A sport or a competitive gaming competition?

Whatever you want to call it, gone are the days where professional sport is played only in stadiums, on sports grounds and the like, and computer games are played by socially awkward teenagers in their bedroom. Welcome to the new era of electronic sports or, if you're super cool, eSports!

eSports are multi-player video game competitions held online (with players based wherever they want) or offline (in person). It’s where gamers go to pit their skills against others, gain kudos and make money. And for some of the pro gamers, there's serious money to be made. Large tournaments welcome thousands of players and millions of viewers through coverage on websites like Twitch and Azubu, as well as channels like ESPN2.

Here’s 5 things you should know about eSports:

  • It’s huge, and is gaining momentum faster than you can say ‘You’re too much of a noob to sweat!’, with events being held throughout Australia (and the world) on a weekly basis.
  • Like ‘traditional’ sports, eSports’ players can attract endorsement and sponsorship deals. They can also make significant money through online ad, streaming and subscription arrangements. Whatever the arrangement, read your contract carefully. What might seem like a good deal now because someone is actually paying you to do what you love, may not be in 12 months’ time when you’re locked into an arrangement where you’re doing all the work for 3% of the revenue.
  • There’s a movement to crack down on PED’s. Last year, the eSports giant, ESL, announced a plan to introduce anti-doping regulations into its tournaments.
  • If you’re thinking of organising/promoting a tournament, remember that you have a duty of care to provide a safe event and venue. Also, depending on where you hold the event, you may also need to notify the local Council; obtain a licence/permit and the relevant approvals to hold the event; take out insurance; develop emergency, crowd control and other plans and arrange for ambulance personnel to attend.
  • Companies: Beware the use of volunteers as the Fair Work Act mandates that employers pay employees a minimum wage. For more details.