Players Leave PEA to Participate in ESP Pro League


Written by Justin Rader

The Professional eSports Association (PEA) was created in good faith to help the players who’ve been notoriously misrepresented in the past. From being underpaid to neglected in the PEA, the players have had enough.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive is a first-person shooter oriented towards competition style gameplay. Teams of players and coaches compete against each other all around the world for prize money and fame. Within the community, leagues have been created to oversee the games the players play- the PEA is one of these leagues.

On January 5, the members of the Professional eSports Association, under the players’ voice, Scott Smith (who openly wrote letters to fans and the PEA about wrongdoings), voted unanimously to leave the PEA and participate in the ESP Pro League.

If one thinks of the essential plans and benefits an employer would offer an employee, understanding what the PEA wanted to accomplish may become clearer. Players would receive various health insurance and retirement plans in addition to sufficient compensation for their participation in the Counter Strike: Global Offensive scene. The management of the PEA, however, had other intentions in mind.

Pro teams such as Team Solomid, Cloud9, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NRG eSports and compLexity Gaming founded the PEA, but still participated in eSports events and tournaments within the ESP Pro League. Eventually, the high echelon of the PEA didn’t approve of this, due to the apparent disenfranchisement to players that was occurring within the association. It wasn’t just the association’s fault in this modern exodus; the players were at fault, as well.

Scott Smith has admitted that the players didn’t make good decisions regarding their contracts in light of the recent heat the PEA has received.

“The players were naive to sign these contracts based on good faith, non-binding promises from their team,” said Smith.

A large amount of faith was placed in the Professional eSports Association to right the wrongs of the professional gaming community. Skepticism has replaced this faith, and the community isn’t certain whether or not players will have a voice in the future.

Smith sums it up perfectly – “who’s on the worse end of the negotiating table: the guy that has the hidden agenda, or the guy that decides to trust what the other guy is saying?”