WESA, or the World Esports Association, has added SK Gaming and Renegades to its members list.
The Switzerland-based organization aims to further professionalize esports by addressing topics like player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue sharing. The addition of SK Gaming and Renegades expands WESA’s member list to a total of 10 organizations.
Expanding its industry presence
SK Gaming and Renegades are both established organizations with competing teams in multiple esports. While Renegades was founded in May 2015, Germany’s SK Gaming is an older member of the industry: the organization was established back in 1997. WESA believes that the addition of the two new teams will help grow the organizations’ North American presence.
“We’re thrilled that SK Gaming and Renegades have elected to add their esports brands to the growing collection of leading teams that comprise WESA,” said WESA Executive Chairman and Commissioner Ken Hershman. “These teams will be a positive influence within WESA, and their contributions in the months and years ahead will be an important part of enhancing our collective vision for the organization.”
“We have been looking for ways to partner with the leading organizations in order to both professionalize the industry, as well as grow our profile,” said SK Gaming CEO Alex Müller. “We believe that the organization fits our strategic goals with the collection of teams within WESA. We look forward to working collectively with all of the other WESA members to take esports mainstream.”
Just a year after its creation, Renegades was purchased by Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko. The Swedish NBA player joined other basketball players to recently enter the esports market, including Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal.
“To reiterate what I said when I purchased Renegades a few months back, I plan to operate our organization in the same fashion that NBA teams function — with respect and support for the players and an appreciation for the fans,” Jerekbo said. “The esports industry is evolving and the parallels to mainstream sports are becoming clearer. My experience in sports can positively impact Renegades and, in turn, the esports industry, and I firmly believe that WESA is the right association to help realize those goals.”
WESA’s mixed reception
From its beginnings, the organization has received a mixed reception. While its goals are clear — creating a fair dialogue among teams, tournament organizers, broadcasters, and players — the lack of provided detail on how to achieve them has put WESA’s legitimacy in question.
Only two weeks after its creation, founding team FaZe Clan left the organization claiming a lack of transparency. This further strained the WESA’s public image.
Despite the uncertainty, SK Gaming pro Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo says things have changed.
“We have had very open communication with WESA, and they have been very transparent about what they have planned in the future,” Toledo said. “As a team, we believe that some regulations are needed in the CS:GO landscape and are happy to contribute and make ourselves heard in the process. We believe that SK Gaming will be a valuable asset to the association and are looking forward to working with everybody involved on growing the game we love.”