Counter Strike Get It’s Own Union For Pro Gamers

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Plans are afoot to create the first-ever players’ association for pro-Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as esports becomes an increasingly viable career path. CS: GO has been named Esports Game of the year and the scene is growing rapidly, along with viewing numbers, prize pools, and the monthly salaries of its leading proponents. Gabriel “Fallen” Toldeo amassed total earnings of $660,000 last year, illustrating what a lucrative pursuit playing CS: GO can be. It is now becoming further bolstered by news of a Union-style global players’ association.

Esports personality Scott Smith, also known as SirScoots, is driving the new association alongside lawyer Michael Doi. “Every day I sign another guy,” said Smith. “I would say 70 or so have signed an official membership document that they are for the players association, are behind the players association, they want to be in the players association.” The organization will be known as the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, but the global nature of the game means it will not be formed under the law of the US or any other country. Most pro-CS: GO players are scattered across Europe, while around a fifth are based in the US.

But the players in the CSPPA are all singing membership letters and will use their collective power to guarantee their rights to working conditions. Collective bargaining is always a powerful tool, and the bigger it gets the more influential it will become.

Tournament directors are likely to fall increasingly upon the CSPPA when devising competitions, as there is no other organization like it within CS: GO. Riot Games itself formed a League of Legends players union, while there are also plans to launch one for Overwatch pros. Thomas “Morte” Kerbusch and attorney Ellen Zavia are behind that one, and they say it will operate like any players’ union covering the more traditional sport. Josh Swartz, president and co-founder of Catalyst Sports & Media, an esports advisory firm, said: “I believe the formation of a players association, or more accurately multiple players associations across different publishers, leagues, and games, is inevitable.”

Indeed, it may be in the best interests of the owners as well as the players, as esports comes ever closer to resembling any other popular sport in the world. There is certainly plenty of money flying around the CS: GO scene right now. Prize pools have topped $1 million in the LEAGUE and the World Electronic Sports Games, while sponsorship deals and streaming sales help pros top up their earnings. Gaming is also becoming more widespread within the game and online sportsbooks are offering all manner of markets on tournaments and individual matches has great odds available, check them out to browse the wide array of options.

There are several big tournaments to look forward to this year, including the $1 million CS: GO Major is which will be held in London in September. It marks the most significant esports event to ever be held in the UK and illustrated the growing global influence of CS: GO. Wembley Arena is expected to sell out, and millions of fans will tune in online to watch the action unfold as the world’s best teams battle it out. “This is the biggest event we have ever organized, one of the biggest globally,” said organizer Michele Attisani. “It will be the largest eSports event in the UK’s history in terms of size and viewership. It’s one of the fastest-growing countries in terms of viewership, and having events like this is a validation of the UK esports market.” The last CS: GO, Major, held in the US, CS: GO, Major, held in the US, broke a record for the most concurrent viewers of an English-language esports event with 1.13 million fans watching live.

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