The term ''e-Sports'' is used to mean videogame competitions taking place in large facilities and gathering big audiences. These competitions don't just attract gamers, but also computer and component manufacturers like HP, Asus and Intel''. This increasingly popular phenomenon has already become a 400 million dollar trade, according to Nielsen.
Legal consequences of the e-Sports fever
Joaquín Muñoz (Head of IT and IP at ONTIER and e-Sports Summit participant) explains that ''e-Sports are here to stay and they're making quite an impact on the economy of many developed countries''. Therefore, and given the sudden professionalisation of leagues, teams and players, there is already a strong need for a solid legal framework. It's not about overregulating the sector, but about making use of the existing legal tools and reaching an agreement'', he states.
Furthermore, since the e-Sports sector doesn't quite differ from the traditional sports sector, there's a discussion on whether this sector should be considered a new sporting discipline or not. ''There will be opinions in favour and against it, but it's important to create a sectorial self-regulation out of the best features of sports. A regulation that fulfils every party involved'', states Muñoz.
ONTIER's Head of IT and IP states that e-Sports is a growing industry which today gathers the differing aims of league organisers, clubs, publishers, players or sponsors. ''There's a need of evolution so that these parties can reach an agreement'', he states.
Lastly Muñoz remarks how Intellectual Property is a key area within the e-Sports sector or within any other sector moving large amounts of fans. ''Audiovisual rights ownership for broadcasting e-Sports competitions is turning into an essential asset within the sector. It will make a huge impact on the different parties within the sector in terms of setting up business models''.
The e-Sports industry is expected to experience a global increase of over 50% by 2019.