SBC News The formation of the World Esports Association and what it means

The formation of the World Esports Association and what it means

Following a press conference on Friday we now know some actual facts about the World Esports Association (WESA), what it’s about and who’s involved. WESAstructure

The executive board consists of ESL Co-Founder Ralf Reichert, Fnatic’s Wouter Sleijffers, Ninjas in Pyjamas CEO Hicham Chahine and Senior VP at ESL Sebastian Weishaar. There’s also Pietro Fringuelli, from law firm CMS Hasche Sigle, who will act as Interim League Commissioner.

Fringuelli spoke of his optimism in the potential of the WESA: “The formation of WESA, and the growth of the Association in the coming years, will be the critical performance indicators for the entire esports industry – and a real game changer for its every stakeholder.”

There’ll also be a WESA Player Council announced in the coming weeks. The mission of the WESA ‘is to create an authentic framework to support and amplify sustainable growth of esports, based on the shared values of fairness, transparency, and integrity and sharing that growth between the players, teams and leagues.’

News was leaked early last week about the formation of the WESA though the manner in which it occurred meant that the masses could only hazard a guess as to what it would be. The official Twitter account had already garnered close to 5,000 followers before an official announcement was even made.

Initially this Twitter account was used to urge people to stop speculating about what it would be and await the news on Friday evening and the London press conference. WESA

The statement on the side reads as follows: ‘WESA is the result of joint efforts between industry-leading professional esports teams and ESL, the world’s largest esports company.’

It continued: ‘Based on similar traditional sports associations, WESA is an open and inclusive organization that will further professionalize esports by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue shares for teams. WESA will seek to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters, and for the first time bring all stakeholders to the discussion table.’

Founding members include major gaming organisations such as Fnatic, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, G2 Esports, Mousesports and more, and of course the partnership with ESL is key.

Of the Player’s Council aspect, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund of team Ninjas in Pyjamas said: “There’s a growing and more pressing need to structurize it, both on the tournament organizer’s side as well as on the players’ side. WESA will offer us a platform to do just that – organize our work and careers, build a network of safety, and offer a solution to business and legal disputes.”

The line in the WESA’s site’s description of its intention that is arguably the key takeaway is that it aims to bring all of the key stakeholders to the discussion table. This is a vital ingredient which the esports industry as a whole has been missing, and one which it needs to thrive.

There is confusion with legal rights due to the various publishers, leagues and so on involved and moreover numerous issues surrounding legitimate player contracts, or there lackof, and not to mention repeated allegations of match fixing in recent times the WESA is a much needed organisation.

There’s also the topic of skin betting which, as Unikrn’s Rahul Sood has highlighted recently, is one situation which needs thorough investigation and regulation.

The hope is that the WESA can be the non self serving body which unites the various factions in the esports sphere and helps bring about widespread legitimisation.

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