WESA announces new governing body, plans to be the FIFA of esports

Provided by WESA

A new governing body for "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" launched today called the World Esports Association, backed by the Electronic Sports League. Its staff, specifically league commissioner Pietro Fringuelli, says WESA aims to be the global equivalent of FIFA for esports.

Officials say the body will "further professionalize" the esports space, but for now, WESA has plans for only Counter-Strike, esports' second-largest game. Teams in the association include some of Europe's biggest CS:GO names, including Fnatic, Natus Vincere, EnVyUs, Virtus.Pro, G2 Esports, FaZe Clan, mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

"The formation of WESA is a critical milestone on our way to grow esports globally, and we're incredibly excited to work with some of the world's best professional teams," ESL Managing Director Ralf Reichert said in a news release. "Their continuous support to the formation and structuring of the Association only further cemented our belief that esports is well on its way to become the leading source of entertainment of gaming fans around the world."

WESA officials say issues of scheduling will be among the top priorities. Because esports has attracted a huge variety of tournaments and leagues (ESL Pro League, ELEAGUE, Esports Championship Series, the CEVO Gfinity Pro-League, ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters, DreamHack, Gfinity and more) top Counter-Strike teams often don't receive extended breaks.

If WESA wants to solve that, its relationship with the ESL might present a conflict of interest, as the ESL has a circuit of tournaments throughout the year. Interim league commissioner Pietro Fringuelli denied such a conflict when asked, instead focusing on players' and teams' rights.

No North American teams were included in WESA. Sources close to many of the teams have expressed some skepticism to both ESPN and Scott "SirScoots" Smith, the latter who is a well-known events logistics coordinator and esports host.

The history of Counter-Strike itself warrants some caution for the fledgling organization. A year ago, team owners and representatives from ESL, Twitch and Vulcun met in San Francisco to discuss the possibility of an exclusive Counter-Strike league, as reported by The Daily Dot. While that league has not come about yet, these eight teams putting their scheduling faiths in the hands of WESA could be a step in that direction.