WESA and RFRSH yesterday announced that they have agreed that ‘RFRSH will comply with WESA’s Multi-Team Ownership Regulations’.
Under these rules, ownership or control of multiple esports organisations or teams that participate in Pro League is prohibited. For those unaware RFRSH is the Copenhagen based esports media company behind three sizable orgs in the form of Astralis, GODSENT and Heroic. This means that these teams will be able to take part in Pro League, and RFRSH will comply with this WESA ruling within the given 18 month time frame.
Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner, WESA commented: “The rules and regulations we have implemented are designed to protect the integrity of our Member organisations, their players and the esports industry at large.
“RFRSH has indicated that they also share the vision to invest in improvements for players, fans and the scene in general. We are very pleased that RFRSH has embraced the regulations and we look forward to continue working with them to move the industry forward.”
— WESA (@WESAofficial) June 29, 2017
Nikolaj Nyholm, CEO and Founder, RFRSH stated: “RFRSH shares the same vision as WESA and its Members to help further professionalize the esports industry.
“We are taking the necessary steps to comply to WESA’s rules and regulations and are excited to work alongside WESA and all of its Members.”
This decision does not mean that RFRSH and its teams have become WESA members, but we can presume that this is a stepping stone on the way to that reality. WESA’s members include EnVyUS, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OpTic Gaming, Renegades, SK Gaming, Virtus.pro and ESL.
The question now is which route does RFRSH take in terms of solving this multiple team ownership issue? Back in March, a statement on RFRSH’s site read as follows: ‘Under the RFRSH Model, the players have a minority share in the team and thereby all players are or will be co-owners of their respective teams. Thereby the players will also benefit from the financial success and/or a sale of the team.
‘We do not see a conflict in multiple team ownership under this model, as each team is and will be its own entity, however, when the teams and brands are fully established, RFRSH will no (longer) have a controlling share or ownership of the teams, brands or orgs.’ It stated earlier that the RFRSH model is designed to build, develop and establish viable teams and brands over a 36 month period. You can read this statement in full here.
Esports Insider says: WESA’s ruling on multiple team ownership is a good move and it’s positive to see more groups like RFRSH complying with it, even with the seemingly excessive 18 month grace period. What will now happen to Astralis, GODSENT and Heroic is very much up in the air.