The next domino

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion piece

There is a developing story that PEA plans to embargo its teams from participating in ESL Pro League. When PEA was announced, it represented itself as a team-owner organization with some player representation that was also planning its own league.

The next logical step then was to not have their teams participate in other leagues, the biggest currently being ESL Pro League and ECS. There are multiple factors going into this. Teams want the revenue from broadcasts, so it’s easier to set up their own league. At the same time, they needed to force a way into the market and the best way to do that is to have teams that you can only watch in their league.

The situation is more complicated as leagues, teams and players have naturally conflicting desires. There is a high chance players want the chance to play in both leagues but would be shut down by PEA.

It seems strange to me that esports started as a global phenomenon and now that it is “big enough” orgs want to go back into their own countries and run local teams. I’m a bit worried that the orgs PEA and WESA will force weekend LANs to have an “us or them” mentality.

At the same time, the open tournament circuit in CS:GO is dying off so it’s becoming harder for teams without orgs to qualify for events from smaller countries.

Hard to say exactly how this will all turn out as I don’t have a great understanding behind the politics or money that goes into all of this. What I can say is I won’t be watching because I never watch online matches anyway.

Slingshot senior columnist. StarCraft and CS:GO expert who pushes narratives over numbers. You can reach him at Stephen@Slingshotesports.com

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