Professional Counter-Strike players from teams in the Professional Esports Association voted Wednesday to play in Season 5 of ESL Pro League rather than the proposed North American PEA League, according to sources with knowledge of the vote. As a result, it is believed that PEA will withdraw from participating in Counter-Strike indefinitely following this decision.
The vote came after Slingshot originally reported PEA would outlaw its teams from participating in the ESL Pro League, a revelation that was met with scrutiny and brushback from many players involved and the Counter-Strike community. Twenty-five players from Team Liquid, Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming and Immortals published an open letter in accordance with Scott “SirScoots” Smith that showcased the promises and reality of their discussions with PEA. The players explained that despite the language in their contracts, they deserve a right to choose the leagues they play in. Following the open letter, PEA replied with its own letter. TSM owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh also released newly acquired player Sean Gares in another public spat.
PEA, founded in September, was designed to provide players with benefits and profit share, which has never been provided by any league organizer to date in Counter-Strike. The problem arose with a perceived lack of transparency from PEA, as many players initially had no idea they would be asked to withdraw from ESL Pro League by signing up for PEA.
PEA did not respond to request for comment.
UPDATE (9:44 a.m. ET Thursday): Scott “SirScoots” Smith, who has been working with the players through the dispute, confirmed the decision on Twitter.
The players have chosen to play in EPL over PEA. Six teams voted unanimously. I will be making a more detailed statement tomorrow.
— Scott Smith (@SirScoots) January 5, 2017
Cover photo: Screenshot