After weeks of rumors, FaZe Clan have officially confirmed that they have left the World Esports Association. The team revealed the move in a statement on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.
FaZe Clan was one of the original eight teams that founded WESA earlier this month in collaboration with ESL. The main goal for the association was to “create an open and inclusive organisation to oversee standardized tournament regulations, player representation as well as revenue sharing for teams."
Though FaZe was a founding member, there has been speculation that the team was considering leaving since a report by IGN’s Kevin Knocke surfaced, saying they were planning to drop out. The report claimed that ESL was pressuring teams to exclusively partner with them for talent representation, and that FaZe wanted to retain their current agency.
In FaZe's statement on Facebook, the organization gave the organization praise for what it's trying to accomplish, but said it wasn't a good fit for their team.
"WESA is a pro-active initiative with a big vision," FaZe wrote. "We clearly see the upside of building a product that aligns the pro scene and provides stability. The big vision executed would be a right step towards progressing e-sports into more of a traditional sports setup and all the benefits that comes with that."
However, FaZe said they “feel that WESA still has lots of challenges to overcome" and that they "feel that right now it's not the best place for us to be.”
The statement deflected rumors that FaZe Clan would be paying up to $50,000 in penalties for withdrawing from the new organization. “WESA would never penalize organizations for having a difference of opinion and they respect our decision,” FaZe wrote.
WESA released an official statement about FaZe's departure shortly after the announcement. "Creating an association such as WESA from the ground up is an immense undertaking for all involved parties and something that requires immense commitment of time and effort," the organization wrote. "While we regret the fact that FaZe has decided to take this step and are disappointed to see them go, we understand and accept their decision to put their current focus elsewhere."
According to a report by ESPN's Jacob Wolf also published Wednesday, FaZe said in a statement to ESPN that they were offered a $150,000 payment for membership in WESA, but they did not collect the payment before withdrawing.
Wolf also wrote that FaZe felt WESA was only "halfway there" and was not ready to go public, a concern they raised with WESA leadership both before and after its official launch. Team representatives reportedly said the main reason they joined the organization was because they felt it would help them integrate into the European CS:GO scene, since its membership comprised the majority of major European teams.
FaZe Clan ends its Facebook statement saying they’re going back to “what truly matters; building FaZe Clan, keep grinding FaZe 2.0 (which is still in the humble beginnings), and to make our incredible fans proud.”
In its statement, WESA says its next steps are to create a more tangible structure and ruleset for the organization. "This includes an election of the Players Council, the appointment of players in the Executive Board, the formalization of the Arbitration Court to prevent future wrongdoings between teams and/or/towards players, and expanding the number of members of the association," the statement said.
Olivia Da Silva is a news editor at theScore esports. You can usually find her freaking out over someone's dog or telling terrible jokes to anyone who will listen. Feel free to follow her on Twitter.