Fnatic, NiP, Na’vi, G2 and more announced as part of WESA.
The World Esports Association (WESA) was announced today, a joint esports association partnership between several top tier European teams and ESL, the biggest provider of esports content worldwide. WESA is responsible for standardizing esports schedules and rules, offering profit sharing to teams involved, and creating a Player’s Council to voice concerns on behalf of esports competitors.
Teams involved are Fnatic, G2, Faze, Virtus Pro, Natus Vincere, EnVyUs, Mous, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. WESA has announced that they’re looking for further teams to become part of this organization and have begun talking to several organizations in North America to expand outside of Europe.
“WESA is built on the idea that people can join. So, it’s not a traditional franchise model which is more or less exclusive, it’s an inclusive model,” says Ralf Reichert, Managing Director of ESL. “That means, while we speak, we’re already talking to more organizations to join that. Certainly, this is going to be a growing federation, not one which stays at eight members until the end of time.”
WESA will first influence ESL’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events, starting with the ESL CS:GO Pro League which will operate under WESA rules and regulations. Reichert mentioned that teams competing in ESL Pro League could use that event as a “stepping stone” to become involved in WESA, stating that they preferred teams with stability, a long history, and a commitment to grow the esports scene.
The Player’s Council is of note, as no other major esports organization provides an official voice for players on league executive boards. While the press release is short of calling it a “union,” it makes it clear that this is a group of players, elected by players, to advocate concerns about contracts, playing conditions, tournament rules, and more.
Hicham Chahine, CEO of NiP, said, “Players have been asking for it. The players have had their kind of unofficial players unions, which has kind of brought forward some players perspective, but never in kind of a structured form.” He went on to add that “…we included our players in the process and dialogue with WESA from the beginning.”
“I think for teams in this perspective, taking WESA as a whole body, it’s very beneficial because we can speak to players as a whole and hear their voice in this,” commented Wouter Sleijffers, CEO of Fnatic.
WESA is focusing on CS:GO at the moment and want to make this a success before pushing for other titles to be included. “We’re not looking at other games right now, it’s clearly about getting this right and learning from this,” added Reichert. “For the time being, it’s about making this successful.”
Kevin Knocke is a host and producer of esports at IGN, find him on Twitter at @KevinKnocke.