This brings the total amount of WESA organisation team members to nine. Founding members still involved include Fnatic, NiP, G2 Esports, Team EnVyUs, Virtus.Pro, Natus Vincere and Mouz.
“We have been looking for ways to partner with the leading organisations in order to both professionalise the industry, as well as grow our profile. We believe that the organisation fits our strategic goals with the collection of teams within WESA,” said Alex Müller, MD of SK Gaming. “We look forward to working collectively with all of the other WESA members to take esports mainstream.”
SK Gaming was founded in 1997 and is based in Cologne with another office in Los Angeles.
Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner of WESA stated: “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. 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 pro Gabriel “Fallen” Toledo added: “We have had very open communication with WESA and they have been very transparent about what they have planned in the future. 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.”
Renegades is the team owned by Boston Celtics player Jonas Jerebko. He’s one of a number from the NBA that have involved themselves in esports to some degree in the past year. He bought the rights to the team in September 2016, and currently it has rosters in CS:GO, Smash, Overwatch and Call of Duty.
On the decision to join WESA, Jerebko noted: “To reiterate what I said when I purchased Renegades a few months back, I plan to operate our organisation in the same fashion that NBA teams function — with respect and support for the players and an appreciation for the fans.
“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 realise those goals.”
Esports Insider says: This is a little out of the blue as these are the first organisations to become WESA members since the founding eight. Of these eight only seven remain after FaZe Clan dropped out over fears around a lack of transparency. SK Gaming and Renegades are two big names to join the WESA pack and it follows the new set of regulations announced earlier this month. This most notably included a prohibition on multiple team ownership.