I have been asked many times recently in which questions of esport I can help as a lawyer. The answer is simple, because basically in all 😉
But of course I am better suited to one or the other team than to others. To do this, you should be aware of what goals you actually have for esports.
In principle, I would distinguish between three alternatives:
a) we do the evening after a regular job, it’s all about fun, but we’re happy when a hoster gives us a server for free
b) I want to support grassroots esport and establish an e.V. and promote the political purpose
c) I would like to make a limited liability company, or any other appropriate legal form, pay salaries, attract investors and be able to live on it.
The three alternatives have different challenges, legal complications and so on. Even if I can also help to register a club, for example, or can of course help it with legal problems, my specialty is more in the area c).
That doesn’t mean i can (a) or (b) does not find good (on the contrary), but it is necessary to realise that there are different interests and that a different mindset is also used for the different alternatives in order to enable success.
So it’s perfectly okay for someone to say they want to make a team and have a bit of fun. I don’t deny that (even if there are already too many teams, all of which are just a grant deal, even without the time required). But as a rule, these are not projects that can really be described as commercial, and for all sorts of legal reasons, which I have mentioned here many times in the blog, these should not be. The reason is simple, because there are currently enormous dangers that there will eventually be enormous problems with Social Security or the tax office for teams that want to be “a bit commercial”. Moreover, there is actually a “bit of commercial” not legally available. Commercially, it immediately means a huge canon of obligations and liability risks. And it doesn’t matter if you make a relevant amount of money or not. Just surf a little in the blog e.g. here, here or here.
There is still a lot of potential for commercially successful teams, but this is usually only possible with investors and full-time. If you do not want or can’t do that, you should also make it clear and take care, for example, that you do not end up in problems with auditors or other institutions, as well as competitors, of course.
And what do I offer now?
For those who see esport as the opportunity it offers. For all those who realize that esport is now a social development and not just a trend. I can help them.
This starts with the preparation of business plans, through the review and optimization of figures for investors and goes beyond the creation of investor contracts to the business day-to-day life of a professional team. After the establishment of a team and the establishment of a company form, questions regarding data protection, the protection of minors as well as problems in labour law, tournaments or events, trademark registration (and defense of this) or regarding streaming, Sponsorship, tournament wins and many other questions.
If you want to establish a classic start-up in esports, and nothing else is a professionally positioned esport team, then you must not only show commitment (usually quite in the form of a full-time job), but also be willing to provide professional structures and to establish working methods. With exactly such a transformation, I currently support teams and founders with contracts, business development, investor negotiations and support in possible warnings or court hearings. However, since this is not free of charge from my side and I do not offer pro-bono advice in this area, a founder must also be willing to invest money in my advice, my experience and my time. The same applies to the players of a team, premises, professional designers for website, promotional materials and the like and many other things. I am still absolutely convinced that currently an Esport team can not be made great by bootstrappen. It only works in the classic way with investors and bigger sponsors. Otherwise, one simply encounters too often too steep obstacles, is too often thrown back by the lack of consistency and will ultimately be demotivated by the lack of – commercial – success. Last is usually the beginning of the end of a once – playful – perhaps successful team.
Since I bring in not only know-how, consulting, but also contacts in teams, and these circumstances have to be remunerated, my activities usually aim at the above mentioned alternative c).
Interested in my services? Then briefly introduces yourself via email, Twitter or Skype and we discuss if and how I can help you and whether I can be the right contact so that you can live off esport.
P.S. of course I offer my services also already established teams and professional players and can help with my experience in court and in the legal field of social media. But more on that tomorrow!