Vince quits and Frankie takes a break

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It’s hard to put a human face on business. Business deals aren’t made to help a person or community, they’re made for gasp money.

Which certainly feels even more like the case in regard to the ESL-FACEIT combined sale to SGG.

One key point from most critics, is that this is not just a sale to a company based in a country with human rights abuses; the owners of ESL-FACEIT is a company chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who has been linked with killing and dismembering a journalist in 2019.

The ties through SGG to PIF, means that ESL-FACEIT is now essentially owned and funded by a government that discriminates women, and publicly punishes gay men with whippings, imprisonment, or worse.

Which obviously raises a lot of questions, not just for fans but also for talent, players and employees.

Multiple personalities in the CS:GO scene have already voiced their concerns, including Vince Hill, who has said outright that he won’t work with them, and Frankie who won’t commit to anything, but definitely don’t rule out walking away either. We don’t care what you decide Frankie, you’ll always be a star in our book.

With rumors of ESL attempting to host a Major in Brazil late this year, and their involvement with numerous large events in the next eleven months, this issue isn’t going to go away quietly.

Will Valve for example give ESL the rights to host a Major, knowing who the new owners are?

And what if ESL were to host tournaments in Saudi Arabia? There would be a very realistic chance that some players, staff or talent would be unable to safely attend, which begs the question: How will they protect the commitments they have made to inclusion and diversity?

We don’t mean to be pessimists, because ESL has increased funding of their female circuit #GGForAll, to include South America, but it will take more than token gestures to calm the waves in the community for now.

January 27, 2022

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