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        Esports

        While very sports-like, the fast growth esports sector faces its own unique legal issues, requiring specialised expertise, a deep understanding of the scene, connections, and insights from years of experience.

        "Mat understands the Esports space having immersed himself across various areas. It has been an asset to be able to leverage someone who has strong legal knowledge as well as having the context of both sport and esports"
        – David Harris, MD, Guinevere Capital, Owner of the 'Dire Wolves' and 'Sydney Drop Bears'

        We know esports.

        We are trusted advisors to endemic esports stakeholders and inbound brands and investors.

        We know the unique legal issues that are key to unlocking the growth in this fast-paced and global sector.

        Esports is very sports-like – esports has tournaments, leagues, championships, competition, tours, events, teams, organisations, prizes, prize money and earnings, sponsorship, endorsements, players, esports player contracts, coaches, managers, nutritionists, psychologists, fitness trainers, equipment managers, training, high performance centres, the application of physical reflex and input, mental strategy, teamwork, and it has highly engaged fans and a global audience.

        However, that said, esports is its own unique sector of the broader entertainment industry, perhaps distinct from ‘traditional’ sports.

        Regardless of where esports may or may not fit into your definition of sport, they are entertaining and they are capturing the imagination of the mainstream as the scene expands beyond its core audience of young, digitally-native fans to become an industry forecast to be generating revenues in excess of US$1.5-2 billion within a couple of years.

        Along with the inherent uniqueness of esports as a sector (deriving from its structure and the width and depth of stakeholders across various titles as single esports and their many communities), comes a unique set of legal and commercial issues.

        With so much at stake for this developing scene, and with systemic changes taking place at a rapid pace, you need a safe pair of hands to guide your investment through the maze of self-regulation, the pot holes of governance, and the multi-layered relationships of esports stakeholders.

        The market-leading team at DWF, driven by Sydney-based Director, Mathew Jessep, is that safe pair of hands for your investment in esports.

        Since 2016, Mat has advised esports:

        • players, coaches, and managers;
        • streamers;
        • support staff;
        • team/organisation owners and CEOs;
        • investors;
        • tournament operators and event organisers; and
        • the Australian national esports industry body, the Esports Games Association Australia;

        in the local esports scene in Australia, as well as sporting bodies, teams, athletes, sponsors, and rights holders in the local traditional sports space on what esports is and where it is going.

        Now, with a focus on advising and assisting teams and organisations, tournament operators and leagues, the EGAA, and investors, DWF has genuine and market-leading strength, track record, expertise, and support for your business in esports.

        We advise our clients across the whole esports spectrum, covering:

        • Brand protection and trade mark registration
        • Capital raising and equity share sales
        • Commercial contracts and agreements
        • Competition issues
        • Disputes and issues management
        • Employment law
        • Esports governance issues
        • Esports integrity matters
        • Esports venue naming rights and operating agreements
        • Licensing and merchandising
        • Media rights negotiations and transactions
        • Player contracts
        • Player endorsement deal origination and negotiation
        • Rule set drafting and advice
        • Sponsorship agreements and negotiations – endemic and non-endemic
        • Start-ups and team/organisation incorporation
        • Team/property acquisitions and sales
        • The development of strategy and effective corporate structures for the commercialisation of sports properties and risk mitigation.

        • Led by Australia’s leading esports lawyer, Mathew Jessep.
        • Based in Sydney; servicing clients and issues Australia-wide, throughout the Asia-Pac region, and internationally.
        • Backed by a team of experienced sports and commercial lawyers.
        • Our team are active members of the Esports Games Association Australia (EGAA), the Australia & New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA), and the US-based Sports Lawyers Association (SLA).
        • Strength and depth with the expertise and cost base to be able to undertake esports related work across the whole market spectrum, with a focus on inbound/non-endemic investors.
        • An enviable client list covering the market.
        • Wide experience of esports and sports tech.
        • Part of an international sports law team.
        • Backed by a global team of experts in litigation and arbitration, commercial law, corporate, banking and finance, construction, real estate, business restructuring, employment, work health and safety, and insurance.
        • Supported and enhanced by DWF Connected Services, offering services such as IT support; advocacy; insurance claims handling; consulting; costs recovery; forensic accounting; legal outsourcing; and research and development.
        • Operating from 27 key commercial centres and employing over 2,700 people across Australia, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, U.S.A., Singapore, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        Andrew Bautovich

        • Executive Partner (Melbourne)