Nick J. January 22, 2020
The Counter-Strike: Professional Players Association announced that its player board has elected Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski to Chairman and Vice-Chairman positions.
In an official press release, the CSPPA announced that the Astralis and Team Liquid stars now hold the top positions available at the association. The CSPPA Chairman and Vice-Chairman positions are elected by a board of active Counter-Strike players. The board is currently made up of the following members:
- Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth
- Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski
- Chris "chrisJ" de Jong
- Epitácio "TACO" de Melo
- Tarik "tarik" Celik
- Nathan "NBK" Schmit
- Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert.
“I am very honored to have been chosen by my colleagues on the CSPPA board as the Chairman of the board. I’m excited to take on the tasks of helping [a new member sign] his first contract as well as making structural changes that benefit the players and the ecosystem of CS:GO as a whole,” said Xyp8x on his new role.
The organization also publically announced that Mads Øland will become the CSPPA’s full-time CEO after a year of holding the position part-time. Øland will leave his current Director position at the Danish Football Players’ Association to take on the role.
In addition, Michael Døi will become the Chief Operating Officer of the CSPPA.
Xyp9x, EliGE take CSPPA leadership roles during crucial time
EliGE and Xyp9x move into their new positions during a time of change for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Currently, there are three notable tournament circuits all fighting for fans’ attention in the BLAST Premier, the ESL Pro Tour, and the in-development “B Site.”
Despite Valve’s September ruling that exclusivity will not be allowed inside the Counter-Strike esports ecosystem, tournament organizers are utilizing clever scheduling to create a type of soft-exclusivity.
The CSPPA recently announced that it had entered into an agreement with ESL to hammer out a deal and provide players with increased rights and protections during their time in competitive Counter-Strike. The deal marks ESL as the first tournament organizer to sign an official agreement with the CSPPA.
At the moment, there is no public agreement between the CSPPA and BLAST Entertainment.
The league currently known as B Site is more complicated.
According to reports, the organizations themselves will own B Site. This will make it structurally similar to the National Football League and other traditional sports leagues. An agreement between the CSPPA and B Site would be more complicated, but could usher in serious changes to how teams, players, and tournament organizers work together.
Overwatch League shows how badly CSPPA is needed
Currently, membership in the CSPPA is optional for professional Counter-Strike players. Given the sheer number of pitfalls across esports, players are well-served in having a support network capable of enacting change.
The value of players having a collective voice can be seen in rival FPS, Overwatch. The Overwatch League has undergone major changes over the last month in anticipation of a shift to the League's structure which will require players to travel the globe in order to compete in franchise holders' home cities.
WIN.gg reported that several Overwatch League players are considering striking over Activision Blizzard’s travel demands. Though there is an appeal in the idea of local fans being able to watch their home team, pro players are being hit hard by this transition. If players had a way to more effectively voice these concerns ahead of these changes, it is possible these issues could have been nipped in the bud.