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About this blog

This is Marian's blog where he writes regularly about the business aspects of the eSports industry.

Entries in this blog

 

Player with exclusive contracts

I was talking with a client of mine yesterday who hired a player with a current contract with a US Team. My client, from Europe, didn't know the player still has a contract and that this player signed an exclusivity agreement with the US team. # An interesting fact is though, that the US team didn't countersign the agreement/addendum containing the exclusivity clause.  This raises legal questions regarding the validity of the contract in Europe but also shows how complicated legal issue are in cases like this with three different legislation being involved. The US team nevertheless ask my client to suspend working with the player, which seems to be yet another difficult legal situation as there are no contractual ties between my client and the US team. Overall though it shows how important clean and professional legal documents are to grow professionally, and it also shows that we are soon reaching a situation with transfer fees and legal fights between rival teams. Check your contracts and get legal help before it is too late!  

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

 

Copyright for eSport teams

Today I had the next feeling that some members of the eSports industry are not realizing yet that legal issues and professionalism already is part of the industry. A client mine hired an illustrator to design a logo for the team. Professionally done. All rights transferred to them. Somebody else took the logo from the page, uploaded it to a "print my t-shirt" site into their database. Now again somebody else took the logo, pretends it is their own and even had t-shirts ordered by that t-shirt company.  When my client asked them to remove the logo from their website and to at least not use the shirts in public, they got the answer "We have that logo from the t-shirt company. You have no rights. The logo is already in the internet".  This really created a headache as a lawyer, but on the other hand, such an attitude buys my daughter another Christmas present ;-)

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

 

eSports team - but not a company!

A great example of problems with legal structures in eSports is a contract I have done about 2 months ago. It was a sponsoring contract meant for a larger team. The sponsoring amount included a considerable amount of money to be paid every month. When I asked for the company name of the team to be included in the contract, the responsible person told me that he would sign the contract as the CEO. After insisting that I still need the name of the company, it came out that there is no company. A team with a considerable social reach and high potential. And they have no legal structures. I told the “CEO”, which he actually not even is, that I doubt he wants to signs the sponsoring deal. What if he cannot fulfill the contract because one of his players or teams (of which also did not have contracts with anybody) would leave or not perform. Then the “CEO” could pay back the considerable amount of money to the sponsor, while eventually already have paid the players. This not only would lead to big problems but also could have really chased away the sponsor and give the whole team a very bad reputation. Luckily we could avoid both, but now they “woke up” and will change their attitude.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

 

Interesting Chat

Yesterday I had an interesting chat with a sales guy from a company far away from gaming and eSports (yet). As a private person though he is a gamer and he loves the developments of eSports. We were chitchatting a bit on why his company is not using the internet and- eSports – more to tackle on a young audience very reluctant to learn about new technologies and such. This information was not new to me, because eSports still feels so chaotic at times, that people, who are not working in the industry for many years, likely have no chance to enter, getting information or even getting an overview of the players and the structures. Why is this the case? I wonder if anybody else agrees with this assumption and what could be changed about it, if possible at all.
 

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

 

Awkward requests

Sometimes meeting requests are awkward. I had, let’s call it company, calling last week and inquiring on eSports investment possibilities. Someone there must have heard about “eSports” and while it sounded interesting in the first glimpse, during the call I got the impression that they have no clue on what they are talking about and they just called to get information for free. While I do not mind to have nice talks with people in order to eventually get a business opportunity I really hate if somebody does not want to value work done and experience gathered. After about 30 minutes on the skype call, I slightly mentioned that we might need to find an agreement on how I could get paid or what my advantage is from giving them all the information. Suddenly the call ended very quickly and I guess I should happy about it. Additionally, I am not sure if I should have helped them getting into contact with other people if they have an attitude of not being fair in business terms. With the recent growth of awareness of eSports and Gaming, everybody should be really careful to not trust the wrong people, just because he or she are mentioning big amounts of money. Agreements should always be fair for both side, else it will be unlikely to be sustainable business relationship.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

 

Is eSports a closed shop industry?

Yesterday I had an interesting chat with a sales guy from a company far away from gaming and eSports (yet). As a private person though he is a gamer and he loves the developments of eSports. We were chitchatting a bit on why his company is not using the internet and- eSports – more to tackle on a young audience very reluctant to learn about new technologies and such. This information was not new to me, because eSports still feels so chaotic at times, that people, who are not working in the industry for many years, likely have no chance to enter, getting information or even getting an overview of the players and the structures. Why is this the case? I wonder if anybody else agrees with this assumption and what could be changed about it, if possible at all.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

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