E-sports Team Union Formalises and Reveals Demands For 2016
While it has never been mentioned in a formal capacity it has been evident in the omnipresence of the same brands at not just major events but also at meetings to map out e-sports future, such as ESL’s failed bid for an exclusivity league. Primarily the union had communicated in unofficial channels, with several tournament organisers speaking privately of finding themselves having to change details of their events to ensure that teams attended. Now we can see the members and their proposals in public for the first time.
The e-mail, that was sent to representatives of major tournament organisers ESL, DreamHack, StarLadder, FACEIT, PGL, MLG, CEVO, Joindota, Dotacinema, One Game Agency (DotaPit & CounterPit), ESEA, ESWC, Dreamz Media, BTS, Fragbite and Gfinity, was written by the CEO of Ukrainian e-Sports organisation Na’Vi Alexander Kokhanovskyy. He has been involved in such matters before, most notably after a dispute with the organisers of Copenhagen Games in 2013 that saw them withdraw from the competition. This prompted him to publish a “Manifesto of Responsibility” aimed at such tournaments and since then he has been trying to gather team owners together to ensure better treatment.
He has found willing participants it seems. The e-mail lists Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, CLG, Cloud9, Virtus.pro, Astralis, Fnatic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, G2 Esports and Team EnVyUs as represented but doesn’t make it clear if that is the complete membership. The letter, which you can read in its entirety here, lists a series of base requirements for team participation at tournaments. These include a statement that they will decline all online-only events that have no LAN finals, with the exception of the US teams. As the US has less events their prize money demands are reflected in that, stating long competitions must have at least $30,000 in prize money to guarantee their inclusion. For events last four days or less this amount is set at $10,000.
For events outside of the US, or events in the US that include international teams, the organisations have set the prize money bar a lot higher. For Counter-Strike: Global Offensive they will not participate unless the prize is $75,000 or higher. For Dota 2 this increases to $100,000. In addition the teams demand travel support to all events, stating the tournament organisers must either cover flights and hotel for six members (a team and a coach or other representative) ahead of attendance or retroactively pay the organisation no more than seven days after the event ends. The amount requested ranges from $12,000 for Europe to US travel, down to $3,000 for CIS teams travelling in that region. Finally, there is also a formal request for travel to and from the airport as standard, a rider for the players, a dedicated bathroom exclusively for players and an agreement that no more than one best-of-three and best-of-five series combined in a single day.
While it is true that some tournament organisers have for some time needed to raise their game in terms of how they treat attendees, there is a possibility that some tournament organisers will not be able to meet these demands and, in the absence of big names attending, struggle to secure sponsors. It is also worth mentioning that multiple players who represent the organisations listed as being members of this team union were approached and they were unaware these requests were being made on their behalf.
E-mail which is delivered to representatives of major tournaments can be found below:
''Hi everyone, my name is Alexander Kokhanovskyy and I’m CEO of Na`Vi. I’m writing on behalf of teams union, which include Na`Vi, Team Liquid, CLG, Cloud9, VP, TSM, fnatic, NiP, Titan and EnVyUs. E-Sports has been developing rapidly for past few years and we want to establish more professional connection between top teams and big e-sports tournament & leagues organizers. All things listed in this e-mail applied from 1st of January 2016. This e-mail includes representatives of ESL, Dreamhack, Starladder, Faceit, PGL, MLG, CEVO, Joindota, Dotacinema, One Game Agency (DotaPit & CounterPit), ESEA, ESWC, Dreamz Media, BTS, Fragbite, Gfinity. Finally all of you are connected and you can “meet” each other. If you are not a right person for this type of information please pass it to proper people in your company.
Participation policy 2016:
We will decline all Dota 2 and CS:GO pure online events (without LAN Finals) invitations. The one and only exception will be US teams in CS:GO due to lack of LAN events. But they will set a minimum amount of prize money around 30.000$ USD for 1-2 months League and 10.000$ for 3-4 days event.
What kind online events we are talking about:
- Showmatches (except of sponsors events, for example G2A showmatch NAVI vs. Cloud9)
- 1-2 day online tournaments with 4-8 teams playing - King of the Hill, Zotac, etc.
- 2-3 months online leagues - Dotapit, XMG Captains Draft, GOCL etc.
The minimum amount of prize money for CS:GO will be 75.000$ excluding travel support
The minimum amount of prize money for Dota2 will be 100.000$ including in-game tickets, but excluding travel support
- Travel support should be completely separated from prize money
- Tournaments should provide a full travel support for Dota2 and CS:GO players + manager/coach, 6 in total.
- Tournaments should provide a full travel support for Hearthstone players
- Tournaments should provide a partly-covered travel support for Heroes of the storm players + manager/coach, 6 in total
Tournaments will have such options:
Option A: Paying for tickets (economy or higher with convenient connections and layover time) and hotels (4 stars or higher) prior to the event
Option B: Sending a travel support payment 7 days after event ends. Payment depends on the team origin region:
- EU/CIS - US should be 12000$ or 2000$ per player in HS, 6000$ per HotS team
- EU - EU should be 4000$ or 650$ per player in HS, 2000$ per HotS team
- CIS - CIS should be 3000$ or 500$ per player in HS, 1500$ per HotS team
- US - US should be 6000$ or 1000$ per player in HS, 3000$ per HotS team
- EU - CIS should be 6000$ or 1000$ per player in HS, 3000$ per HotS team
Option C: Combination of both
Media reports by teams
To increase overall value of events as well as media reach we are glad to do promo activities and provide media reports after each event. Each report will include:
- Website news about event (link, screenshot, news views or/and daily unique visitors during news date)
- Social media posts (matches, updates, info, etc.) in FB, VK, Twitter with hash-tag #teamonevent, i.e. #naviondhs15 (link, screenshot, posts views, likes, shares and comments)
- Embedding tournament live broadcasting on website and social media (link, screenshot, website major stats during those days, social media posts views, likes, shares and comments)
- Event promo video, i.e. highlights from online stages (if any - link, views, likes)
- Event coverage on website (optional)
You should receive such reports in PDF/PPT 14 days after event ends.
Media report by tournaments
To increase teams promotion and have a possibility to add such data in sponsors report we want to ask for such options:
- Event overall details (date, location, etc.)
- Tournaments standings/placements and prize money won
- Event pictures (10-12 in .rar)
- Teams pictures (all our teams that are on the event,2-3 photos per team in .rar)
- Event sponsors
- Broadcasting languages and studio
- Event visitors
- Broadcasting stats (online and LAN, for each unique viewers, views, hours watched, concurrent viewers)
- Broadcasting geo-stats
Such report should be available in PDF/PPT 14 days after event ends.
Additional Dota2 / CS:GO teams requirements (please read that as recommendation for HoTS/HS):
- Events should fill Tournament rider (see attached) prior to every event and send it to all teams in the group
- Transportation from/to airport
- Collect and store team banking details prior to the event. Just confirm with CEO/COO/Head Manager that bank details are same as they were on last event. Please don't confirm that only with team manager.
- Penalizing teams and players for not obeying event rules (causing delays, misbehave, etc.) by cutting off prize money
Additional Dota2 / CS:GO players requirements: (please read that as recommendation for HoTS/HS)
- Prize money should be paid not later than 3 months after event ends.
- Transportation from hotel to venue and back (if venue is far)
- If 6 players are travelling we are expecting 3 rooms with 2 double-beds in each
- Dedicated bathroom for players with no access for fans/crowd
- Not more than 1x BO3 + 1x BO5 per day
- If possible, equal conditions to all teams participating (avoid match-ups too early if team left venue at 2:00 am, same warmup/rest time, etc.)
- Provide a good seats (comfortable chairs such as DXracer) and enough space for each player (tables at least 1.2m x 0.8m per player)
- Players lounge with no access for crowd, practice area and food is warmly welcome
Hope for fruitful cooperation in 2016!''