Publisher Wargaming is planning to create a union of pro players, said the firm’s head of European eSports Nicolas Passemard.
Speaking to eSports Pro at Wargaming.net’s League Grand Finals, Passemard said: “We are thinking about creating a pro player union, so the players will be able receive assistance from us.
“We don’t want it to become a Wargaming organisation, we want the pro players to run it for the pro players, but we want to help them with things like legal advice and extra security so that they are better protected.”
The subject of a player union has always been a bit of a complicated one in eSports, many people believe that there should be a way for players to be a part of a union while others think that it is an unnecessary move at this stage. Passemard, however, says that their hand has almost been forced into creating a union for the players.
“It comes from a need to do something. We faced a few issues and incidents, and of course we didn’t like that because these incidents were not in favour of the players. So at a point we have to make a decision, either we get more directly involved or we keep having issues. We still want the players and the teams to lead a life of their own, because if we help them too much or if we do things for them they kind of lose the warm feeling of doing it themselves or they lose motivation, but in the end we had to do something. So we looked at some options and the best one is to help the pro players create a union for themselves. We have to do it, there will be issues, maybe we aren’t ready [for a players union] but we will find a way.”
Creating a union of this sort would effectively be the first official players union in eSports, which could start a tidal wave of new organisations to pop up, or they could join the Wargaming backed venture as Passemard explained.
“I’d like the union to be successful in a year, and get to a point where other games are looking and saying they would like to be a part of it. If it’s ran by the players and made by the players then at a point maybe it’s a natural evolution to bring in other games, if it is successful they will see the benefit of it.”
When asked Passemard refused to give more specific details about the union, as it is currently not at an advanced stage, but with the final event of the World of Tanks season now over more advanced talks about a union will most likely begin.