Podcast: Making the most of the esports opportunity

Making the most of the esports opportunity: Bird & Bird's esports team discuss the key commercial and legal issues surrounding this burgeoning industry


The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on the already fast-growing esports industry. With traditional sports, non-endemic brands and a range of broadcasters becoming increasingly tuned in to the opportunities that esports presents, our international sports and esports team – together with Sean Zhang, CEO of pro team PSG Talon Esports – examine in a podcast a range of regulatory and commercial issues to consider when embarking on a new esports venture. We cover rules and regulations, digital doping, safeguarding, corruption, broadcasting, sponsorship and player contracts in a wide-ranging discussion aimed both at those already experienced in esports, and those more familiar with the traditional sports world taking their first steps into this exciting and dynamic industry. Available on SoundCloud, and embedded below.

Will is an associate in our Media, Entertainment and Sports Group, based in London. Will's sports practice is focused on commercial/contractual matters, though he also has experience in advising on league structuring, rule drafting/interpretation and other regulatory issues. On the commercial side, he routinely advises on sponsorship and media rights, but in addition he advises clients on a range of other areas of law, including gambling regulation, advertising and consumer law. In his time at Bird & Bird, Will has gained experience in working across a number of different sports, and in recent years he has developed a particular focus on esports, where he has advised industry stakeholders on setting up new esports leagues, sponsorship, player contracts and a variety of other issues.
Alex is a Counsel at Bird & Bird and is based in Hong Kong. He advises on the full range of corporate and commercial transactions for clients in the sports, media and technology sectors.
Richard is an associate in our Sports Group, based in London. He advises on a range of sports-related issues including challenges to regulatory decisions, rules and regulations, disciplinary matters (including doping and corruption cases) and commercial dispute resolution. He has acted for numerous international and national governing bodies, event organisers, clubs, other rights holders and individuals across a range of sports including football, motor sports, rugby union, cricket, and tennis.

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