BLAST teams refute CSPPA claims: "Issues have already been resolved"
The group of teams said that the issues raised on Tuesday by the player association were addressed before the Showdown stage.
The 11 organisations that are partnered with BLAST for the Fall season and the three non-partners whose teams are competing in the BLAST Premier Fall Finals — mousesports, FURIA and BIG — have issued a joint statement to address the player protest that took place on Tuesday. The group claims that the players' issues regarding the recording, storing, and sharing of voice communications and screen recordings were already resolved before the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown kicked off, more than two weeks ago.
"The teams and all Tournament Organisers, including BLAST, have worked, are working, and will continue to work together to ensure that any and all of our players' needs pertaining their participation are met to the extent possible," said the statement, which has been shared on social media by organisations like G2, Liquid and NAVI. "As a result of this already successful partnership between the parties, BLAST resolved the issues raised around the usage of voice comms already on November 23rd."
The statement is a reply to the protest launched by the Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association (CSPPA) on Monday, which saw players deny BLAST access to voice and video recordings due to concerns regarding privacy and PC performance. It quickly became a heated topic of discussion in the community and led to the match between Vitality and mousesports starting almost three hours later than planned. The impasse was settled after BLAST agreed to discuss the matter with the CSPPA, mousesports' Chris "chrisJ" de Jong, who is part of the association's board of players, wrote on Twitter.
According to the CSPPA, the players took a stance after "BLAST declined to discuss" this matter with them. But in response, the 14 organisations claimed that the CSPPA didn't follow proper channels when addressing the issue as the player association neglected to contact the teams.
"We fail to understand how and why CSPPA are involved in trying to raise concerns with an already resolved issue, without our knowledge or any form of previous communication," the teams said.
The group of teams also urged "both the community and our players to raise their concerns through the proper channels", so they can continue improving players' conditions "inside and outside the game."
HLTV.org knows that one of the changes implemented by BLAST following feedback from teams is that desk talent no longer has access to Teamspeak. In its statement, the CSPPA said that voice communications "were shared with analysts and others, which led to sensitive tactical information and personal information being shared among people in the community."
One of the team owners, speaking on condition of anonymity, lashed out at the CSPPA, saying the association's goal is to "create chaos" by putting players and organisations against each other. The person also called for the CSPPA "to be stopped" for the sake of the Counter-Strike landscape.
"The true intentions behind the CSPPA are not rooted in the greater good," the team owner told HLTV.org. "They want commercial profits for their own pockets, and they make those happen through the opportunities they create by dismantling the functioning systems around them. The methods used by the people involved have been well documented in other sports for many years, but a new industry like esports doesn't know about this. It's their perfect environment.
"It's about creating divide and conflict - them vs us. A true organisation representing players wouldn't do any of those things, and they certainly would not act as agents. It would operate transparently and collaboratively with an open agenda about what they are trying to accomplish so that we could enter productive dialogue, all stakeholders together, and players would be proud members.
"Player breaks, world rankings, etc., are all things that we already evaluate and negotiate together on a running basis, and the existence of CSPPA has not changed that in any way, despite the constant false claims or sensationalism popping up. The vast majority of teams have never had a single conversation with CSPPA - of course. Because why would the CSPPA do it? They have no actual interest in making things better. That's their style. Confusion, misinformation and use whatever they can to create chaos. Then get the community on board like a PR spin. They are up to no good and need to be stopped, so genuine entities can exist and help bring esports into the mainstream."
HLTV.org has reached out to CSPPA CEO Mads Øland for comment.
Luís Mira contributed to this story.