Seven prominent North American eSports organizations have banded together to form the Professional eSports Association, which aims to be a team-owned league that shares profits with players and provides them with benefits like health insurance.
It's a notable attempt to treat the business of eSports more like a profession than a passion, one that's well in line with similar ventures earlier this year like the not-for-profit British eSports Association and the ESL-backed World eSports Association.
Of course, WESA came under fire shortly after it was formed for potential flaws in its regulatory efforts, most notably that teams on the council that helps establish WESA regulations also compete in WESA-sanctioned tournaments -- meaning they could potentially block rule changes that might place them at a competitve disadvantage.
It's yet unclear whether PEA will face the same challenges. The venture is fully funded by its founding teams (Team Liquid, Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NRG eSports, and compLexity Gaming) and, like, WESA, it will have its own commissioner, Jason Katz.
That's important because while sports league commissioners are typically empowered to make and/or enforce league rules, WESA's interim commissioner stated in May that in his organization "the power is only in the members meeting."
The role Katz will play in the PEA remains to be seen, as the new league will begin its first competitive season (revolving around Counter-Strike: GO) in January. However, Yahoo eSports reports he stressed that "we will have the highest level of transparency in the industry" during a conference call today.
PEA will also have a Rules Committee and a Grievances Committee (the former to provide guidance on PEA rule-making, the latter to address player concerns), each of which will include player representatives.
The new league also claims that "players and owners will receive an equal 50 percents share of profits" and, perhaps more interestingly, casters who take part in the PEA will receive the same share that players do. As noted earlier, PEA also intends to offer players benefits like retirement planning and health insurance.