As the esports industry continues to develop and mature, the need for regulation and player care follows closely behind. With that need in mind, the Professional eSports Association (PEA) was announced earlier today. PEA, kicking off its league with a minimum $1 million prize pool for its inaugural year, will first host a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league in January 2017. PEA states that it will be "dedicated to professional eSports and focused on bringing unprecedented benefits to pro players."
Seven major North American esports organizations have already committed to PEA. Team SoloMid, Cloud9, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NRG eSports and compLexity Gaming are the founding team franchises for the newly minted league. Marketing itself as an "Owner-Operated league aiming to be the NBA of eSports," PEA is taking a different approach with its league from the usual model, where the league organizer is independent of players and teams. "The PEA represents something new in eSports -- an association of top teams running their own league and sharing the profits and the decision-making with the players," said PEA Commissioner Jason Katz.
The PEA looks to set the standard for player care by ensuring that both players and owners receive an equal 50 percent share of profits, retirement and investment planning, health insurance and more. Moreover, PEA will give a voice to professional players in league operations, among other matters. There will also be player representatives that will sit on both a Rules and a Grievances Committee as well.
"It's time for leagues to share the rewards and strategic decisions with the players," said Andy Dinh, CEO of TSM, "and the best way for team organizations to do that is for us to do it ourselves."
The PEA will hold twice weekly CS:GO matches that will be streamed during the initial 10-week season.