Players protest PEA exclusivity
An open letter signed by members of Cloud9, CLG, Immortals, Team Liquid and TSM has been released by Scott "SirScoots" Smith, who was selected as a representative of 25 affected players. The goal of the letter is to protest the decision by PEA team owners to not compete in ESL Pro League next season.
An open letter, signed by the likes of Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert, Spencer "Hiko" Martin and Sean "seang@res" Gares, was released earlier today, citing "being told by the PEA and our team owners that we do not have the right to choose where we compete and that they intend to prevent us from playing in ESL Pro League" as the main reason.
n0thing's Cloud9 is one of the teams that signed the open letter
According to the letter, PEA representatives had in the beginning stated that the league has no intention to be exclusive and assured the players that their voice will be heard in league operations.
Around IEM Oakland, the players' concerns grew due to rumors they were hearing, which started a discussion between them and PEA, with the help of Scott "SirScoots" Smith.
An extract from the letter:
"The same week as IEM Oakland, we started seeing more serious reasons for concern about what the PEA was doing. We started hearing rumors that some of us were about to be told we would have to withdraw from the next season of ESL Pro League. We also heard rumors that the PEA and EPL actually had no active or ongoing discussions to ensure that they wouldn’t conflict with each other. This was contrary to what we had been told back in September and October, and it was at this point that we realized we needed help."
"A few of us reached out to Scott “SirScoots” Smith, who has been a valuable friend and mentor to many of us over the years. He was happy to help, and was pretty quickly able to confirm that the PEA and EPL hadn’t really talked about working together to make sure there wouldn’t be issues. From what we heard, it seemed that EPL welcomed the discussion, but the PEA was not interested in talking. We decided to ask Scott to represent us more formally in approaching the PEA and our team owners about the situation, and thankfully he accepted. Scott has been in esports for 16 years and has been a consistent advocate for professional Counter-Strike players in that time. He’s outspoken and critical in all directions, and also has experience as a team owner, so we felt he would be a great central voice for us to work through. He now represents all of the 25 players who signed this letter in discussions with the PEA and our team owners, and we hope that our friends from NRG and CompLexity will turn 25 into 35 after they read this."
Read the full release on Medium.
According to the letter, players were not able to accomplish much by talking directly to their team owners and the league commissioner Jason Katz, so they have decided to open up the topic and include the community in the discussion.
As the letter states, this is how you can help:
"Thank you all for taking the time to read this letter. If you understand where we’re coming from, and you want to help, the best way to do so is to speak out. Contact the PEA and our team owners — let them know how you feel. Tell your friends and colleagues about what’s going on, and be vocal on Twitter and other social media outlets. If you’re a professional player, whether you’re on a PEA team or not, and whether you play Counter-Strike or any other game: get in touch with us by sending Scott an email. We’d love to add you to the conversation." - Medium post
The letter was signed by all five players from the following teams:
Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.