The eSport association in Brazil is the first step to professional recognition. However, is it going on the right way?
Since 1920, Brazil’s greatest love is, without a doubt, a single sport: soccer. The country has, today, over 780 professional teams, and the biggest (Flamengo, a team from Rio de Janeiro) has more than 30 million fans. Since the 20’s, Brazil has an association and a federation to organize the tournaments, take care of the selling and payment of players, coaches and all the professional regulation. Besides the long history, Brazilian soccer business has many problems, mostly related to corruption disguised as bureaucracy. However, for good or for bad, the soccer market, as a whole, reaches over R$ 3 billion in revenue.
About eSports in Brazil, the history is shorter, of course, but it shows a determination to grow fast. The industry started in 2000, but only in 2007 teams in Country Strike had won big international championships and put Brazil into the eSports map. The national business started with 10 tournaments in 2000, having now over 150 in 2015. Its revenue surpassed R$500.000 in 2014.
With this growth, the teams became professionals and the games were getting serious business. In addition, serious business has to move forward.
“We want the union”.
In August, the best eSports teams from Brazil have announced the creation of the Associação Brasileira de Clubes de eSports (the ABCDE). They are:
The board has Lucas Almeida (IntZ) as president, Bob Vides (paIN Gaming) as vice president and Paulo Souto (Operation Kino) as Chief Financial Officer.
The association wants to present a more merged front for the eSports scene, to help to establish tournament organizers. TV networks and sponsors are the main objectives of the ABCDE. In their “book of rules”, are five priorities:
-Strengthening the Relationship and professionalism of teams;
-Investments in-person events with competition;
-Investments in Leagues and Championships online;
– Global sponsorship negotiation that serve to all or more than three teams in a mode;
– Image rights to broadcast channels.
In a statement on Facebook, the association explained their goals:
“WE AIM TO PROMOTE THE ESPORTS ECOSYSTEM, REVITALIZE AND CONSOLIDATE THE UNION BETWEEN THE CLUBS, ALWAYS ENCOURAGING FAIR PLAY AND TRANSPARENCY AMONG ALL INVOLVED”.
THE IDEA OF THE ASSOCIATION IS GOOD, COMMENDED BY MANY DIGITAL LAYWERS IN BRAZIL, SUCH AS HELIO TADEU CELHO, WHO GAVE HIS OPINION IN AN INTERVIEW: “THE INITIATIVE IS ADMIRABLE AND DESERVES PRESTIGE OF ALL PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS AND SUPPORTERS, GIVEN THE COMMITMENT OF THE ORGANIZERS AND ESPECIALLY THE ENTHUSIASM TO PROMOTE, THROUGH AN ASSOCIATION CHAMPIONSHIPS BETWEEN MEMBERS. THIS UNDOUBTEDLY CONTRIBUTES TO ORDERLY GROWTH OF ELECTRONIC SPORTS SCENE IN BRAZIL”.
It will act as a single voice allowing “sponsors to be able to sponsor all our teams at once,” according to the association’s president, INTZ’s CEO Lucas Simões de Almeida.
United, but not some much.
However, Tadeu Coelho also questioned some points of the politics, such as “The possibility of unilateral change of policy, including on the term of assignment of the players image rights and clubs.”
“THIS POINT PROVES TO BE QUITE SENSITIVE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE VALIDITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE LEGAL BUSINESS, BECAUSE IT ESTABLISHES A CERTAIN ADVANTAGE OF A PART RELATIVE TO EACH OTHER, MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE, FOR EXAMPLE, UNTYING THE PROFESSIONAL OR TOURNAMENT THE CLUB IF IT SO DESIRED. THIS ISSUE SHOULD CERTAINLY BE RESOLVED WITHIN THE JUDICIARY”.
Another questioned point of the political participation (and maybe the most criticized) is the ABCDE’s minimum requirement prize of R$ 100,000 and the participation rate of R $ 60,000 for the associated teams to participate in online competitions. Another legal arrangement ist the ABCDE requirement of awarding R$ 10,000 and R$ 24,000 for joining. Additionally there is a further charge of 15% for tax costs.
Felipe Campos, eSports manager of Xtreme League, complained about the requirements:
“IT’S FAR FOR THE BRAZILIAN REALITY. THEY SHOULD HAVE NEGOTIATED TO PREPARE THIS POLITICAL PARTICIPATION DOCUMENT, WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER BECAUSE THE TEAMS NEED THE CHAMPIONSHIPS AND CHAMPIONSHIPS NEED THE TEAMS. IT’S A BUSINESS THAT DOESN’T LIVE WITHOUT THE OTHER”.
CAMPOS IS ALSO CONCERNED WITH THE FACT THAT THE ABCDE HAVE NOT MENTIONED THE PAYMENT OF THE CYBER-ATHLETES. “SO I DO NOT KNOW IF THE INVESTMENT I MAKE WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE PLAYERS OR IF THEY WILL CONTINUE EARNING CRAP”
, he said.
It is just the beginning.
Although they are in the market for a long time, the founders of the association have no experience in creating guidelines covering the scene as a whole. It is too early yet to say if the initiative will be good or bad for the business, but at this point, they solved two problems between player and organization.
According to the statute of the ABCDE, affiliated teams will need to keep all their players registered with it while also notifying them of any terminations or new hires. They will also only be able to “hire and retain contracted athletes who are duly registered with the Associação and respect the Statutes and regulations of the Association.”
The ABCDE is launching itself as a unified eSports scene in Brazil and one of the most professional to date. Their announcement puts them in divergence with the ongoing LCS vs Riot controversy, but they seem open to establish a clear conversation with the entire professional of the business and to help the growth of the Brazilian eSports in and out the country. It is just the beginning.
What is your opinion?
Edited by Marian Härtel