How the law deals with E-Sporting matters

Updated: Jul 28

The area of E-Sports has become a popular topic of discussion among sports lawyers. E-Sports is simply virtual sporting competitions that exist in the online environment.[1] This particular area of law brings together cyber and sporting legislation to monitor the regulation of such games in the virtual environment.[2] This begs the question, “can virtual gaming competitions be regulated?”


Recent case law has displayed that such online gaming festivals can, in fact, be subjected to legislation. This was displayed in instances where gamers were charged with fraud for cheating in online games.[3] The reasoning behind which is that these festivals are subject to large cash prizes.[4] In addition, just like physical sports, players are contracted and can be represented by agents. Therefore, players have to follow the rules of virtual sports just as athletes are contracted to follow the Olympic Charter and Sporting Federation rules.


Although, the laws regarding E-sports is very different from sporting law, there are some similarities to the areas of law that both areas are regulated by. For example, both areas deal with competition, employment and contract law. There are some direct links in the dealing of promotional activities between E-Sport gamers and athletes.[5]


So now that there is an understanding of what E-Sports is and how this relates to the world of sporting legislation. There is a need to discover where further information can be sought for those wishing to educate themselves further on E-Sports matters. As such matters are a growing part of sports law discussion and such events are gaining more popularity, there is a growing amount of literature being written about E-Sports.

Further information can be found in various places. Some sources that we recommend at The Law Objective include:


· LawInSport – This website has a wealth of information on sports law and has a full tag on E-Sports. This tag includes articles explaining the different areas of E-Sports and news on current matters and events. - https://www.lawinsport.com/



· British E-Sports Association – This website is a dedicated E-Sports resources. This resource also discusses the latest championships and competitions for anyone who is interested in finding out about specific competitions. - https://britishesports.org/



· E-Sports and the Law – This website is an amazing resource for those interested in the legal elements of E-Sports. Especially those who have studied sports law but have no experience with the E-Sporting side of law. This resource is regularly updated with the latest global E-Sports disputes and issues. - https://esportsandthelaw.com/



Keep an eye out for the Sports Law podcast that will be available Spring 2021 on the Law Objective


Follow me on Twitter: @hjsportslaw




[1] British Esports Association, ‘What are esports? An overview for non-fans’ (esports, n.d.) < https://britishesports.org/advice/what-are-esports-an-overview-for-non-fans/ > Accessed 23 January 2021 [2] Ibid [3] Graham Ashton, ‘Cheating in Esports – How It Is Done, and How it is Dealt With’ (esportsobserver, 27 May 2019) < https://esportsobserver.com/cheating-in-esports/ > Accessed 23 January 2021 [4] Kevin Hitt, ‘The Top 10 Esports of 2019 by total prize pool’ (esportsobserver, 27 December 2019) < https://esportsobserver.com/biggest-esports-2019-prize-pool/ > Accessed 23 January 2021. [5] British Sports Law, ‘E-Sports’ (Britishsportslaw, n.d.) < https://www.britishsportslaw.org/esports.html#:~:text=eSports%20teams%20invest%20time%20to,crucial%20in%20maintaining%20mental%20fitness. > Accessed 23 January 2021.

186 views0 comments