The World Esports Assocation (WESA) is continuing to extend its reach in esports and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive by adding new teams. But it’s yet to add any new events to its portfolio.
DreamHack, which is owned by ESL majority owners MTG, will be running 10 major CS:GO events this year awarding over $1 million in prizes. But those events will not be WESA-sanctioned, despite ESL being a founding party of WESA, a WESA spokesperson told Dot Esports.
That means DreamHack does not follow WESA regulations, such as revenue sharing, or its code of conduct, and is not under the purview of the WESA player council.
The ESL Pro League, in contrast, is increasingly becoming a clearly WESA-run league. In a press release announcing the exclusive streaming rights deal for the league with YouTube, the league struck “ESL” from its name, calling itself simply “Pro League.” It is unclear if other ESL-run events like IEM Katowice are covered by WESA regulations.
In January, a report from veteran esports reporter Richard Lewis claimed that WESA member teams would be exclusive to WESA events from 2018 onwards. WESA in turn claimed that “no decisions have been made” around tournament participation by its members beyond 2017, but that would be a joint decision made by all members rather than individual teams. As of now, that type of exclusive arrangement would exclude DreamHack.
WESA also said that its teams would not be playing other matches on Pro League match days, which next month could cause issues with the rival Esports Championship Series (ECS) league. According to a separate Richard Lewis report, a master event planning spreadsheet shared between tournament organizers show that DreamHack and ESL events make up over 80 percent of CS:GO event days this year.
At its launch last year, WESA said that WESA teams would only participate in non-WESA events if the schedules were “balanced.” ESL has been involved in attempts to create exclusivity in CS:GO in the past.
Yesterday SK Gaming and Renegades joined WESA, the first teams outside Europe to do so. WESA is now the only major team association operating in Counter-Strike, following the collapse of the Professional Esports Association’s (PEA) attempts to create a league of their own and withdraw from the WESA and ESL run Pro League.