Scott “SirScoots” Smith has opened up about his role as a representative for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Counter Logic Gaming, Immortals, NRG eSports, and compLexity Gaming.
Speaking in an interview with Yahoo Esports, SirScoots provided his perspective for how the conflict between the players and PEA unfolded, and how he was brought in as a spokesperson for the players.
“[The players] reached out to me mid-November,” SirScoots said, speaking about the events that led to the release of the players’ open letter in late December. “They realized there was a potential issue between PEA and EPL, and this lack of right to choose EPL.
“[The letter] took a while to write. I’m not the greatest writer. I’m a much better talker… it was kind of the last straw the players had. All private negotiations had ceased. The outcome was going to be no EPL for these teams. The last thing you want to do is go public… we got to the point that [it] was our only option. It was over. They were about to lose their EPL slots in several days from when I dropped that letter.”
He explained that after the open letter had been published, some people had reacted negatively to him being chosen to represent the players.
“I’ve had some lawyers in the scene come at me after the PEA letter, kind of like, ‘Scoots isn’t a lawyer, I don’t know why he’s doing this, he shouldn’t be representing them’. And it’s really naive and disingenuous for those gentlemen to think that I don’t have legal counsel behind what I’m doing… I think part of it is, they want to be the ones doing it.”
SirScoots also said that the players had wanted to work out a way to compete in the PEA League, as opposed to shutting it down completely. PEA announced it was suspending its CS:GO league in January this year.
“[PEA] immediately said ‘if the vote goes this way, we’re just not going to do it.’ But I would love to figure out with them… don’t give it away yet, the players are not saying they don’t want to play in PEA, the players are simply saying they don’t want to not play in EPL.”
Speaking frankly about PEA’s tournament structure, SirScoots explained why he thought the idea of having team owners also be league organizers was not favorable to the players.
“Everyone is flipping the script on what they do in this, to the point of like, ‘Okay, you’re my team owner and you’re supposed to protect me. I’m here at this tournament that’s not going well. What happens if my team owner is the tournament organizer now? Who protects me from [them]? Those kind of things come into play… I don’t think the PEA idea at its core was not a good idea, not because team owners were doing it, although [there’s] those kind of conflicts… but that North American Counter-Strike is already oversaturated and the last thing we need is another online league.”
The players voted to compete in EPL over PEA’s league in early January this year, citing EPL’s “more open, balanced” structure as a key reason for choosing the league, calling it “the far less concerning of the two options.” PEA has since suspended its plan to operate a Counters-Strike league indefinitely.
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