Ring ring, it's Valve. All your partnership slots belong to us.

NA orgs silent on Valve's announcement

North American organizations respond (or don't) to today's news.

Today, Valve released a massive statement that is changing the very landscape that Counter-Strike esports have been built on for the last several years. Starting from 2025, tournament operators are not allowed to have unique business relationships or other conflicts of interest with teams that participate in events.

This move was directly related to going after the ESL FACEIT Group's Louvre Agreement and BLAST's partner teams. In essence, this removes the restrictive nature and direct invite slots for ESL Pro League and BLAST Premier. Additionally, it removes the ESL World Ranking from coming into play for certain events as Valve is demanding their ranking system be used for such tournaments.

With such massive news impacting a slew of North American organizations, Dust2.us reached out to representatives from Evil Geniuses, Complexity, and Liquid. Each of the organizations have either declined to comment or did not respond by the time of publication.

Dust2.us, however, also reached out to M80, the most recent arrival into the scene. In speaking with M80 CEO Marco Mereu, he could not be more excited about Valve's recent announcement.

We are very optimistic about the changes for the competitive future of CS/CS2 based on teams achieving organizational success on the merits of their competitive integrity. Teams should have to earn their opportunities with hard work and results in the server.

The news today won't really change our approach to CS at all and in fact, makes us even more excited about the opportunities ahead. Gating esports never works if you are trying to field the most competitive environment and it's great to see these changes coming into play in 2025.

M80, without a current partnership slot, is certainly happy with the news. For Complexity, Evil Geniuses, and Liquid, they might not be. The millions spent in not just acquiring the leagues, but collaborating with others to make the structure work is now going up in flames. Additionally, those slots which were once assets, are now worthless.

It remains to be seen how the announcement will impact the scene in the coming months as organizations and players alike race to figuring out how it will affect their bottom line and their sporting prowess.

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