Signing a contract to compete in esports may initially sound like a dream come true for a lot of gamers. You’re now getting paid to compete in the games you grew to love over the years and have the chance to join a thriving community.
Unfortunately, not everything is as simple as it seems. Many esports players and companies have seen their fair share of legal drama over the years, and some lawsuits have involved unfair contracts that some players initially agreed to follow. Even though an esports contract may sound like a wonderful opportunity, you shouldn’t blindly sign your name on it without consulting with a legal expert beforehand. Here are a couple reasons why:
Esports is still new
Even though esports have been thriving within the last decade and major video game tournaments themselves date back to the late 90s, that’s still fresh compared to other forms of competitive entertainment.
Next year, the NFL will be 100 years old. Since professional football has existed for nearly a century, they have had plenty of time to experience contract disputes from various players and teams and learn how to make a deal that will please almost everyone involved. There are still several problems today, but they are less prominent than they were decades ago.
Additionally, many esports organizations target younger people just like professional sports teams. They can easily manipulate young gamers because a lot of people in their 20s lack sufficient experience and knowledge on legal terminology.
How much will the organization control?
Esports isn’t just about competing in video games. These contracts expect gamers to maintain a large social media presence and make additional money off of sponsorships, streaming and merchandising. However, recent cases have shown that organizations may try to take more than their fair share of what the player deserves.
Earlier this month, one of the top esports players filed a lawsuit against his former gaming team for allegedly depriving him of various business opportunities and failing to pay him his share of the sponsorship money. The claim indicated that the team receives half of the profits on the player’s brand deals, merchandise, and touring fees as well as 80 percent of the brand deals brought in by the team.
If you want your esports career to get off to a fresh start with less legal and financial hassles, contact an attorney that has experience in this field to look over the proposed contract.