Seven pro video game competition teams from North America have banded together to create a new eSports group, the Professional eSports Association (PEA), with the group competing for a prize pool of at least $1 million during its first year.
The teams — Team Solomid (TSM), Cloud9, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), Immortals, NRG eSports and compLexity Gaming — will compete playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) twice a week beginning in January 2017, with matches streamed live online.
"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 in a statement. "This has been the architecture of traditional major sports leagues for many decades, but it is a new evolution for eSports. This will allow us to finally build a stable, healthy, long-term environment for the players, the community, the media and the sponsors."
Players and owners will split profits from the league 50-50 and the PEA promises to provide retirement, investment planning, health insurance and other benefits to players. Player reps will sit on both a rules committee and grievances committee.
"This marks the end of the 'Wild West' days of eSports," said Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne. "The community and players want stability and dependability. Leagues come and go, teams join them and depart, but with the PEA, the teams are making a long-term commitment to be here, playing for the fans, for the indefinite future."