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The CSPPA (Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association), in collaboration with ESL, has agreed on a “Return to LAN” protocol to reintroduce the concept of in-person tournaments. The protocols “minimize player’s exposure to COVID-19 related risks as much as possible.”

The CSPPA protocols were inspired by other sports organizations, such as the NBA player association and the NFL player association. While the specifics of the protocols are unknown, they include rules for the following:

  • Testing before arrival at the event
  • Creating a “bubble” for participants and staff
  • COVID-19 testing during events
  • What to do if a player tests positive
  • How to return players home safely

However, the CSPPA’s protocols do not include one crucial detail: vaccinations. Vaccinating players and staff would be the best way to return to in-person events without worrying about COVID-19 as much.

The coronavirus vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna are effective 95% and 94% of cases, respectively, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control. In the months to come, vaccinations will contribute heavily to player and staff safety at events. However, even if vaccines are introduced, masks should still be worn by all participants, according to the CDC.

The CSPPA told Daily Esports that its Return to LAN protocol did not take the coronavirus vaccine into account.

Past Issues with the CSPPA

The collaboration between the CSPPA comes at an unlikely time. During Blast Premier’s Fall Final, the CSPPA released a statement on behalf of all players refusing Blast access to player coms, citing past leaks of these coms in the Blast Series Mic’d up.

However, players from each team in attendance at Blast Premier Fall Final refuted these claims, saying that “BLAST resolved the issues raised around the usage of voice coms already on November 23rd.”

Many believed this to be the end of the player association. The CSPPA was created to represent the needs of players. If the players and the CSPPA were arguing with each other, why does the union exist?

However, with the CSPPA negotiating the in-person tournaments deal with ESL, it is clear they are still in control and represent the players, despite the past controversy.