eSports is creating a revolutionary change in the game industry. Since the advent of online computing, gamers played competitively against one another, but eSports takes things to a new level. It includes organized teams of players that compete against each other, in front of live audiences that fill professional sports arenas. Additionally, the major tournaments are live-streamed to tens of millions of online viewers. Even professional sports team owners are investing in eSports teams and venues.
The nascent eSports industry in the U.S. is still evolving and a number of legal and business issues exist, especially due to the fact that eSports is not as highly structured as some professional sports leagues. Some of the issues include match-fixing, doping, and gambling, while other issues relate to the team-player contract. One interesting issue is whether players are employees of the teams or independent contractors. There are even immigration issues in eSports; many players travel from abroad to play in U.S. eSports tournaments and some players have applied for and been granted P-1 visas, which are traditionally granted to professional athletes. This status of eSports players as professionals creates implications with other legal issues such as gambling and collegiate/amateur status of players.
Join Sheppard Mullin's James Gatto as he discusses these fascinating issues and more, including those rooted in copyright law and even the complications arising from the creation of fantasy sports tournaments based on eSports teams and players.
- Develop an understanding of eSports
- Identify the team-player relationships and associated legal issues
- Understand when eSports players are deemed professional athletes and the ramifications of that
- Gain insights into the copyright and other IP issues with eSports and the impact on the eSports ecosystem
- Recognize gambling issues with respect to different eSports scenarios, including fantasy sports based on eSports