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, Cloud9, Immortals, NRG Esports, and CompLexity Gaming.
“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,” said Jason Katz, PEA commissioner. “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.”
There have been a bunch of attempts to create a union of owners and players for a while, but every attempt has seemingly failed. This one, however, seems built on solid foundations.
The PEA are kicking it all off with a North American focused CS:GO league. Twice weekly matches will be streamed during the ten week season, with a prize pool of at least $1,000,000 during its first year and $500,000 for season one.
“This marks the end of the ‘Wild West’ days of eSports,” said Jack Etienne, Cloud9 CEO. “The community and players want stability and dependability. Leagues come and go, teams join them and depart, but with the PEA, the teams are making a long-term commitment to be here, playing for the fans, for the indefinite future.”
The PEA will bring a bunch of financial benefits to all involved, giving players and owners an equal 50% share of the profits – casters will receive a share equal to a player. Additionally, retirement services, investment planning and a whole host of financial help will be provided to players, setting them up for the future.
“It’s time for leagues to share the rewards and strategic decisions with the players,” said Andy Dinh, CEO of TSM, “and the best way for team organisations to do that is for us to do it ourselves. The PEA is a vehicle for us to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the players, doing what we all love.”
It’s not just financial benefits, either. Players will have more of a say in league operations, sitting on a rules committee and helping decide playing rules, competition formats and more. There will also be a Grievance Committee set up, with players deciding what course of action to take when complaints arise.