I recently released an opinion piece comparing Reginald with H3CZ that was based off what I have personally read, watched and heard. Due to the aforementioned reasons, it became quite obvious that I did not think too fondly of Reginald as an owner. After watching the recent interview of Reginald by Thorin, I now have a changed opinion of him along with a few analytical points of view revolving around the economics within the scene.
It should be noted that doing this interview with Thorin of all people was probably the best decision Reginald could have made at this point. Thorin is the type of journalist that always strives to obtain the entire story and reasonably offers valid opinion based on his findings. Although some members of the community and even some players may not agree with his practices, one must admit that Thorin does an excellent job reporting the whole story and offers numerous considerations to solve the problems he analyzes. After everything that has gone public over the past few weeks focusing specifically on Reginald’s relationship with Sean Gares, it was essential that Andy needed to become as transparent as possible and there was no better way to do this for the CS:GO community than an interview with Thorin.
Reginald takes many opportunities in the interview to explain the decisions he made and the process that they unfolded. He gives good insight to the inner workings of how organizations run, the economics behind the scenes of esports, and explains reasonable perspectives that are often overlooked.
One of the biggest issues that was brought up during the interview was players not holding up their end of contracts. Reginald mentions that he is in favor of players acquiring agents and possibly forming a union (through a reasonable means). This is extremely important as agents will essentially look out for their own best interest, money. Currently, as Andy explains, the majority of funding in esports comes from sponsors. Therefore, it would be an organizations’ best interest to keep their sponsors happy in order to keep them on board and eventually leverage more investment. This, in turn, means that organizations will have more money to pay players. With more money going to players, general player happiness would increase. Eventually this would lead to agents getting compensated more for their services. In the end, it would make the most sense for an agent to do a solid job for the player they represent because it would result in higher commissions for them.
As an agent, doing a ‘solid job’, would include making sure the player knows what they are signing up for, ensuring that what they are being asked to do is fair, and helping players to understand the importance of following through with sponsorship obligations. Players need to understand that if more money is what they want, doing the things that the sponsors outline within their contract will help to achieve that goal. On the other hand, performance and practice is equally as important and a reasonable balance should be achieved. Reginald in-directly explains this when Thorin asks him about the ex-TSM Danish lineup. He explains that Kinguin signed on with TSM as their major CS:GO sponsor and that they included certain obligations in the contracts with the players. When these obligations were not met by the players, Reginald unfortunately made the mistake of letting it go and essentially showed the players that their contract was irrelevant. At the very least, Andy should have tried to talk to his players about why these obligations were so important and why they should be taken seriously. If Andy was able to show his players the value behind the tasks that were asked of them, they might have been more inclined to complete them.
Regardless, it seems that Reginald is genuinely looking to improve they way he is running his business and his relationships with his teams and players. He mentions that before this instance, he was in talks with Sean Gares about where to move the CS:GO house to benefit the team. Andy showed interest in moving it to LA for better logistics that would allow him to engage more with the team in person. In hind sight, this team house would have only housed four of the players due to Sean wanting to live with his significant other in Orange County. Reginald seemed as if this was a reasonable thing to allow Sean to do, and he didn’t see it as much of a problem.
In regards to Reginald still paying Sean, he may be making another mistake. From they way Andy speaks about it, it seems as if he is not obligated to continue paying Sean based on the events that occurred, but is still doing so regardless. This to me shows again, that the contract is irrelevant. He should be using this as an example to show players that contracts are serious and need to be held up by both parties. There is always room for reasonable negotiation, but if contracts are broken so easily then what is the point of them in the first place? This, again, brings up the importance of agents and a union that can help players when it comes to these ever changing economics within esports.
To conclude, as much as I put Reginald in a negative light in my most recent article, I have since gained respect for him along with faith that his intentions are to learn from his mistakes and do better in the future. Hopefully the issues revolving around player contracts and sponsorship obligations will be taken more seriously going forward. Without these corporate sponsors investing as much as they are into esports, we wouldn’t be where we are today.