Team Unions, Players Unions: Will They Clash?


Today Richard Lewis reported on that a new team union had sent this email:

”Hi everyone, my name is Alexander Kokhanovskyy and I’m CEO of Na`Vi. I’m writing on behalf of teams union, which include Na`Vi, Team Liquid, CLG, Cloud9, VP, TSM, fnatic, NiP, Titan and EnVyUs. E-Sports has been developing rapidly for past few years and we want to establish more professional connection between top teams and big e-sports tournament & leagues organizers. All things listed in this e-mail applied from 1st of January 2016. This e-mail includes representatives of ESL, Dreamhack, Starladder, Faceit, PGL, MLG, CEVO, Joindota, Dotacinema, One Game Agency (DotaPit & CounterPit), ESEA, ESWC, Dreamz Media, BTS, Fragbite, Gfinity. Finally all of you are connected and you can “meet” each other. If you are not a right person for this type of information please pass it to proper people in your company.

Participation policy 2016:
We will decline all Dota 2 and CS:GO pure online events (without LAN Finals) invitations. The one and only exception will be US teams in CS:GO due to lack of LAN events. But they will set a minimum amount of prize money around 30.000$ USD for 1-2 months League and 10.000$ for 3-4 days event.

What kind online events we are talking about:
– Showmatches (except of sponsors events, for example G2A showmatch NAVI vs. Cloud9)
– 1-2 day online tournaments with 4-8 teams playing – King of the Hill, Zotac, etc.
– 2-3 months online leagues – Dotapit, XMG Captains Draft, GOCL etc.

The minimum amount of prize money for CS:GO will be 75.000$ excluding travel support
The minimum amount of prize money for Dota2 will be 100.000$ including in-game tickets, but excluding travel support

Travel support:
– Travel support should be completely separated from prize money
– Tournaments should provide a full travel support for Dota2 and CS:GO players + manager/coach, 6 in total.
– Tournaments should provide a full travel support for Hearthstone players
– Tournaments should provide a partly-covered travel support for Heroes of the storm players + manager/coach, 6 in total
Tournaments will have such options:
Option A: Paying for tickets (economy or higher with convenient connections and layover time) and hotels (4 stars or higher) prior to the event
Option B: Sending a travel support payment 7 days after event ends. Payment depends on the team origin region:
– EU/CIS – US should be 12000$ or 2000$ per player in HS, 6000$ per HotS team
– EU – EU should be 4000$ or 650$ per player in HS, 2000$ per HotS team
– CIS – CIS should be 3000$ or 500$ per player in HS, 1500$ per HotS team
– US – US should be 6000$ or 1000$ per player in HS, 3000$ per HotS team
– EU – CIS should be 6000$ or 1000$ per player in HS, 3000$ per HotS team
Option C: Combination of both

Media reports by teams
To increase overall value of events as well as media reach we are glad to do promo activities and provide media reports after each event. Each report will include:
– Website news about event (link, screenshot, news views or/and daily unique visitors during news date)
– Social media posts (matches, updates, info, etc.) in FB, VK, Twitter with hash-tag #teamonevent, i.e. #naviondhs15 (link, screenshot, posts views, likes, shares and comments)
– Embedding tournament live broadcasting on website and social media (link, screenshot, website major stats during those days, social media posts views, likes, shares and comments)
– Event promo video, i.e. highlights from online stages (if any – link, views, likes)
– Event coverage on website (optional)

You should receive such reports in PDF/PPT 14 days after event ends.

Media report by tournaments
To increase teams promotion and have a possibility to add such data in sponsors report we want to ask for such options:
– Event overall details (date, location, etc.)
– Tournaments standings/placements and prize money won
– Event pictures (10-12 in .rar)
– Teams pictures (all our teams that are on the event,2-3 photos per team in .rar)
– Event sponsors
– Broadcasting languages and studio
– Event visitors
– Broadcasting stats (online and LAN, for each unique viewers, views, hours watched, concurrent viewers)
– Broadcasting geo-stats

Such report should be available in PDF/PPT 14 days after event ends.

Additional Dota2 / CS:GO teams requirements (please read that as recommendation for HoTS/HS):
– Events should fill Tournament rider (see attached) prior to every event and send it to all teams in the group
– Transportation from/to airport
– Collect and store team banking details prior to the event. Just confirm with CEO/COO/Head Manager that bank details are same as they were on last event. Please don’t confirm that only with team manager.
– Penalizing teams and players for not obeying event rules (causing delays, misbehave, etc.) by cutting off prize money

Additional Dota2 / CS:GO players requirements: (please read that as recommendation for HoTS/HS)
– Prize money should be paid not later than 3 months after event ends.
– Transportation from hotel to venue and back (if venue is far)
– If 6 players are travelling we are expecting 3 rooms with 2 double-beds in each
– Dedicated bathroom for players with no access for fans/crowd
– Not more than 1x BO3 + 1x BO5 per day
– If possible, equal conditions to all teams participating  (avoid match-ups too early if team left venue at 2:00 am, same warmup/rest time, etc.)
– Provide a good seats (comfortable chairs such as DXracer) and enough space for each player (tables at least 1.2m x 0.8m per player)
– Players lounge with no access for crowd, practice area and food is warmly welcome

Hope for fruitful cooperation in 2016!”

to representatives of major tournament organisers ESL, DreamHack, StarLadder, FACEIT, PGL, MLG, CEVO, Joindota, Dotacinema, One Game Agency (DotaPit & CounterPit), ESEA, ESWC, Dreamz Media, BTS, Fragbite and Gfinity.

As you can see this list demands a certain level of prize money, perks and necessities for both the teams and players. Which in my opinion is much needed to combat poor events tarnishing the CSGO community, especially since these are usually the stories you hear in the mainstream media.

However, with a players union rumoured to be started by Richard Lewis I am wondering how players will be protected from their organisation. Richard has spoken about how the players protect themselves from tournaments, simply threaten to not attend as a whole. But how does a team gain leverage over their organisation to bargain and actively change things within the organisation?

Players could come across a wide variety of different issues when playing under an organisations name. Players could not be paid, not be paid on time, treated poorly by the organisation, forced to sign contracts, forced to play more events than they can, plus many more.

I’m intrigued to see how Richard Lewis will handle these situations in a players union. He has spoken previously about having a players union fund that could be used for lawyers. Which is a good solution to most of these things but is more of a reactive solution and wouldn’t stop these things happening in the first place.

If the issue was taken to court the team could lose out on prize money as I assume as the matter would be in court the team wouldn’t be able to play under the organisations name while the dispute is addressed and resolved. However, I may be wrong about this; this is all hypothetical.

Final thought, since this team union has been formed, will they essentially be pit against a players union to work out these kind of player vs organisation issues? If this does happen finances could be a big factor in these unions, and let’s be honest, the organisations have more money.

I am interested to see how this turns out and how the players union will deal with issues between the players and their organisations. I’d love a broken down list of what the players union will help players with.




Adam is the owner of BC-GB, find him on Twitter. BC-GB is the place to get CSGO tips, news and blog.

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