ESL gives eSports an official oversight body

The World Esports Association should give competitive gaming a solid foundation.

Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

While eSports is now a big money-maker, it's still wildly inconsistent at times: rules, prizes and schedules can vary from league to league. The Electronic Sports League thinks the industry can do better, though. It's forming the World Esports Association (WESA), a governing body that will set standards for the fledgling sports field. WESA promises to bring "structure, predictable schedules and transparency" to competitive gaming, including how teams receive promotion and split revenue. Importantly, it's not just the higher-ups calling the shots -- there will be a player council, and teams will appoint two of WESA's five executive board members.

Eight eSports teams are helping to found the association, and the ESL Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be the first to abide by WESA rules.

Whether or not WESA gets a foothold depends on other league systems falling in line. Will Activision's Major League Gaming go for it, for example? Still, this is a big move that could be necessary for both giving eSports public recognition and making it a viable career path. Media outlets may be more likely to broadcast eSports if they know that it's above-board, and players might be quicker to sign up if they know they'll get enough prize money to supplement or even replace a more conventional job.