Olswang on eSports

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

For the uninitiated, eSports is the term used for organised, competitive computer gaming. Much like traditional sports, players (often in teams) battle each other virtually (as opposed to on the pitch) for large cash prizes. 

For Olswang, eSports sits at the intersection of many of our core areas of expertise, including sports, media, advertising, technology, video games and gambling. In this series of articles, specialists from the Olswang team explore some of the industry’s potentially lucrative revenue streams and most interesting opportunities - and look at the legal and commercial questions that are still to be answered...

‘Olswang on eSports':

  • Olswang on eSports: gambling under scrutiny
    At the end of last year, we looked at the opportunities the eSports industry had to offer the gambling sector. Since then we've seen movement in this space as regulators put the industry under the spotlight and illegitimate betting websites come under fire. Will increased regulation prolong the life span of this fledging market, or mean 'game over' for the interplay between gambling and eSports? (04 August 2016)

  • A Unique Opportunity for Traditional Sport?
    Traditional sport is dipping its toe into eSports. In June 2016, Valencia CF, one of Spain's biggest and most successful football clubs, announced its entry onto the scene by establishing its own eSports team that will reportedly be participating in competitive FIFA, Hearthstone, Rocket League and League of Legends over the course of the year. While the first of its kind in the La Liga, Valencia CF is not the first professional football team to secure eSports professionals on its roster. In May 2016, West Ham United announced the signing of its first official eSports player who will represent the club at all official eSports events wearing the club colours. Earlier still in 2015, VfL Wolfsburg became the first professional football team to enlist the services of a professional gamer among its ranks. Why have businesses built around traditional sport grown interested in the world of eSports...? (25 July 2016)

  • Lessons from South Korea
    eSports is now global with a market estimated at $747 million in 2015 and expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2018. But how did it all start? In the latest installment of Olswang on eSports, Daniel Jung of Olswang Asia looks at South Korea, the spiritual home of eSports... (02 March 2016)

  • Regulation, Doping and Dispute Resolution
    The eSports industry is currently growing at a tremendous speed. With irresistible commercial opportunities on offer for an increasingly diverse array of interested parties, it is perhaps inevitable that the industry will see an exponential growth in the number of disputes which occur. In this article we explore the extent to which the eSports industry is currently governed, discuss the industry’s problem with and reaction to doping, and also share our thoughts on the future development of dispute resolution in this area... (18 November 2015)

  • Opportunities for the gambling sector
    The eSports industry has undergone rapid expansion in recent years and, with such growth set to continue, the commercial world has begun to take notice of what was once deemed little more than a subculture. In this article we delve deeper into the opportunities that eSports offers to the gambling sector and analyse some of the obstacles that operators face in monetising the vast following that eSports has accumulated to date... (13 November 2015)

  • The eSports revolution
    You may not realise it yet, but the eSports revolution is well underway – and it might just be the biggest growth area in digital media over the next decade. With a multi-million pound industry already established, and forecasts being made for huge growth in the coming years, companies from gambling operators through to major international brands and media companies are waking up to the opportunities that the industry has to offer... (22 October 2015)