Talking about esports player contract – A 5656-word blog post by professional Dota 2 player Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao on his experience working for one of Europe’s major games esports organizations was published.
This included claims of unmet compensation obligations, unauthorized org deductions from prize money, and protracted delays in player payments. The apparent lack of contracts between the esports organization and its players is one of the most concerning aspects of EternaLEnVy’s post (if true), as it is at the core of several of the claims made.
Here is my TLDR: esports player contract are crucial, they should benefit both the organizations and the players, and they are likely some of the most significant documents players will ever sign during their relatively brief but hopefully lucrative esports careers, players should always get a contract, they should always read and understand it, and they should always follow their obligations under the esports player contract.
Sponsors. Does the athlete receive a portion of team sponsorship agreements? If so, does the team receive a share of the player’s personal sponsors? Are personal sponsorships subject to any limitations?
Merchandise. Does the gamer receive a commission from the selling of goods? Does this change between digital (such as skins/in-game stuff) and tangible (such as t-shirts) things? What if the product only has the name of one player rather than the entire team?
Streaming. How much of the streaming revenue do the players keep? Does this include all forms of stream income, such as ads, contributions, subscriptions, tips, praises, etc.? Who actually takes this money from the platform in the first place?
Deductions. What costs can the team deduct in order to receive a prize? Who handles taxes, by the way? Do these deductions come on top of the team’s share of the prizes?
Expenses. What costs (travel, lodging, etc.) will players receive reimbursement for? Is there a monthly allotment or do these all need to be pre-approved with the organization?
Timings. When are athletes paid? Players must provide an invoice, right? If yes, when do players get paid after submitting one? Do prize money and other regular monthly payments have different timings?
Who is obligated to do what on an esports player contract?
It is in the best interest of both the organization and the players to specify who is responsible for what tasks and when in the player agreement. In addition to the obvious duties like practicing the sport and participating in competitions, some other frequently covered subjects are:
Additional Information. Do players have to create any content (such as tutorials, articles, etc.) for the org website? If yes, how often and by how much for that?
Promotional Activities. Outside of regular tournaments, are players expected to participate in sponsor or promotional events? Is there a cap on how many hours a month these can take up?
Conduct. Exists a supplementary code of conduct that outlines extra guidelines for behavior? Is there a place where players can actually access this?
Equipment. What supplies (computers, clothing, etc.) do gamers receive from the orgs? Who keeps it once the contract expires and who actually owns it?
Housing. Does the organization offer any additional services, such as a team house, housekeepers, cooks, physiotherapists, gym subscriptions, etc.?
Restrictions and Termination on esports player contract
Every time an organization signs a new player, there is a risk on both sides because both the organization and the player are depending on the player to perform successfully.
Therefore, esports player contract is crucial to understand when, how, and under what circumstances any side may terminate a player agreement. Considerations in this case include:
Duration. What is the ‘term’ of the agreement, i.e., how long does it actually last? Does the contract renew itself automatically? Does the contract expire in accordance with any applicable roster locks or transfer windows?
Current Roster. For the term of their contract, is the player’s place on the team’s active roster guaranteed? When is it okay to bench a player? What effect does this have on awards money, etc.?
Non-competes. Are there any non-compete clauses in the contract (i.e. limitations on the player’s ability to play for any other orgs for a set period of time after leaving their current org)?
Termination. When and why can the organization end the contract? When is the player’s contract able to be terminated? Exists a buyout provision? Is there a charge for early termination?
It is impossible to exaggerate the significance of player agreements. These are the legal paperwork that will set the course of a player’s life for the ensuing years and decide what will happen to the hundreds, if not millions, of cash the player makes.
Players shouldn’t enter into these documents haphazardly. Here are some pointers for athletes when negotiating contracts:
Study it! Please. Take your time on esports player contract.
Recognize it. This one is a little trickier because some contracts are worded more plainly than others, but if you ever have questions about what something in the contract means, ask the organization or a friend or family member to assist you out.
Don’t rush; take your time. While juggling practice schedules, transfer windows, and roster locks, it can be challenging to achieve this, if possible, request contracts early enough to allow for at least some evaluation and discussion.
Set necessities and wants apart. It’s crucial to concentrate on what matters to you while being willing to make concessions on other issues because you won’t ever obtain all you want in the contract.
Join forces. Deal-making is a two-way street, so keep it polite, be reasonable, consider the organization’s perspective, and strike a balance between it and your own demands.
Be prepared to leave the room. Giving yourself enough options so that you actually have the ability to say no is incredibly crucial, even though it’s not always simple to do.
Get support. Don’t be ashamed to seek outside assistance, whether it comes from friends, family, other players, agents, advisors, or lawyers; any costs involved will be negligible in compared to what you could lose with a poor deal.
The esports business has grown rapidly over the past few years, but some nations have lagged behind in developing the necessary regulations and legal frameworks.
Sponsors, organizations, media businesses, etc. would not want to risk their investment in such an uncertain market because such a scenario causes uncertainty in their minds.
Similar to that, esports player contract would limit the chance of a player who might soon become very well-known.
Therefore, because the time is right, the governments should avoid taking half-measures and instead move quickly and decisively to design legislation that would support and expand the industry.