eSports players need industry-wide representation

The head of competitive gaming body eSports Integrity Coalition has said that players must band together to influence industry decisions.

Speaking to eSports Pro, Ian Smith said that pro-gamers are the main draw for eSports events, yet they have little say in any part of the sector. Furthermore, if a corruption scandal kills the game they are playing, they stand to lose more than anyone.

My biggest issue in eSport is the lack of representation for players by players,” Smith said.

They really need to get organised. The players, the people at the bottom of the heap, are the product. They’re the ones with the fanbase, the ones signing autographs, the ones people come and fill stadiums to see and watch for hours on Twitch. Yet they don’t have any organised say in any part of the industry. They really need to get organised because you get people like me coming along and saying: ‘Hey, the new rules about anti-corruption code is X’ and I get zero feedback.

It’s players’ careers that are at risk here. Who is going to suffer most from, for example, a major scandal in a particular game? It’s the players of that title.

If a game dies because of a scandal, a tournament organiser carries on. A major team will survive because it has people playing in other games. But it’s the players of that game that will lose their jobs, their fanbase and their ability to make a living doing what they love. They have the most direct interest in the integrity of eSports. And yet, they have no voice. And I’d love to have somebody to talk to on that front.”

There has been calls before for an eSports players union, which prompted ESL and several teams to form the World Esports Association (WESA) in May.

You can read more from Ian Smith on eSports regulation in this week’s eSports Pro issue.

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