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What makes a good contract in esports?

Sat 30th Apr 2016 - 6:28am Gaming

What makes a good contract in esports?

An article by Amayze

 

As a contract manager with experience in various industries and values, I feel I am qualified to talk at length about this issue in a bid to better educate our region on what makes a good contract.

The definition of contract is as follows, “A contract is a legally binding promise or agreement.”, and in my time working with contracts I have come to know that those that are successful are mutually beneficial to all signing parties.

Our counterparts across the seas have addressed this problem themselves over many years and we definitely need to take strides from their discoveries. We also need to accept that we are governed by the laws of the lands our players reside within.

Now E-sports in Australia has seen many cases of players being unhappy with organisations they have been involved with. To me, this could mean possibly three things.

Firstly, the player signed an agreement that he/she did not read, committing to a something for nothing type deal. Bad Contract.

Secondly, the player never signed a contract but agreed verbally and thus has a shaky ability to enforce said agreement. No Contract.

 Thirdly, the Contract was breached by either player or org and neither have the knowledge or ability to negotiate or dispute in a legal capacity. No Contract Management.

These instances have caused a great divide between oceanic players and organizations, which you can see referenced in numerous articles, most recently http://espn.go.com/esports/story/_/id/15416291/nuovo-gaming-launches-oceanic-esports-organization-signs-iaguz-tomflr

In this article where Nuovo CEO Alex is quoted as saying "The Oceanic [esports] scene is struggling due to unhealthy relationships between players and organizations,"

This relationship breakdown, in my belief is due to a lack of transparency and explanation on contractual agreements between both player and organisation. These contracts or agreements are either not mutually beneficial or are not being honoured, both of which cannot continue if we wish to see healthy growth in our scene.

So getting to the beef of this piece, what makes a good contract?

Any contract that involves all parties getting a ‘fair’ exchange for their efforts is set to be a winner from the get go. Further than this though, the contract needs to have foresight in scope. It needs to include the possibility for considerations of change such as teams adding potential sponsors, changing sponsors etc. How would the player like this to effect his contract if at all?

These questions need to be addressed at the time the contract is created. Players need to ask themselves am I happy with these terms when signing? They also need to ask themselves what do I expect from signing this contract, are my needs met?

Similarly organisations need to think about the same thing. If a player behaves dishonourably, does this agreement allow them to call a breach? Are the organisations best interests met with this agreement?

It is important that all parties to the signing want the best for the other. That is, that the agreement in itself is symbiotic in nature. No entity is trying to exploit or expose the other.
This is the nature of a good contract.

 

Moving forward, Organisations and Players alike need to accept the following.

Our scene is small, but this does not mean we treat it any less professionally than our global counterparts. We must have contracts that encompass both the player and the organisations best interests WITHIN the ‘means of our industry’. 

This is to say that our industry does not encourage the sort of money from sponsors and fans as that which NA and EU see. The answer is not more money, the answer is more professionalism on a whole, which in time, will beget more money.


It is naïve to think that these things will come to us unless as a group we can see that it is expected we act ‘together’ with professionalism and integrity from the herein. Players and Organisations alike must have respect for the integrity and professionalism each display.

And this begins with fair and professional contracts.

 

Amayze is a streamer and Player Contract Manager for JAM Gaming. Amayze is available for private consultations as a 3rd party removed from JAM and your information will be kept private under ethical and professional obligations. If you wish to get in touch with Amayze regarding esports contracts, or simply to show your support, his contact details are as follows:

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