If there was any question that Esports was a legitimate enterprise, that ends today: say hello to WESA.
Today marks the launch of the World Esports Assocation (WESA), a banding together between the ESL and eight professional pro-gaming teams. It’s sort of like FIFA, but for computer games, and hopes to bring a global level of organization to Esports.
WESA says it wants to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers, and broadcasters. What’s more, it aims to introduce elements of the sporting world to Esports, like player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue sharing for teams.
The launch of WESA in London
According to the Newzoo 2016 Global Esports Market Report, the industry is expected to be worth an impressive $1.072 billion by 2019. The report says that there are 148 million dedicated Esports viewers globally, and a further 144 million “casual viewers” too. That’s why it’s no surprise that WESA now exists – if anything, it’s long overdue.
Speaking at the announcement of WESA, Ralf Reichert, CEO of ESL, said:
“If you look back at how other associations have been started, the one you can look back the most is FIFA. FIFA was founded in 1904, that’s a long time ago. It was founded in May, funnily – that’s a coincidence, not a plan.”
He continued: “It was a long journey, and we’re super excited to be here today. This is just the start of the journey. Like every other federation, we start small and hopefully grow.”
The ESL Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be the first professional Esports competition that will be played under the new WESA regulations. These regulations will be decided – in part – by a player-elected Player Council. The regulations will affect things like league policies, rule-sets, and player transfers.
“We’ve established Fnatic across numerous games over the past twelve years, and we welcome an organization like WESA to help speak to the interests of teams and players," Wouter Sleijffers, CEO of Team Fnatic, one of the founding WESA teams.
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WESA will help deal with some of the negative issues in Esports like match fixing, or situations where players haven’t completed their contract or a team hasn’t paid its players.
“There are a lot of non-written rules about all these stakeholders. There is a lot of clumsiness about it. But there’s nothing written down that says: ‘These are my rights’,” said Reichert.
Aside from ESL, the world’s largest Esports company, WESA is comprised of the following teams: Fnatic, Natus Vincere, EnVyUs, Virtus.Pro,Gamers2, Faze, mousesports, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.
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Do you think WESA is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.