WESA to Introduce Arbitration Court
The World Esports Association, also known as WESA, has revealed plans to bring forth an independent arbitration court to mediate issues between, “All involved in esports.” This not just includes organizations and players but any party involved in eSports, including publishers.
The program is described as an alternative to all-out legal disputes, which can be extremely expensive and unfair as many players would not be capable of affording a proper lawyer, and will assist with issues such as prize money payout, player representation, breaches of contract, financial misconduct, and so on. Those requiring the court’s assistance will have their case submitted to a panel of three arbitrators, but parties involve may choose to only utilize one arbitrator for certain disputes (WESA did not specify what kinds of situations would qualify for the use of a single mediator). Every case that the arbitration court handles will be handled in a confidential manner, and WESA states that all decisions are final with no chance for appeals.
WESA promises that, although the court will be formed and provided by WESA, it will act completely independent of the organization. However, it is currently unclear of how the arbitrators would be selected for each case.
Executive Chairman and Commissioner of WESA, Ken Hershman, said in a statement that the organization decided to form the arbitration court is a crucial brick to be laid in eSports’ road to becoming professionalized, and that the impartial arbitration process ensures that all issues handled will be done so in a way that ensures fairness to all parties.
WESA was formed earlier this year in May by Fnatic, Natus Vincere, Team EnVyUs, Virtus.pro, G2 esports, FaZe Clan (Who announced their departure from the organization shortly after WESA’s reveal), mousesports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and ESL. WESA’s purpose was supposed to bring, “much-needed structure, predictable schedules, and transparency to the scene,” but immediately came under fire as the community almost unanimously agreed that ESL was to in control of the organization. Many critics accused WESA of being a way for ESL and top European teams to gain an upper hand in eSports to create, in short, an exclusive eSports league.
Despite the controversy surrounding WESA, little has changed since its formation. The only changes made have been centered on the ESL Pro League, including expanding the ESL Pro League Finals team pool from eight to twelve teams and distributing portions of Pro League revenue to teams that are a part of WESA. The announcement of an independent court that will handle legal disputes between parties in eSports is by far their biggest reveal.
“Having a framework, processes and a legal body to turn to when needed is an important next step in ensuring that professional gamers and their careers are guarded,” said Viktor Jendeby, Players Council Chairman. “With the Arbitration Court in place, I am confident that Players and Teams they play for will receive necessary help and support when needed, and that their interests will be protected.”
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai