Sep 8 2016 - 1:35 pm

Seven major NA esports orgs band together to create owner-operated CS:GO league

North American esports organization owners aiming to create “The NBA of Esports” are launching their own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.

North American esports organization owners aiming to create “The NBA of Esports” are launching their own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league.

Seven organizations—TSM, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Team Liquid, Immortals, NRG Esports, and Complexity—announced the launch of the the Professional Esports Association (PEA) today. Its inaugural tournament, featuring CS:GO, will begin in January 2017, with $1 million on the line split over two seasons. Matches will be streamed twice per week over the course of the 10-week seasons.

Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne commented that the creation of PEA “marks the end of the ‘wild west’ days of esports." He added: "Teams are making a long-term commitment to be here, playing for the fans, for the indefinite future."

PEA commissioner Jason Katz says the league represents “something new in esports: an association of top teams running their own league and sharing the profits and the decision-making with the players."

Indeed, the major difference between the PEA league and others is the voice players will have in operations, with player representatives sitting in a rules and grievances committee. This could help provide clarification on major operating decisions in the league.

The PEA league will operate a little differently to current tournaments in the circuit. Players and casters will be entitled to 50 percent of all league profits, with team owners taking the other equal share. . In a first for esports leagues, retirement planning and health insurance will also be offered to competitors.

While player rights are a clear focus, the association also hopes to increase revenue streams for teams. According to Andy "Reginald" Dinh, the association and league represents an attempt by teams to free players from requirements outside of competing to generate revenue for the team. According to Dinh, these split responsibilities have left teams with "no path to profit."

The teams were also keen to stress the PEA was "a different kind of organization" from WESA, an ESL-initiative with similar goals. Unlike WESA the teams have received no financial incentive to join—in fact, all seven have invested heavily in the venture.  

It's unclear how the PEA league will fit in with the rest of the CS:GO circuit. PEA teams are negotiating collectively with ECS on whether they'll take part in that league, but are not currently involved in talks with ELEAGUE or ESL. Dinh said the league had no intention of exclusivity "right now," but members didn't speak highly of other tournaments in the conference call. Team Liquid owner Steve Arhancet spoke out against leagues not sharing profits with owners and players, claiming that they “hinder the potential for esports to rival other professional sports leagues."

Dinh added: "It's time for leagues to share the rewards and strategic decisions with the players.”

Jan 8 2017 - 4:08 pm

Hades to miss WESG, accused of "LAN dodging"

The player failed to get a visa, leaving his team in the lurch.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Image via Valve

A Canadian Counter-Strike player has been accused of "LAN-dodging" after failing to get a visa for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) in China next week.

Warren "hades" Rettich, who was due to play for Canadian side subtLe in the finals, has withdrawn from the event due to not applying for his visa in time—something his teammates claim he did deliberately.

Team mate Ellis "els" Clay posted a Twitlonger, containing screenshots of messages from hades where he claimed to have applied for the visa as earlier as December 20. However this was not the case and once the groups were released, placing subtLe against tournament favorites like Virtus Pro and EnVyUs, hades was having second thoughts about even bothering to compete.

After leaving it until the very last possible minute to have a chance of applying, hades cited an unspecified issue with his application that would mean he would have to miss the tournament.

Els leaves no doubt that he believes hades is deliberately missing the tournament, severely handicapping the chances of his team mates.

SubtLe were already severely hampered in their preparation for the tournament after Paul "Nerdy" Gill received a VAC ban two weeks ago. The team turned to David "DAVEY" Stafford, formerly of Splyce, to step in.

The controversy has provoked the ire of many in the North American Counter-Strike community.

SubtLe qualified for WESG after finishing second in the Americas qualifier. They will be the sole Canadian representatives, after a Canadian squad featuring DAVEY, Jason "jasonR" Ruchelski, and Damian "daps" Steele could not get visas for the Americas qualifier.

They will face a stern test in what many are calling the group of death against Virtus Pro, EnVyUs, Team Epsilon, Russia, and Team One of Brazil.

Jan 14 2017 - 5:34 pm

Report: TSM CS:GO team to join Sean Gares at new organization

The PEA drama fallout continues for Regi and TSM.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Update 01/14/17 14:00: Team SoloMid have confirmed this report, and that the ESL Pro League spot will be transferred with the players to their new organisation.

One of the biggest brands in North American esports is reportedly parting ways with the remainder of its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster.

According to a report Slingshot Esports, Team SoloMid will be releasing Hunter "SicK" Mims, Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken, Skyler "Relyks" Weaver and Shahzeb "ShahZam" Khan imminently.

The roster has allegedly expressed its desire to compete with its former in-game leader Sean Gares, who was removed from the team on Dec. 22.

The reason behind Gares' removal stemmed from his participation in a public letter which criticized the, since defunct, Professional Eports Association (PEA) league, which TSM co-owned along with seven other North American esports franchises. Seangares was removed from the team one day after the letter was published, after falling out with team owner Andy "Reginald "Dinh over the incident.

In the aftermath the other TSM players publicly backed Gares, with several claiming they would not play for TSM without him.

Slingshot Esports' report names that the roster currently has two interested buyers in Dignitas and Misfits. Both organizations have recently acquired major backing from NBA teams in the shape of Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat respectively.

Dignitas in particular have expressed its desire to recruit a full North American CS:GO line-up, following the departure of its previous Danish roster.