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Echo Fox Cited Issues with PEA Management Months Ago
INTERVIEW // CS:GO // By Dustin Steiner // 3mo ago
With the Professional Esports Association's existence in CS:GO now up to its players, in hindsight, it seems like no wonder that more teams weren't getting involved. Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall even hinted at the issues two months ago, while making sure to specify that they were in general in favor of teams banding together.
"What remains to be seen is, as these organizations evolve and crop up: how are they managed?" Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall said at the time. "The management and style of these organizations will dictate a lot and how they run are going to determine how other teams and advertisers interact with them. From our perspective, it's important to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing before Echo Fox gets more intimately involved."
But why would Echo Fox not have confidence in the teams involved in the PEA, and specifically, in its management? The PEA is managed by team owners themselves, in addition to the leadership of Jason Katz. While they may know a fair bit about running their own teams, none of the team owners have any experience running an esports league, much less one that demanded players compete in its league over one with a much more established pedigree like the ESL Pro League.
Even since the reports that PEA would seek to make its players compete in just the PEA and the ECS, they've had a hard time even managing their own players, let alone a league. Just in the past week, Team SoloMid owner Andy Dinh has been involved in a very public scandal in which he implicated new recruit Sean Gares in manipulating his players to speak out against the PEA.
And Echo Fox wasn't the only team to see these issues coming. According to a report by Richard Lewis, Optic Gaming also saw some of the same issues coming:
While it's unclear what the end result of the Professional Esports Association's involvement in Counterstrike will be at present, it is clear that some teams are content to operate within the current status quo for the time being.
It's also important to note that while the PEA did have some noble goals, like ensuring players get revenue sharing, retirement planning, benefits like health insurance, these were (presumably) primarily the team owners trying to generate more revenue for their teams and make their business more profitable - which is in itself not an evil thing to do; it's all about the benjamins at the end of the day.
Dustin Steiner has seen esports from nearly every angle, from tournament administration to live event coverage. He has worked in the space for over six years for outlets such as the Capcom Pro Tour, eSportsMax, ESFI World, Evil Geniuses and GameZone.