Cover Image Courtesy: ESL Gaming - Helena Kristiansson | Thumbnail Image Courtesy: ESL Gaming - Bart Oerbekke
ESL is trying to commit teams to sign a document called the “Lanxess Agreement”, according to a report by DeKay on DBLTAP.com. This document is basically an attempt by ESL to try and lockdown teams for a four-year deal with ESL Pro League.
Their sources have pointed out that ESL Pro League’s term sheet still restricts teams from playing in other leagues that run for more than 14 days. If true, these terms have remained unchanged since September 2019 when Dexerto exposed them.
Moreover, these sources indicate that ESL has not yet formally presented Valve with their circuit concept or any of its terms, which ESL has denied. However, in a statement to DBLTAP, Ulrich Schulze - ESL Senior Vice President of Product indicated that this is false.
In December 2019, ESL had requested teams to sign non-binding letters of intent. It’s possible that this sudden urgency to lock-in teams could be due to the emergence of a rumoured NA based league called B Site.
In a bid to convince teams to sign the new agreement, DeKay alleges that ESL has requested around 13 organizations to meet them in person for a meeting, expected to take place from 22nd - 24th Jan.
Such a move might be against Valve’s rules, which they addressed in September in a blog post titled “Keeping Things Competitive”. Within the blog under the section talking about “Exclusivity” they clearly state that,
“Team exclusivity is an experiment that could cause long-term damage. In addition to preventing other operators from competing, exclusivity prevents other events from keeping the CSGO ecosystem functioning if an individual event fails.
At this time we are not interested in providing licenses for events that restrict participating teams from attending other events.”
It is still not certain if the current terms of the ESL Pro League are in violation of what Valve stands by, but it is certainly trying to be exclusive.