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ESL, DreamHack and CSPPA Announce Partnership to Sign Framework Agreement for ESL Pro Tour

Aditya Singh Rawat
16th Jan, 2020

Cover Image Courtesy: ESL Counter-Strike - Helena Kristiansson | Thumbnail Image Courtesy: Liquipedia

ESL, DreamHack, and Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA) announced a partnership to establish the participation framework for players participating in the ESL Pro Tour. This agreement takes care of both the needs of players as well as that of tournament organizers to ensure the professionalization of competitive CS:GO.

This framework agreement is being labelled as the first-ever of its kind to take place in esports by the parties involved, who describe it as being modelled on the basis of similar agreements used in traditional sports.

[Also Read: Pro League Teams to be Penalized if they Decline Multiple ESL Invites]


This agreement covers all competitions within the ESL Pro Tour, with the partnership extending as ESL and DreamHack’s ongoing cooperation with CSPPA. The three bodies involved will together work on the following,

  • Governance of the tournament circuit.

  • Participation in business revenues.

  • Defining player rights.

  • Obligations at live events.

  • Making the current ESL tournament conditions the standard across tournaments.

  • ESL Pro Tour events calendar.

  • Summer and Winter player breaks.

Apart from tackling these current problems, the three parties will also work towards the following projects in the near future,

  • Player contracts.

  • Player intellectual property rights.

  • Potential upcoming joint projects.

The CSPPA is representing all of its member players and will be constantly providing input from players about their working conditions, as and when a problem arises. The CSPPA will also be electing a representative from their side to the ESL Pro League Player Council, which helps govern the league.

Mads Oland - CEO of the CSPPA, offered a few words on the partnership,

“The life of a professional CS:GO player revolves around tournament participation all over the world. This makes the working conditions of players in connection with tournaments a key priority of the CSPPA. In the current tournament landscape, ESL sets the industry standard for such working conditions and with this partnership, ESL has committed to maintain and develop such standards in close cooperation with the CSPPA.”

Ulrich Schulze - Senior Vice President Product at ESL, gave a few words of his own,

“It was ESL’s priority over the last 24 months to ensure that CS:GO pros regard our tournaments as best in class. The natural extension of this effort is recognizing the CSPPA as a partner in improving the ESL Pro Tour.  This partnership is a very important milestone for us, as well as a big step forward towards the future of the industry.”


The partnership between the three parties is announced at a time when ESL Pro League is under scrutiny after there have been alleged reports of something known as a “Lanxess Agreement” whose terms go against Valve’s guidelines on “Exclusivity”.

[Also Read: ESL Allegedly Proposes Controversial Contract for Pro League]

ESL has scheduled a meeting with some top CS:GO organizations in Paris, France from 22nd - 24th January. The outcome of that meeting is being awaited, as ESL remains tight-lipped on the whole situation. This sense of urgency to lockdown teams has sprung due to their being rumours of a $2 Million NA based tournament coming up in March by the name of “B Site”.


The framework agreement announced will come into effect with the start of IEM Katowice 2020, the second tournament of the ESL Pro Tour, which kicks off next week with the commencement of DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020.

[Also Read: All Teams Locked down for DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020]



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Aditya Singh Rawattwitter_link

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Aditya Singh Rawat is the in-house CS:GO editor at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.