The esports world is quickly gaining popularity as more sports and gaming enthusiasts turn to online gaming during a time of social distancing.

Esports are video games played by multiple participants in a highly-organized competitive environment using an online platform. The primary aspects of the game are facilitated by electronic systems and broadcast to an engaged online audience.

Despite the widespread socioeconomic disruptions caused by COVID-19, the online gaming industry is burgeoning. Esports offers an engaging alternative for a market of highly engaged consumers seeking leisure activity and stimulation during a time where social distancing and limited social interactions are the norm.

As the esports space becomes more mainstream and grows more complex, there are unique concerns from a legal standpoint. While the growth brings opportunities, it is prudent for industry participants to examine these legal considerations:

  • Travel/immigration
  • Gaming/gambling regulations
  • Team, league, and event organization issues (competition organization and talent acquisition and management)
  • Contract considerations and issues
  • Intellectual property ownership, licensing and broadcasting
  • Real property issues for design and development of esports arenas and venues

We are launching an esports blog series which will highlight key legal and business issues that stakeholders in the esports ecosystem should consider as they navigate the growth of the industry. This area is evolving rapidly and we will continue to add topics as legal considerations change.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.