WESA is the World Esports Association. It was founded by Ralf Reichert (ESL), Sebastian Weishaar (ESL), Pietro Fringuelli (WESA League Commissioner), Wouter Sleijffers (CEO, Fnatic) and Hicham Chahine (CEO, NiP).
WESA will offer the chance to bring all esports stakeholders – players, teams, organizers and broadcasters – to the discussion table in order to bring much needed structure, predictable schedules and transparency to the scene.
Eight of the world’s biggest multi-gaming brands have contributed to the founding of WESA, with the Association aiming to add more members and negotiations continue with various organizations. The founding teams are as follows:
- Natus Vincere
- G2 Esports
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
One of the milestones of WESA is the creation of an operative Player Council, elected by the players, which will represent, strengthen and advocate on behalf of pro gamers on a number of important topics, such as league policies, rulesets, player transfers and more. The aim is to empower players when it comes to influencing decision-making in tournaments operated under WESA regulations. As such, the ESL Pro League for CS:GO will become the first professional esports competition to adopt said WESA regulations.
Main responsibilities of WESA:
- Regulate schedules, creating predictability
- Help create standardize contracts for players
- Help define and implement all rules that are currently missing, i.e. with regards to player transfers
- Set up the Arbitration Court to help settle all future disputes
WESA teams will not only participate in WESA sanctioned tournaments, leagues and offline events based on the standards developed by the Association, but also in other leagues whose schedules have been balanced prior.
Overseeing the work of the Player Council and the WESA representatives will be the first Interim League Commissioner of WESA, Pietro Fringuelli, who brings a wealth of experience and expertise from his time as an advisor to some of the biggest traditional sports organizations across Europe.
Why does esports and CS:GO need something like WESA? We believe that esports needs an organization like WESA because it has reached a point at which all different stakeholders should align and work together to help it grow further. In the (currently very crowded) CS:GO scene, there is very little transparency and predictability, which has serious impact on all stakeholders. WESA will help organize the schedules, but also create a sustainable framework for legal and business aspects.
Is this that exclusive league everyone is talking about? No. WESA is not a league, but an association that will organize other leagues. ESL Pro League for CS:GO will be the first esports competition that will operate under WESA, but the teams playing in the Pro League can – and will – also play in ELeague and ECS. All schedules have been balanced prior to today’s announcement, and you can look forward to seeing your favorite team in several competitions and events.
How are the teams and players involved? We’ve been in talks with a lot of Teams for over 18 months, figuring out what’s needed and desired to make WESA work. The teams we have on board today, are proud to call themselves the WESA Founding Teams. For the players, WESA will offer something truly unique – a platform to organize themselves. WESA will be the first organization in the history of esports that will feature a fully operational Player Council. This player-elected Council will be the link between the players and the WESA executive board, and – on behalf of all players – will have a say in decisions the organization makes.
There are some big names missing from the lineup, why’s that? It’s because joining WESA is more challenging than just filling out a form. You don’t just sign up for NFL or NHL, there’s a road you need to take to get there. There’s a lot of similarities between founding of WESA and founding of, for example, NHL. The National Hockey League started in 1917 with just six teams – and has grown to what it is today: a massive league with teams on multiple levels in several divisions.
Can you explain why ESL is the only league involved? Founding an association like this is a long and difficult process, which took 18 months with the parties currently involved. WESA is open to sanctioning multiple leagues, and the decision will be up to the members.
What power does the player council hold exactly? The Player Council will influence matters that concern players, from ruleset to tournament conditions.
Is it not a bit pretentious to call it the “World Esports Association” when you only have one league and 8 teams involved? Most associations have started out small, and the aim is to expand to more teams and to more games in the future.
The power structre is not explained. There is a players council but what authority they have is not disclosed. Who has the final say for example? If team owners agree and the players don’t, who has the final say? The league commisioner? Who has the authority here? There are several cases, sometimes the LC has the final say, sometimes the players decide. We have created the structure to provide a resolution process for these situations.
What about having other representatives from like FACEIT or MLG? Who is to say MTG (who owns ESL and DH) won’t try to boost their own tournaments. Please don’t reply with “we’re a professional bunch and we’ll have transparency” because we know how that works with the biggest governing bodies in the world such as FIFA or IOC. What guarantee is there that WESA won’t be working in favor of MTG? WESA is open to sanctioning multiple leagues. That decision will be up to the members, so not to MTG. This is the starting point, and we will adapt and adjust the structure going forward.
Is this association, in anyway, involved with Valve? Valve is aware but not involved.