FIFA! You're probably familiar with the cuddly cartel responsible for countless deaths of migrant workers, millions of dollars in bribes and one New York apartment solely for an executive's "unruly cats." Over at SB Nation, we have an entire section dedicated to FIFA's well-publicized corruption. Let's see what's going on over the-
Well, there's a new esports organization that does not seem to have gotten the memo. The World Esports Association (WESA) launched Friday hoping to help professionalize the space "by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue sharing for teams." Sounds pretty good, right? And not all too dissimilar from former NFL player Chris Kluwe's idea for an international esports league.
Our friends at Polygon had a great rundown of what this organization is and what it's trying to do, with interviews and more.
But there's one thing that sticks out: WESA wants to be the FIFA of esports.
Pietro Fringuelli, WESA's interim commissioner, worked as an advisor for UEFA, Europe's governing soccer body, and is currently working with FIFA "on specific re-organizational tasks." UEFA president Michel Platini resigned in May after being banned for receiving a "disloyal" payment.
Fringuelli told Polygon he wants to avoid the problems plaguing FIFA, and says WESA can learn from those mistakes.
With FIFA there was this big reluctance to improve regulations when it comes to compliance. And now we see the results, what happens when you don't have strong and rigid regulations for compliance. We have this experience in other leagues, what went wrong, when it comes to fairness and integrity and other issues. The teams believe that we have the possibility to set up from scratch something new, that it's very clean.
WESA will begin eight partner teams, including some of the most popular esports brands in Europe, such as Fnatic, G2 Esports and Natus Vincere. Counter Strike: Global Offensive will be the first game WESA will be involved with, as the ESL Pro League will be the first competition played under WESA rules. ESL appears to be the only organization approached by WESA so far.
As to the lack of North American representation, ESPN's Jacob Wolf reports "sources close to many of the teams have expressed some skepticism to both ESPN and Scott 'SirScoots' Smith." Wolf cites a tweet from Smith that says each team involved with WESA was paid $150k.