The recently formed Evolved Talent Agency which looks set to manage the eSports careers of professional teams and players has put forth its take on the PEA situation currently making headlines in CSGO. They support the decision making capability of the eSports athletes and believe in player rights. Making ultimatums is definitely not healthy to maintaining a relationship and prove to be a hindrance in mutually beneficial relationships.
Evolved Talent Agency believes that protecting the welfare and rights of esports athletes is the paramount to the success of this industry. Our mission is to make esports a better place for players, owners, and fans alike. Everyone benefits from an open dialogue about such issues as players’ rights in a cordial and professional manner. Therefore, we would briefly like to address some of the issues concerning players’ rights and the PEA situation.
First and foremost, issuing ultimatums is never healthy in any relationship. While several of ETA’s players signed the letter, we were neither aware nor were we consulted. We at ETA have collectively put in more pro bono hours the past two years, assisting players in getting what they deserve, than anyone else in the industry. We care about this community and we want to see a more level playing field between owners and players as the money continues to grow around esports. However, the reality is this explosion has resulted in public attacks without real conversation and knee-jerk reactions from the community on both sides. The fear we all share is that this kind of dialogue usually only results in emotional or appeasing reactions leading to resentment from both sides, friction, and the eventual collapse of a community we all know and love.
Mutually beneficial relationships are possible here, and we strive for such. Players and owners, through open dialogue, can find ways to make everyone successful and happy. The members of ETA have a long history of working on the other side of the table with each member of the PEA. While we consider the owners of each organization to be among the best in esports, we also recognize that there is still plenty of room for improvement. We know most of the players, both signed and unsigned, to the open letter and it is with a heavy heart we see this situation unfold. We believe, as a community, we can look back to what could have prevented this explosion, and look forward to how we can work to better the future.
Every community is different and ETA understands better than anyone in the business: esports professionals as a whole feel very left out of decision making and very taken advantage of. This is something we have worked to see change drastically in our time in esports. The contracts our clients sign now, compared to two years ago, are as different as night and day. Players did not have lawyers or agents back then, and today, we remain the biggest name in town for both categories.
We have changed salaries, term limits, benching structures, fine caps, injury liability, living standards, travel accommodations, renegotiation periods, bonuses, off season requirements, support staff, you name it. The one thing we do not negotiate is having a say on what leagues the players play in. That’s not on the table, and we understand why.
The players on an NFL team don’t get to demand to also play in the other professional leagues. They don’t get to choose their schedule. They accept a large salary and other benefits to go try their best to win for the team they play for. The same is true in esports. The whole of the industry has been moving in this direction. However, what those NFL players have that esports players do not, is a union. That union collectively bargains for them and makes sure it’s worth giving up the opportunity to play elsewhere. The same can be true here.
For a long time, I’ve said a union is too far off and not a logical next step in player side evolution. However, I believe we have reached a point where something needs to be done. We need our players to start taking their career as seriously as NFL players do. They need to know what they are signing, know what they are worth, and most importantly, stand together.
Evolved’s doors are open for any and all players who want to take their careers as seriously as we do. In the meantime, we are offering assistance and speaking with our clients to potentially help start a player-run union as soon as possible.
Source – Evolved Talent Agency