Westminster Law School and leading sport, gaming and esports law firm, Sheridans, hosted a panel discussion to not just demystify and address the relevance of the law to the many facets of the industry, but dig deeper by looking at how esports could/should progress going forward.
Topics covered and addressed included:
- The esports audience: Who are they and what makes them attractive to reach? Is the lack of females a concern for the industry and if so, are any steps being taken to address this?
- Non-endemic brands: What has prompted the influx of non-endemic brands and what sort of commercial partnerships are we seeing and likely to continue to see?
- Games publishers: What are the differing approaches taken by leading publishers as rights holders and are we likely to see them try and take more control and ‘ownership’ of the audience?
- Grassroots gaming: How significant is the grassroots layer and what exactly does it look like? How important is it to have a healthy participation and amateur competitive space? What are the opportunities for brands in this context as a result of the many residual benefits of gaming?
- Media rights: What does the current media rights landscape look like and what is the role of traditional broadcasters within that?
- Regulatory issues: What are some of the regulatory issues affecting the esports industry? How are integrity issues such as anti-cheat, match-fixing, anti-doping, betting, player exploitation and welfare being managed?
- Traditional sport and esports: What are the underlying objectives behind the differing approaches by traditional sports teams and what commercial models and approaches are they adopting to engage?
The esteemed panel included Carleigh Morgan (Academic Advisor for the British Esports Association and an Ambassador for Women in Gaming), Josh Williams (Founder of The NUEL, the UK’s inter-university esports tournament), Jon Tilbury (Strategy Manager at GAME Digital PLC and formerly Strategy Manager and esports Manager at Multiplay), Chris Paget (an Associate at Sheridans advising on a range of commercial, technology and regulatory issues related to the sports, esports, music and general entertainment industries) and Strive Sponsorship’s Managing Director, Malph Minns.