The news of Momochi only receiving 1% of the prize pool for winning TGS 2019 has caused a big commotion in the Fighting Game Community. Eyes are now on the Japanese eSports Union (JeSU) because of concerns with their eSports License. Here’s the breakdown of what JeSU is and what it could mean for the FGC.
What is the JeSU?
The Japanese eSports Union (JeSU) is a coalition of video gaming and sports industry officials. They use their combined influence to be the authority between their industries and the Japanese government.
There is a huge list of companies that are represented and co-signed with the union, many of which are fighting game devs (Capcom, SNK, Arcsys, etc.).
This group is the one that created the eSports License system for Japan.
Why Does Japan Need This Licensing System?
Japan has strict laws against gambling and winnings from tournaments are categorized as such. Without this system, most fighting game tournaments won’t be able to pay out the full amount of their prize pool to the winners. The law states that first party run tournament are only allowed to pay out $1000 max to its winners (e.g. Capcom sponsoring Street Fighter tournaments). Along with this, entry fees are not allowed to be added to the pot and are only meant to fund the staffers. Third party sponsored events however are not subject to this payout restriction (e.g. Cup Noodle sponsoring Tekken).
Thanks to this JeSU license, those who have registered can receive the full amounts of prize pool for these first party sponsored tournaments. JeSU was able to achieve this by redefining the winnings as payment for “work as an eSports professional” under their licensing system.
Why is Momochi Against the JeSU?
Momochi isn’t happy with this licensing system because of where the power and control lies for the system. Because JeSU came out of nowhere and defined pro-gaming without reaching out to any of the gaming community, Momochi is skeptical about their true motives. He worries that this system will end up only benefiting select groups.
Momochi states that he isn’t against the idea of the license itself, but he wants the gaming community to be involved with the system. Most pro players are going along with this licensing system to see if it can be improved along the way with JeSU at the head. Some players have stated that it feels like JeSU is not rewarding the grassroots community who helped to build the scene.
Majin Obama (@2djazz) explains that the root of this issue is a lack of transparency and communication. Because the motives of the JeSU are unknown, the community is worried about what they will do with this control of the licensing system and their influence over the Japanese eSports community.
What Could This Mean for the Japanese FGC’s Future?
The JeSU eSports License seems to be a great thing for players and the eSports community in Japan for now. It will help legitimize eSports and also help pro players get paid to play professionally. It very well could be that JeSU has only good intentions for the gaming scene in Japan, but the amount of control that they have is worrisome.
This amount of power may cause issues down the road depending on how things evolve. JeSU may decide that some games are eSports worthy while others are not. They may decide who is considered a pro-gamer while others are not. They may decide which tournaments or tournament organizers are fit under their standards. There may likely be more ramifications that will be unknown with such a consolidation of control.
There hasn’t been anything majorly egregious that JeSU has done (as far as I know) but time will tell of what becomes of this situation in Japan.
Check out the video for all the details below:
*This content was posted with permission from the original creator.