Valve has recently released a blog post detailing their plans moving forward for competitive Counter-Strike. In the post, Valve spoke about several issues the community has discussed throughout 2019. On the list were issues regarding exclusivity, media rights and conflict of interest. For those seeking a quick summary, look no further.
Valve has a relatively hands-off approach to the yearly CS:GO competitive calendar. Currently, tournament hosts can ask Valve for a license, which is provided for free. Valve view the free license as a way to improve the CS:GO eco-system and a means of creating a better product. Although, Valve has a few concerns over the way the CS:GO leagues and events are heading.
Exclusivity – In recent years, tournament providers have made slight moves toward exclusivity deals. Some teams have found themselves having to skip events because of contract agreements with another tournament provider. Valve’s concern is over the potential damage a failed exclusivity league can have on the entire ecosystem.
Shared Ownership – Another problem is where there is a potential conflict of interest between tournament organizers and teams competing in CS:GO leagues, e.g., the BLAST Pro Series’s operator RFRSH Entertainment and their former ownership of Astralis. Organizations must declare whether they have any conflict of interest when applying for Valve licenses.
During the Berlin Major, there was a debate regarding broadcast rights and alternative streams. Valve has confirmed that the Major host has the rights to the event. However, Valve encourages the Major host to actively work with alternative streams. This helps create a variety of unique viewing experiences for a global audience. Potential alternative streams should reach out to the Major host and work out an arrangement to provide the best content.
Valve’s post addresses some of the most prominent concerns affecting the scene. The complete blog post is available on the official Valve site.