Sam Cooke reports Twitch & FaceIt’s joint tournament, Esports Championship Series details their plans to open up the tournament’s revenue streams to teams by making them co-owners of the league making them eligible to collect revenue from media rights, sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Players will also be protected by new rules requiring teams to offer vacation time and other minimum requirements. There will also be a governing committee which will have separate team and player representation. 13 teams have signed up, 4 declined, and 3 are still in negotiations.
- ECS who announced their plans back in April and fully detailed them this week are not the only league to provide teams with 40 – 50% split of league revenue, resources for players to help navigate their contracts and careers, and a governing committee. Professional Esports Association announced in September they are offering the same selling points. Which could make for a Highlander situation between the two.
- Zooming out for a moment let’s look at all of the major Counter Strike tournament organizers from the largest to the smallest.
- We have the Modern Times Group umbrella of ESL’s IEM, ESEA, and DreamHack. Below that we have Turner WME IMG’s ELeague. On the sameish level or below we have FaceIt’s ECS. And below that we have, soon to be launched, PEA.
- FaceIt was kind enough to reach out and explain that teams could compete in ECS, PEA, and any other league they wish to compete in because there are no restrictions between leagues.
- However Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne says the Counter Strike tournament scene is oversaturated and his team will cut back to only compete in one or two leagues. And he’s not the only team to feel this way.
FaceIt’s ECS is on the third rung of this pecking order… for now, as they fight to keep up with MTG & ELeague by partnering up with ELeague when they can, hiring former Bloomberg Media & NBA exec Todd Swidler as CEO, and making these recent changes to their own ECS league. By competing directly with PEA’s main selling points, FaceIt keeps ECS in the running, but gives PEA its potential death sentence before it even gets to launch. With that said, PEA could very well pivot into offering something uniquely different, or could be acquired by MTG or FaceIt, or it may only run one or two seasons. What do you think?