Three Grappling Legal Issues in Esports

Esports. More than 150 million viewers globally and a multimillion industry. It is expected to soon exceed US$1 billion in 2019. Richard Wee, Lesley Lim, Bryan Boo and Vincent Lim introduce us to three legal issues surrounding the esports industry.

The evolution of esports from its inception to a world-wide phenomenon is truly fascinating. What began as just a few friends playing against each other on the computer or a gaming console has today become multi-million dollar tournaments such as The International 2017, a Dota 2 tournament, boasting a total prize pool of $24,687,919.00, with the champion team taking home a massive $10,862,683.

Governments and organisations around the world are recognising the potential in esports. Even major television channels like ESPN and Fox Sports have jumped into the fray. With the Olympic Council of Asia’s announcement that esports will be included in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, it is no wonder that traditional sports organisations are starting to acquire their own esports team, like the Dallas Cowboys’ owner acquiring esports organisation compLexity Gaming. Amidst all the hype, we look at 3 legal issues that the industry has to grapple with. Continue reading

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Axiata Arena: The 4 Sports Law Issues for Malaysia’s First Sponsored Stadium

Guest writers Richard Wee, Lesley Lim and Vincent Lim write on the ground-breaking corporate sponsorship deal for the Axiata Arena. They share on the 4 sports law issues that arise in this deal.

Introduction

Alongside the growth of the sports industry in recent times, there has been a trend for corporations and individuals of means to invest in sport stadiums through naming rights, a form of collaboration between two parties resulting in a company name being synonymous with a sporting team for a set period of time in exchange for a financial payment.

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England has the 02 Arena while Shanghai has the Mercedes Benz Arena. Now, Malaysia has its very own multi-sport stadium, the Axiata Arena. Axiata Group Berhad has secured the exclusive sponsorship to work jointly with the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (Perbadanan Stadium Malaysia) on the redevelopment, modernisation as well as the rebranding of the Putra Indoor Stadium to Axiata Arena, making a mark in history as Malaysia’s first corporate named stadium.

A 10-year agreement worth RM55 million between the Malaysia Stadium Corporation and Axiata Group Berhad has been reached. The Malaysia Stadium Corporation will continue to be responsible for the maintenance while other upgrades will be to the extent of which Axiata had agreed upon as per the terms and conditions of the agreement.

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Sports Doping: Positively Negative

Guest writers Richard Wee and Samuella Kong shed light on doping tests in sports. How does the international sports community monitor athletes and investigate doping cases?

Doping

The Rio Olympics 2016 have come and gone. Once again, the spirit of human passion to achieve greatness and to accomplish what was once deemed to be impossible, has been illustrated repeatedly at the Rio Olympics. In the midst of all this competition, a constant reference to fair play was made with regards to doping in sports. Due to the Russian doping scandal that first broke out in November 2014, a great suspicion has hovered over any athlete from Russia throughout the competition. Seeing a Russian athlete on the podium may have invoked suspicion among some spectators, an unfair situation for athletes not involved in the scandal. This highlights the importance of modern day athletes not only staying clean and above drugs but being perceived to be clean and above drugs.

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A Grand Slam: The Sports Law Association of Malaysia

The Malaysian Lawyer interviewed Richard Wee, sports lawyer and Deputy President of the Sports Law Association of Malaysia. We wanted to find out more about the area of sports law and of this new association. There are lots of exciting plans for the future and it looks like the development of sports law can only skyrocket.

SLAM Logo

First of all, congratulations on being elected as Deputy President of the Pro-Tem committee of the Sports Law Association of Malaysia (SLAM).

Can you share with us what factors led to the formation of SLAM?

Thank you for your warm wishes. It is indeed a great honour to be elected by my fellow peers to lead SLAM as deputy president. We hope to create a platform for interested parties to explore the frontiers of sports law in Malaysia. Under Datuk Dr Sundra Rajoo’s leadership, I am confident that the objectives of SLAM, particularly the aspiration that one day Malaysia becomes the sports law hub of this region, will be a reality.

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