Mediating eSports Business Disputes during COVID-19

Posted on: Tue, 09/08/2020

By: Andrew Barton, Vice President, AAA-ICDR® and Lance K. Tanaka, Vice President, AAA-ICDR

Though most traditional sporting events have been decimated by an operational shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many might think that eSports are immune given the nature of online, or virtual, competition. However, businesses involved in the eSports industry feel the impact of the loss of revenue generated by live fan attendance via ticket sales and merchandise purchases, corporate sponsorships, streaming and broadcasting, social and livestream platform advertising, and other event-related income. 

As of January 6, 2020, the online Influencer Marketing Hub approximates that eSports will become a $1.65 billion industry by 2021. Loss of revenue for a burgeoning, growth industry can have a lasting impact on both its short- and long-term viability as it often leads to an increase in business and legal disputes. It is in the interest of all businesses involved in the contracts and deals to shorten as well as mitigate the severity of any conflicts.

Benefits of Mediating eSports Business Dispute 

Given the uncertainty of Covid-19, the need to quickly renegotiate contracts, resolve differences, and/or to craft unique resolutions to potential set-backs is just as necessary as it is to the traditional sports industry. 

Mediation is an interactive, interest-based resolution process that enables parties to have direct input into shaping mutually beneficial outcomes. For a promising, cutting-edge industry such as eSports, it is especially important to utilize a quick and less confrontational dispute resolution procedure that will allow it to preserve its relationships and investment dollars. 


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