E-Sports: A Game Or A Sport Legal Aspects To Consider.

Author:Mr Alexander Garcia Lopez
Profession:Cambra La Duke & Co


The first known historical precedent is the CPL or Cyberathlete Professional League, established in the USA in 1997, and considered the first institution to organize competitions with a professional approach. From that moment, the protagonists of this "Matrix"-type reality became visible and distinguishable: teams of millennials with their own identity, publishing companies, events and competitions, online platforms, and distribution channels; all converging with major brands such as Red Bull, Samsung and Intel, and becoming massive sports events by means of today's ever popular "streaming".


We can start with a business aspect, such as the fact that Riot (authors of the largest online game in the world, League of Legends), requested and achieved that, in the US, professional video players be classified as elite athletes when requesting work visas.

With respect to the subject at hand, Intellectual Property plays a preponderant role. The company that develops videogames and their copyrights; and companies that broadcast and/or rebroadcast competitions, must all ensure the audio-visual broadcasting and/or recording rights are upheld. Hence, collective management entities will also be mindful of the protecting of their catalogues.

We could make a long list of legal aspects closely related to intellectual property, but let us at least mention the most important ones: Videogames, the fundamental center of the competition, have technical and artistic elements that must be protected, based firstly and obviously on the fact that we are dealing with an original work supported by media. Recently, public figures such as Diego Maradona, controversy included, are part of the variety of creative elements comprising videogames.

We also have to mention that when organizing the event, the rights of the game's "Publisher" will be exploited, since it involves public communication and, why not? Also, public execution, on part of the players. We are thus faced with the need to provide a legal response to obtainment of licenses from the owner of the videogame, as well as payments to corresponding authors and interpreters, through the management entities.

Most fans will follow the competition by means of a broadcast (television or online), where another company will be involved in the filming, live broadcasting and recording of the competitions. Whoever broadcasts the event must consider at least two scenarios: the negotiation...

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