World eSports Association formed

26 May 2016. Published by Joshua Charalambous, Partner

A new governing association was formed this month by the Electronic Sports League (“ESL”) and a number of eSports teams.

ESL announced the development on its website here.

Named the World eSports Association (“WESA”), it aims to regulate and standardise the field of eSports, whilst also providing an opportunity to narrow the differences between the large number of global stakeholders in the industry.  Currently, many of the rules and regulations are implemented on a competition by competition basis.

It is hoped that the recent focus on standardising eSports on a national level will result in an innovative and thriving eSports sector, especially when combined with the opportunity to have standardised contracts, a global equivalent of football’s transfer window etc.  One of the key implementations is the Player Council, elected by players to represent and advocate pro gamers on issues such as league policies and transfers.

However, some have raised concerns that WESA’s inherent link with ESL is not independent enough for WESA to position itself as a FIFA/ IOC style governing body (two ESL employees are also on the five-person board of WESA).  We await to discover whether WESA can shake off these potential issues, but we are certain that eSports is a sector destined for growth affecting the full range of legal practice areas.

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