The Professional eSports Association bills itself as an organization “focused on bringing unprecedented benefits to pro players.” However, the pro Counter-Strike Global Operations players it signed have refused to play in protest of contract conditions they feel were misrepresented. In response, the PEA Commissioner Jason Katz has announced today that the organization is suspending operations concerning its CS:GO league.
The CS:GO players of five of the seven founding PEA teams, represented by Scott “SirScoot” Smith, released a letter of complaint last month. In the leader, the players claim that team owners underemphasized the duties players would be responsible for when they signed the contract. These players believed they would be able to continue to compete in established CS:GO competitions such as the ESL Pro League.
However, according to Smith, last month PEA owners pointed to language in the contracts stating that the PEA could prohibit participation in other leagues. In protest, players on the CS:GO teams Cloud 9, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, Team Liquid, Team SoloMid, and NRG Esports have banded to participate in the ESL CS:GO league rather than the PEA. This leaves only compLexity Gaming as the only remaining PEA signed team.
This situation only emphasizes the growing complexity of the world of eSports. As the industry has gotten bigger, backroom handshakes and last-minute contracts can no longer be the norm. It’s becoming clearer that players and league owners need to treat contact negotiation just as seriously as any other sport and more regulation surrounding professional gaming needs to be enacted.