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NFT and esports: an additional income opportunity or high legal hurdles?

This post is also available in: Deutsch

Introduction to NFTs and Digital Assets

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are an emerging area of digital assets based on blockchain technology. Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are fungible (i.e., they are interchangeable, such as Bitcoin), each NFT is unique and cannot be replaced by another. This makes NFTs ideal for representing ownership of unique digital or physical items.

The properties of NFTs enable a variety of applications, including digital artwork, music, virtual real estate, and even virtual pets. Because they provide an immutable digital certificate of ownership of a specific item or resource, they are quickly gaining popularity in various industries. However, case law often lags behind technological developments and it can be difficult to determine the exact legal status of blockchain content. The terms “NFT,” “blockchain,” and “cryptocurrency” are not terminus technicus and have no established legal definition, which can complicate legal classification and treatment.

In addition, the global nature of blockchain technology can lead to legal complications, as different jurisdictions may have different rules and regulations. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the legal issues associated with the use of NFTs and to seek legal advice when appropriate.

The role of NFTs in e-sports

The e-sports industry has the potential to leverage NFTs in a variety of ways. For example, individual players or teams can create and sell NFTs as representative tokens for their victories, achievements or special moments. These NFTs can then be purchased by fans as collectibles. In addition, NFTs could also be used to represent in-game items or player skins, giving players a new way to express their commitment and passion for the game.

This concept has already been successfully used in traditional sports. For example, the NBA’s “Top Shot” platform has sold NFTs of special game moments that have proven extremely popular and valuable. E-sports could follow a similar strategy by selling NFTs of notable plays or famous competitive moments.

The use of NFTs could also help strengthen the bond between fans and their favorite players or teams. By purchasing an NFT that represents a special moment, fans can feel like they own a part of their favorite team or player’s history.

In addition, NFTs could also provide opportunities for innovative advertising and sponsorship approaches. For example, companies could create and sell NFTs that contain their brand logos or other promotional content. This could provide a new revenue stream for the companies while increasing their brand visibility in the e-sports community.

However, it is important to be aware of the legal issues involved in creating and selling NFTs. Professional legal advice can help minimize potential risks and ensure that all activities are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Potential revenues from NFTs in e-sports

By selling NFTs, e-sports players can create new revenue streams. This revenue can come from direct sales, auctions, or secondary sales. However, it is important to carefully assess and calculate the value of these digital assets to ensure they are not over- or undervalued. Professional legal advice can help address these issues.

Marketing strategies for NFTs in e-sports.

Success in selling NFTs depends heavily on effective marketing strategies. Companies should know their target audience well and understand how best to present NFTs. Social media, influencer marketing and other digital platforms can be used to attract attention and reach potential buyers. It is also important to highlight the exclusivity and uniqueness of NFTs to increase their value.

A successful NFT sales strategy can also help build fan engagement and loyalty. Owning an NFT that represents a special event or moment can make fans feel like they are an integral part of the team or game. This can lead to them staying with the brand longer and participating more actively in future promotions and events. This is a concept known as “retention” and is an important indicator of success in e-sports and beyond.

In addition to increasing retention, a well-planned NFT strategy can also increase the overall visibility and awareness of a team or player. Particularly valuable or sought-after NFTs can lead fans and collectors to actively seek out more NFTs of the same brand, which in turn can increase the demand and value of those NFTs.

Using NFTs in combination with other marketing strategies, such as partnerships with influencers or engaging fans in NFT creation, can also help increase campaign reach and success.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that the success of NFT campaigns depends heavily on the quality and uniqueness of the NFTs offered. Therefore, the creation of NFTs should be approached with care and creativity to ensure that they match the interests and preferences of the target audience.

Legal aspects of the use of NFTs in e-sports

Although NFTs are not subject to regulation, they are still subject to legal frameworks. These can vary depending on the country and relate to copyright, taxes and consumer protection, among other things. It is therefore important to hire a specialized lawyer to ensure that all legal aspects are considered.

An important aspect that requires special attention is the design of NFTs and the legal framework that accompanies their use. In particular, it is critical to be careful that NFTs cannot be interpreted as investments or assets in the e-sports team or player. If they are classified as such, they could fall under much stricter regulatory requirements as they apply to financial products. This could lead to additional legal hurdles and potentially significant penalties in the event of violations.

A specialized attorney can help ensure that NFTs and related activities are not considered financial transactions or investments. This can be achieved through careful design of NFTs and the contracts that govern their issuance and sale. For example, it could be made clear that the purchase of an NFT does not grant ownership rights to the e-sports team or player and that no financial return should be expected.

In addition to legal considerations, it is also important to consider ethical and social aspects. The issuance and sale of NFTs should be done in a manner that is fair, transparent, and promotes trust among fans and the broader public. This can help avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings and support the long-term acceptance and success of NFTs in e-sports.

Overall, it is essential to take a sound and prudent approach to the use of NFTs in e-sports in order to minimize legal risks and maximize the potential of this new technology.

Risks and challenges in the use of NFTs

Despite the promising opportunities offered by NFTs, e-sports players should also keep in mind the risks and challenges. These include the volatility of the NFT market, potential technological difficulties, and legal ambiguities. Another important consideration is sustainability, as blockchain transactions, especially on platforms like Ethereum, can consume significant amounts of energy.

It should be noted that NFTs are currently receiving mixed reactions in the press and from many users. Critics point to the environmental impact of NFTs, the speculative nature of the market, and the potential risks to buyers. It is therefore critical to gain the trust of users by demonstrating transparency and professionalism in all aspects of NFT activities.

A crucial step in gaining the trust of users is to provide clear and comprehensive terms and conditions (T&Cs). These should contain all important information about buying, selling and using NFTs and be easy to understand. You should also disclose any potential risks and responsibilities associated with owning NFTs.

Proper legal review is another essential step in ensuring the legality and safety of NFT activities. A specialized attorney can help ensure that all aspects of the NFT issuance and sale comply with applicable laws and regulations.

Finally, it is important to have an open dialogue with users and respond to their concerns and questions. This can help clarify misconceptions, promote understanding of NFTs, and build a positive image for NFTs in e-sports. By building trust and transparency, e-sports stakeholders can help drive the adoption and success of NFTs.

Why you need a specialized lawyer for NFTs and e-sports

A specialized attorney can help you navigate the complex legal aspects of NFTs. They can provide advice and assistance on contracting, compliance, risk assessment, and dispute resolution. This can also help avoid pitfalls and ensure that your interests are protected at every stage of the process.

It is especially beneficial to hire a lawyer who has a strong connection to the e-sports and blockchain industry. Such an attorney not only has the legal knowledge, but also the industry knowledge to advise you effectively, but also understands the specific challenges and opportunities that arise in these fast-moving and innovative fields, and can therefore provide tailored and practical solutions.

An industry-focused attorney can also help you identify and take advantage of new trends and developments, such as informing you of changes in the regulatory landscape that could impact your NFT activities or helping you explore innovative uses for NFTs.


The use of NFTs in e-sports is a dynamic and emerging field that presents both exciting opportunities and legal challenges. There are already some legal precedents related to NFTs, including judgments on copyright infringement, breach of contract, and privacy violations. It is critical to be aware of these precedents and understand how they might affect your NFT activities.

The future of NFTs in e-sports looks promising. With technological advancement and evolutionary jurisprudence, NFTs can become an integral part of the e-sports landscape. They offer players and teams new ways to monetize their participation and performance, while increasing fan interaction and engagement.

However, given the complexity and novelty of the NFT space, professional legal advice is essential. To ensure that you take all necessary steps to protect your interests and realize the full potential of NFTs, you should seek the assistance of a specialized attorney who is close to the industry. With the right legal support and preparation, you can effectively use NFTs to maximize your e-sports revenue while ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


03322 5078053


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