What do professional gamers need to consider when negotiating esports contracts? To avoid disputes, make sure everything is spelled out to the letter. And when we say everything, we mean everything — from equipment quality to pay schedules to break times.
Bottom Line: A good contract is one that’s easy to understand, yet detailed, so both parties know exactly what to expect from one another.
Esports Contracts: Things To Consider
So, what should professional gamers watch for when negotiating agreements?
- Payment Schedule: Being a professional gamer means getting paid to master video games. The operative word being “paid.” Make sure all compensation details — from price to payment schedule — are clearly delineated in any contract you sign.
- Equipment Stipulations: It happens! A team signs you. Then, on your first day, you discover that you’re expected to practice on a Commodore 128. (Hey, it could happen.) So, make sure equipment stipulations are part of your esports contract.
- League / Team Rules: Before you enter into a partnership with a brand or team, make sure they clearly outline what is expected of you, on both behavioral, performance, and even ethical grounds.
- Insurance: Are there insurance implications of which you should be aware? Find out and get any stipulations in writing. Moreover, consider medical insurance. Will the organization be providing it, in whole or in part? Does it include dental and vision? Does it come out of your salary?
- Non-Compete: Are you allowed to participate on other teams? What about individual streaming channels — can you continue making residual income on platforms like Twitch? Find out the answers before you agree to anything.
- Term Length: Before scribbling your John Hancock on the dotted line, make sure you’re comfortable with the duration of the contract terms. The industry is blowing up; things are rapidly evolving; so, ask yourself: Do I really want to stay with a team or sponsor for more than a year? Now, you very well may want to — just make sure you give it thought.
Esports Is Still Evolving…And So Is Esports Law
From the way fans watch matches to the types of injuries players sustain “on the field,” there are still many practical and legal esports issues with which the industry must grapple.
At this juncture, the best thing players can do is be fastidious about what types of contracts and agreements they sign. After all, you want to be fairly compensated for your skills and profit potential, right? Well, the first step in making sure that happens is a rock-solid contract.
Kelly / Warner consults with esports athletes on everything from contract negotiations to team disputes. Get in touch today to begin the conversation.