Contracts in South African CS:GO

There is an argument doing the rounds, regarding contracts in local CS:GO spheres and it mainly revolves around players being hounded for not honoring their contracts. Heck, even I had that opinion in my last article.

I realised how shortsighted that opinion was, when I sat back and considered the root of this issue.

There were no formal contract systems in place in South Africa. Some of the stronger and more prestigious teams had such a thing in place, but never was it the norm, nor was it ever needed.

The contract system was born with the DGL Masters, and it was clear back then that any organisation who wanted to make a name for themselves had to take part in the DGL Masters tournament. Therefore, most of your top organisations opted into the model and contracted their DotA 2 and CS:GO squads.

What’s frustrating though, was that many MGO’s were forced to either get a DotA 2 or CS:GO team, even though they never had one, or didn’t have a competitive one.

So we kicked off 2016 with players being contracted with little to no compensation. Now I never said teams have to pay their players, but I don’t see the point in signing a contract and having to be bound by its many stipulations if there is no benefit for you as the player.

DGL is now VS and with emerging competitors in the market in the form of Mettlestate, Orena and Mega8 — there is absolutely no reason for any team to feel compelled to be part of the Masters, which is the only tournament that requires such stringent MGO/player relationships.

I’ve also heard the argument that contracting players stops them from jumping around, and that it’s a good thing that they can’t do that.

This is a very dangerous train of thought — you don’t want players to be contractually bound for a year in an esport which has short 4-month seasons. You don’t want players to compete for a team they don’t want to be with, but have to due to contractual obligations — this is regressive and will eventually cause players to completely break away from organisations.

When we look at the MixKompany debacle in which Axtremes attempted more Youtube hits by trying to cause drama between teams and players.

Why do you think neither of those teams just formed together with WRG or APG respectively? Players are tired of being contracted to teams which provide little to no benefit.

I’m not sledging APG or WRG — I’m simply pointing out the reality that they do not have the capital currently to provide teams with more than hardware support and the travel/accomodation cost which teams historically carried now lies with the tournament organisers.

Everyone argues for a team’s brand and the damage it might do, but WRG never had a good CS:GO brand and only ever made a CS:GO team to enable their DotA 2 team to compete in masters. If anything, the CS:GO team was more damaging, as it was constantly shuffling and took part in a few episodes of drama.

The important point I’m trying to illustrate is that the CS:GO market in South Africa currently does not have organisations with the type of capital structure to give players any tangible benefit, other than a “reputation” or some hardware — so why must players be expected to sign lengthy contracts with clauses which severely restricts their esports career in the short- and long-term, for little to no benefit? That’s not fair.

There is no motivation for an MGO currently to treat it’s players well or try to accommodate them because the players are already contracted, so the MGO can theoretically treat them like shite but the player is bound so he can’t go anywhere.

CS:GO needs to happen naturally and once a team reaches a certain level, they always tend to stick together and this is the only way that teams should be bound — by sheer will.

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