Players choose EPL over PEA
Players of six PEA teams have decided to compete in ESL Pro League over the Professional Esports Association (PEA), effectively ending the two-week long deadlock between the sides.
After some tweets that pointed in the same direction, Scott "SirScoots" Smith has released a medium post confirming that players of Cloud9, CLG, Immortals, NRG, Liquid and TSM voted against playing in the PEA league in favor of EPL.
The first announcement of the PEA league came in September, followed by a long period of radio silence from the group of North American team owners. The PEA vs EPL problem came to the spotlight in December, when SirScoots released his open letter as a representative of 25 players.
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Shortly after the release of the open letter, Sean "seang@res" Gares was dropped from TSM, but the remaining North American players were allowed to have the final word on the decision in the end, with the matter of which league to play being put up to a vote.
In the end, six out of seven teams voted to play in ESL Pro League instead of the PEA league.
"The Counter-Strike players of Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NRG Esports, Team Liquid, and Team SoloMid have unanimously decided to compete in ESL Pro League (EPL) over the Professional Esports Association (PEA) — a league founded, owned and operated by their team owners. The players have all signed voting documents and proxy communication forms giving me formal permission to relay their decision. What follows is my insight into some of the reasons behind the decision, as well as my own perspective on some of the larger industry issues the players currently face." - SirScoots in his latest post
Smith explained his thoughts on the matter, and those of the players, but pointed out they are all thankful for what the team owners have done in the past.
"While the players have made a clear choice here, I want to reiterate both on their behalf and for myself that we appreciate everything the PEA teams have done for this industry. The result of this vote does not change that. We all recognize that the players’ careers would not be possible without the roles teams play in the industry, and how important it is that teams are able to run their businesses in a way that is financially viable. Our perspective is simply that the best way to make things financially viable — for everyone — is to engage in a truly open, transparent dialogue across the industry as a whole. Right now, we should be focusing on how players, teams, and leagues can work together more closely at the negotiating table, and not on blurring the line between team owner and league operator. In order for all of that to happen, though, the players must first come together on their own. Hopefully, their decision here is a big step in that direction."
In the end, SirScoots hinted at the possibility of doing more player representation in the future:
"For my part personally, I’d like to say the following to all of the players who made this decision: It has been an honor to work with you thus far. As someone who’s been a strong player advocate for my entire career in this industry, I am looking forward to working along side you as we continue to bring more players into the fold."
At the moment, PEA has not released an official statement on the matter.
Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.