The Professional Esports Association story and its recent news about them stepping on players rights have been developing for a few days now. Just recently, the PEA responded with their own open letter written by Noah Wilson, the CEO of Immortals and a PEA Player Relations Committee Member, to an open letter that Scott “SirScoots” Smith wrote as a representative of 25 different players. This response was formulated to lay out their true intentions and respond to some of the points that were brought up in the original letter.
Intentions of the PEA
Noah’s letter starts off with saying that he acknowledges the player’s concerns and is listening to them. It’s immediately followed by stating that PEA is not and was never intended to be an exclusive league and it’s mission is to make a better, more profitable league for players and team owners alike.
“It is not an exclusive league. PEA teams will continue to compete in non-PEA operated leagues and tournaments. We want to establish the framework for a partnership between players and organizations that extends far into the future.” -Noah Winston
Noah boils the #playersrights argument to two points: The players have the exclusive right to pick where they play, regardless of contract, and the players want to compete in both the PEA and the EPL. He then goes into detail counter said arguments.
The Breakdown of the Player Arguments
Noah starts dissecting the player arguments by first going into detail on what having a contract means. It is stated in esports, that a contract that is signed gives up some of those rights you’d have if you otherwise didn’t play with an organization. In return for a regular salary, housing, coaching, and travel costs, teams have a contractual right. This includes deciding ways to monetize said player with merchandising and sponsorships for example.
“One of the rights that players give up in their contracts, in CSGO, League of Legends, soccer, basketball, and every other professional team sport, is the ability to unilaterally decide which tournaments they compete in. It would not make sense for a roster of players to decide what tournaments to participate in, while representing the organization and emblazoned with its intellectual property.” -Noah Winston
This is followed by explaining there is no possible way that players could compete in both the PEA and the EPL without a loss on the part of the PEA. However, there is a compromise proposed by the PEA to the EPL which would require an established organization of a decade to essentially vacate North America and accept a joint-run top 8 of NA vs EU.
Finishing off this explanation, the letter leaves an ultimatum for the players. If they don’t decide to play according to PEA’s standards, the PEA will just move them to another game as to not “lose money by being another year-round league.”
Community Responses and Final Thoughts
Almost immediately as the open letter was published, the community had a response. Notable ones include Scott “SirScoots” Smith and the WESA themselves. SirScoots has a length response via Twitlonger for each and every talking point Noah had in his open letter. WESA made a statement of their own, saying that the letter’s interpretation of the discussion between the PEA and the EPL was wrong on many accounts, but doesn’t go into detail.
A lot of information that was involved in this story has been sorted through. After reflecting on it all, it still feels as the PEA is restricting the choice of the players because of their ultimatum they’ve provided.
Personally, the PEA maybe should move to another game. Their format seems alright, but they said it themselves, CS:GO is oversaturated. It doesn’t help the problem by trying to force a league of 10 years to vacate North America by trying to throw your own hat into the ring.
If you haven’t already, to get more insight on the story at hand, it’s heavily recommended to read the first article to this follow-up: PEA and The Voice of the Players. EloTalk will be sure to cover anything else that may transpire. Happy Holidays!