Behind-the-scenes drama has ended a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament before it could start.
The Professional Esports Association (PEA) today announced that it is suspending its plans to run a league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a team-based shooter that’s one of the most popular games in the world. It said it made the decision after a majority vote by players of its teams, noting in a press release sent to GamesBeat that “there isn’t sufficient financial support in the ecosystem, either from broadcast/streaming partners, sponsors, or others, to profitably operate a third prominent online league, due to the oversaturation of the marketplace and the recent upward spiral in operating costs.”
Esports is becoming a big market, with an estimated $892 million in revenues in 2016, according to market researcher SuperData Research.
In December, many of the PEA’s teams protested with an open letter when the organization made a rule that its competitors could not participate in the ESL Pro League tournaments for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. PEA defended itself by saying that an oversaturation of leagues featuring the same teams would be bad for its business and that it did not want its players’ schedules to grow overloaded.
“Though the agreements which the players negotiated and signed with the organizations give the organizations the right to decide where players compete (as with all team sports contracts), the PEA organizations decided to do the PEA CS:GO league only if a majority of the players said they wanted to play in PEA rather than EPL,” the PEA noted in its press release.
Those teams chose EPL, which recently changed the prize pool of its tournament from $750,000 to $1 million per season. It also announced a plan to share 10 percent of gross revenues with non-WESA (World Esports Association) teams, which PEA says “half of which was promised to the seven PEA organizations and players.” PEA also said that those organizations would not receive the revenue percentage unless they agreed not to play in PEA’s CS:GO competitions for two years while committing to EPL for the same time period.