After very successful two years, WESA will expand its leadership group to build upon the positive developments and to further grow the organization

Zug, Switzerland – August, 16th 2018 – WESA was founded in May 2016 with the aim to further professionalize esports. Now, two years later, a large portion of this goal has been achieved. Starting with eight founding members and the CS:GO Pro League as a prototype for league operations, WESA has added five more teams and expanded into titles, such as Paladins and Rainbow 6, and founding Rainbow 6 Pro League. In cooperation with Hi-Rez and Ubisoft, WESA saw success in further professionalizing esports through standards and regulations.

Since founding, WESA has proven the success of its model through the joining of Member teams who share the same vision, and adding to its roster of professional leagues next to the already prestigious CS:GO Pro League, such as the formation of Rainbow 6 Pro League. With the addition of these titles, leagues, and teams, WESA is now able to reach several new audiences and communities within esports. The company plans to build on the success of past seasons and continue to professionalize the industry.

The Members of WESA also developed a fair, balanced, and attractive ecosystem for all participants relying on transparent and proven practices and principles. For example, to maintain competitive integrity WESA developed the Multi Team Ownership regulations, preventing several teams being owned by one entity, various code of conduct regulations (i.e. regarding doping) and clear mechanisms for player transfers. Non-WESA teams have also agreed on complying with WESA regulations, which shows that other industry leaders share the vision.

Additionally, WESA worked with ESL to develop a new travel policy that ultimately enhanced the player experience at offline events. Within this policy, CS:GO Pro League covered the travel
and accomodations for specific organizations that elected to travel their team manager. Havung the manager present onsite also improved the quality of the event for fans and viewers since they could handle onsite responsibilities, allowing the players to better focus their attention and energy on their performance.

Ken Hershman, who joined WESA as commissioner in 2016, has helped to achieve the goals set by the teams in the initial phase of WESA’s development. He transformed the startup organization into a sustainable company. Moving forward, a larger group will lead WESA and manage the day to day operations. This group will be headed by Pietro Fringuelli, who will take over the duties as the Commissioner and Chairman of the executive board. Fringuelli already has an extensive knowledge about the structure and operation of the WESA as he helped since 2015 the teams and ESL to develop the legal framework long before the official founding. Hereinafter, he was awared in October 2017 by the Financial Times for his innovative work for WESA with the Innovative Lawyer Award in Europe. “We are excited that Pietro with his extensive experience in the field of international sport organisations is joining WESA in order to expand its operations. We have had many learning experiences since the launch WESA on different levels, which we have learned from with the ambition of improving in order to position the organisation for further growth,” stated Hicham Chahine, CEO of NiP and Member of the executive board.

To add even more expertise to the WESA, Jan Pommer, will join as special adviser to the new Commissioner and the teams to achieve new goals in this second phase. Jan has served until 2015 as Commissioner of the German Basketball Bundesliga and afterwards as managing director of the DSM, the sales agency of the Deutscher Olypmischer Sportbund (German National Olympic Committee). His expertise and experience will help to establish the WESA as a trusted partner and an international federation.

The executive board around Wouter Sleijffers, Hicham Chahine, Ralf Reichert and Sebastian Weishaar would like to thank Ken Hershman for his work in the name of all WESA members.

About WESA

WESA was founded in May 2016 and counts as its Members thirteen of the world’s most popular esports teams (EnVyUS, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, OpTic Gaming, Renegades, SK Gaming, Splyce and Virtus.pro) together with ESL, the world’s largest esports company. This elite group shares a collective vision to continue to professionalize esports by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations and revenue sharing for teams. Based on traditional sports association models, WESA also aims to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters by engaging all appropriate stakeholders. Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Paladins are the first two professional esports competition played under WESA guidance.

Media contact:
Lukas Breitweiser
Assistant to the Commissioner