This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
Skip to main content
United Kingdom | EN-GB

Add a bookmark to get started

| 1 minute read

Patch notes: Guide to esports state of play in 2020 – The rules of the game

The esports industry has continued emphatically on its international growth trajectory, but the nascent regulatory landscape makes it challenging to navigate the legal issues faced by stakeholders and keep pace with its development. With that in mind, we are pleased to introduce a series of “patch notes”, prepared by our global media team, which share our insight into some of these areas of development and look to what the future may hold for this exciting industry.

In this first patch note, Nick Fitzpatrick (Partner, Media, Sport and Entertainment Global Co-Chair) and Alasdair Muller (Senior Associate, MSE Group) give meaning to the "rules of the game" in the esports industry. This note looks in more detail at how rules are set by publishers, game developers and tournament organisers, and the ways in which different international bodies have tried to claim authority as an esports regulator to date.

What becomes clear is that it is in the long-term interests of the esports industry to establish international regulatory regimes, and it is not hard to envisage some of the existing esport regulatory bodies as well as traditional sports regulators seeking to take more of a role, while at the same time needing support from existing stakeholders (e.g. players, team, publishers etc.) with an interest in the industry.

Please do read the full note below, and look out for our second patch note which will consider the commercial opportunities in esports in the current landscape.

Esports is a rapidly growing industry, soaking up more and more advertising dollars internationally. Yet it also faces multiple risks: from child protection through to betting integrity and doping. It suggests a need for standardised methodologies, possibly imported from traditional sport, to fill the gap. It requires publishers to listen to a new set of advisors experienced in such matters. It suggests the need for collaboration around independent, overarching regulatory standards, and possibly bodies to uphold them.


esports, patch notes