I spent the whole time editing this podcast on a yoga ball. So Gabe, I get you.
The ESL, in conjunction with several professional esports teams, has formed the World Esports Association (WESA) in order to bring much needed structure to industry. In their press release, WESA stated that they aim to standardized regulations, implement revenue sharing for teams, and allow better representation of players. More specifically it’ll aim to fix issues of doping during events, schedule clashes, table sizes, and match fixing.
It’s not much of a secret that use of adderall has been prevalent among the esports scene for a while now. Cloud9’s Kory “Semphis” Freisen admitted that he and his teammates used it openly just last year. Not long after Kory’s statement, the ESL partnered with several agencies including the Nationale Anti-Doping Agentur and the World Anti-Doping Agency in order to create a better anti-doping policy that all players involved in ESL tournaments must agree to.
Doping isn’t the only issue in esports today. WESA aims to fix scheduling conflicts that arise between ESL and non-league tournaments. They’re also cracking down on the fixing of matches, where competing teams will decide the outcome among themselves in order to get a more even split of prize money. Hopefully that issue could be solved with a more stable revenue stream which WESA aims to provide. WESA’s primary goal through all this regulation is to provide a legitimacy and a sustainable framework for esports for years to come.
Apart from the ESL, WESA was also founded by 8 notable teams: Fnatic, Natus Vincere, EnVyUs, Virtus.pro, G2 Esports, FaZe, Mousesports, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The executive board of WESA is structured to allow two executives appointed by the teams and two by the ESL. The current standing members of the board are Managing Director Ralf Reichert, Vice President Sebastian Weishaar, Team Owner of Ninjas in Pyjamas Hicham Chahine, CEO of Fnatic Wouter Sleijffers, and Pietro Fringuelli chosen as the Interim League Commissioner. The board will also include a chairman that has yet to be chosen, as well as a player council to give players a voice in the decision making process.The first WESA Player Council is set to be announced in the next few weeks.
WESA is in continuing talks to with North American and European organizations to bring more teams on board. The first esports event to be played under WESA regulations is the upcoming Season 4 of the ESL Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.