On June 29th, 2018, the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association(CSPPA) was announced. This is the first association of its kind in esports and marks an important day in the movement to serve and represent players. As esports grows, it is likely that future organizations like this one will be created to serve players of other esports. There may be a Hearthstone Professional Player’s Association in the near future.
This organization was set up by the esports personality Scott “SirScoots” Smith who collaborated with a superstar founding board of professional Counter-Strike players. These seven superstars are tasked with making all decisions on behalf of the association in the goal of developing the ‘best possible conditions for players’. The legal and daily operations of the organizations will be handled by two representatives of the Danish Elite Athletes Association. Currently, “any player who is contracted or actively seeking a contract as a professional Counter-Strike player and ‘who competes at an elite level’ is eligible to be an active member of the CSPPA.” This step towards inclusion rather than exclusion is a hopeful sign for the future of esports players’ representation in future associations.
Other efforts for player associations have been documented in Overwatch as well. One veteran sports labor attorney Ellen Zavian spoke about a potential Overwatch association, “I don’t see this PA (players association) as any different than any other PA just because it’s esports,” Zavian said. “So this isn’t something that will be a lighthearted step. This will be a big step.” The trend of large esports gaining legitimacy is being recognized and will hopefully spread to esports other than CS:GO and Overwatch.