eSports teams are moving closer to establishing a union to improve conditions and expectations from tournament organisers. The email, which was sent to various organisers around the world, outlines the minimum requirements for participating in tournaments; which includes bathrooms separated from fans, minimum prize money, and 4-star hotel lodgings.
The email, which was sent in private on 3 October, is an example of teams looking to improve the conditions for their players. eSports is a rapidly growing market, and it is likely that the move has been spurred by supposedly “major” eSports events that were badly organised. The most recent being Gaming Paradise in Slovenia, which was delayed after players’ passports were confiscated by police and had computers that lacked the GPUs to run the games. Even the Valve sponsored Dota Asian Championships saw players dealing with cheap plastic chairs during matches.
These requirements will go into effect from next year, allowing potential organisers to time to get their act together and realise that bringing in teams of this size is no simple matter. Organisers will have to cover team travel expenses, which should be separate from the prize money. Teams are also expecting transportation to and from the event venue, and should be put up in a minimum of a four star hotel. Despite the tall order for lodgings, the players are still willing to share rooms; which indicates that this requirement is more about keeping the players comfortable during their stay.
Other requirements involve things that should be obvious to tournament organisers, but apparently needs to be said. This includes good chairs in the booths, tables with enough space for each player, and a dedicated bathroom for players. The union is also requiring that prize money be paid within three months of the tournament.
Considering the increasing size of tournament payouts, it shouldn’t be too difficult for big organisers to meet the requirement. However, it may make it impossible for smaller organisers to attract the big names to participate in their events. It may end up locking out less affluent countries from holding major eSports events, but it will also ensure a minimum standard that players can look forward to.
A players union shows that the teams are beginning to take themselves seriously, and are more than just a bunch of kids playing video games. Protecting the interests of the players will require a lot of work from everyone involved; with any luck this move will raise the standard of eSports around the world. If anything, it will make it much harder for people to cut corners while organising tournaments.
Those interested in looking at the email can find it here.