Organization Continues Growth in North America to Further Professionalize Esports
NEW YORK CITY – March 30, 2017 – Today, WESA announced that both SK Gaming and Renegades have joined WESA as full members. These additions demonstrate the continued growth of WESA’s North American presence.
“We’re thrilled that SK Gaming and Renegades have elected to add their esports brands to the growing collection of leading teams that comprise WESA,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner of WESA. “These teams will be a positive influence within WESA, and their contributions in the months and years ahead will be an important part of enhancing our collective vision for the organization.”
SK Gaming is a leading esports organization and one of the world’s most recognized brands in competitive video gaming. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Cologne, Germany, “Schroet Kommando” has grown from a passionate group of friends into a successful esports business. SK Gaming’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) squad is currently ranked #3 in the world.
“We have been looking for ways to partner with the leading organizations in order to both professionalize the industry, as well as grow our profile. We believe that the organization fits our strategic goals with the collection of teams within WESA,” said Alex Muller, CEO of SK Gaming. “We look forward to working collectively with all of the other WESA members to take esports mainstream.”
“We have had very open communication with WESA and they have been very transparent about what they have planned in the future,” said Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo, Professional Player for SK Gaming. “As a team, we believe that some regulations are needed in the CS:GO landscape and are happy to contribute and make ourselves heard in the process. We believe that SK Gaming will be a valuable asset to the association and are looking forward to working with everybody involved on growing the game we love.”
Renegades is a North American based professional esports organization comprised of teams that play CS:GO, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Super Smash Bros. In September 2016, Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko purchased the rights to the Renegades franchise. The Celtics forward signed the CS:GO players, based out of Australia, and moved them into a house and training center in Rochester, Michigan, with a coach and a manager. Jerebko joins a growing list of NBA players and organizations that have recently entered the esports arena, including Rick Fox, Shaquille O’Neal, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors (through the Axiomatic group).
“To reiterate what I said when I purchased Renegades a few months back, I plan to operate our organization in the same fashion that NBA teams function — with respect and support for the players and an appreciation for the fans,” said Jonas Jerebko, owner of Team Renegades. “The esports industry is evolving and the parallels to mainstream sports are becoming clearer. My experience in sports can positively impact Renegades and, in turn, the esports industry, and I firmly believe that WESA is the right association to help realize those goals.”
WESA was founded in May 2016 by eight of the world’s most popular esports teams (Fnatic, Natus Vincere, EnVyUS, Virtus.pro, G2 Esports, Faze Clan, mousesports, Ninjas in Pyjamas) and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, who shared a collective vision to further professionalize the sport by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations and revenue sharing for teams. Based on traditional sports association models, WESA also aims to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters by engaging all appropriate stakeholders. The Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the first professional esports competition played under WESA regulations.