On Thursday, the Professional Esports Association broke a months-long radio silence to announce that Team Dignitas and Misfits had joined their ranks. Now, Misfits owner Ben Spoont and Dignitas CEO Jonathan Kemp are explaining exactly what their organizations get out of joining the PEA.
“For us, at a base line, there are a lot of shared services that will make our collective business much more efficient and therefore help not only ourselves as the org, but also our players,” Spoont told theScore esports. “A simple example is a pooled health care plan. So rather than a single team, for example Misifts, we have ten or so people here in North America, rather than going to an insurer and looking at rates for ten we can look across the nine member teams and quotes for potentially hundreds of people.”
Spoont also mentioned shared legal resources that could help teams process visas more efficiently, given that the member teams process 50 to 100 visas a year, according to Spoont. Meanwhile, there’s also the ability to talk to publishers and media distribution platforms as one body, and as Kemp notes, a better platform to grow esports with.
“We collectively believe we can represent ourselves better as a group of a number of teams as opposed to individual teams,” Kemp said. “I've said this before, but we said this as a group as Dignitas when the Sixers made the acquisition, as has Ben with his in Miami, but a lot of experience about running Sports organizations across multiple territories and multiple sports themselves, and we've said right from the go that we've wanted to bring that knowledge and know-how to help grow the esports ecosystem for everyone. For fans, for players, for teams, for partners, the community overall, and this is a logical next step for us overall in that process.”
Last time the PEA was in the news, the organization canceled its plans to found a North American CS:GO league after the member teams’ players voted against league exclusivity. Now that the organization has left that behind, Spoont says they’re open to exploring other games.
“The PEA is not designed anymore around any one particular game,” he said. “I also don't think when it was originally formed it was designed for one particular game. I obviously can't speak towards that, but the going forward strategy isn't about one game, it's about exploring the potential opportunities that are present and will arise in our ecosystem.”
Of course, while the PEA’s exact plans have not been set out yet, Kent says he hopes the organization stays focused on growing esports and helping the community. What forms that takes though, is still a mystery.
“Hopefully the reason we joined is what we want it to become,” Kent said. “Esports is still very much in its infancy, but the one thing I will say is that the coming together of this group of teams, we have an enormous reach in terms of social reach, I mean it is staggering. And in terms of our broadcast hours across various platforms, it is pretty unparalleled. As we look to the future what we hope is that we are able to bring that level of reach and harness that in ways that are positive to fans and the community at large.”
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.