Integration of eSports in the structure of Ifs : disruption or continuity ? / Cedrick Aghey

Aghey, Cedrick

With increasing popularity and growing financial stakes, the gaming industry caught the attention of the international sporting community, notably to know whether eSports would be suited to integrate the already existing structures of International Federations (“IFs") and whether competitive video gaming could incorporate medal events, such as the Olympics. On 8 December 2018, through its “Communique of the 7th Olympic Summit”, the IOC considered premature the inclusion of eSports as medal event on the Olympic program. However, it did recognize their importance and encouraged IFs to consider the benefits of integrating the “electronic and virtual” version of their sports within their structure. The most important question that remains, which will determine the future of eSports as a potential new discipline, is whether such a favourable environment will cause video game producers and IFs to seize this business opportunity and create innovative synergies between themselves. With the present paper, the author will identify some of the current legal issues surrounding the integration of eSports into already existing sporting structures.

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