The Professional Esports Association plans to outlaw its Counter-Strike teams from playing in the next season of the ESL Pro League, according to multiple sources. PEA plans to follow through with this decision in spite of dissent from a handful of players on teams within the association.
PEA has also offered to partner with the ESL to hold a “Global Finals” tournament featuring finalists from multiple CS:GO leagues, though the World Esports Association — an association comprised of seven European organizations that is aligned with the ESL — has as of now declined that offer, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.
Some players are unhappy with the PEA decision to not participate in EPL and are lobbying for some sort of agreement between the two organizations. One source explained that the players fear the “inexperience of the new league” and deserve “a right to choose the leagues they play in.” If players attempted to play the next season of the ESL Pro League, which begins in February, it would result in a breach of contract with their organizations.
PEA launched in September and is comprised of seven North American organizations including Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NRG Esports and compLexity Gaming. The association promises a 50 percent share of profits and provides financial benefits to the players as members of their respective teams. PEA’s announcement followed the formation of WESA, which is comprised of Fnatic, Natus Vincere, EnVyUs, Virtus.pro, G2, mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas, in May.
With the addition of PEA, which also plans to operate its own league, there are more leagues than ever in professional Counter-Strike heading into 2017. Some teams will be invited to play in at least three online leagues as well as ELEAGUE, which is LAN-based league. On the contrary, other organizations will be dropping leagues like Natus Vincere did for ECS Season 2. Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne also said in an interview with PVP Live last month that his team would only participate a maximum of two leagues moving forward.
WESA and PEA did not respond to requests for comment.