Sunday 12 March 2017

Contracts for eSports players: the basics.

Due care should be exercised when signing a contract.

All contracts should aim to provide players, clubs, organizers, and national federations with security, as well as outline the requirements of the  parties that enter into such.

There are basics to contracts of which all gamers should be aware.

In essence, an esports contract is like any employment contract. Where the gamers are employed by profit making ventures to earn monies (through appearance fees, sponsorships, prize-money), I am of the opinion that such contract must comply with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. In such contract, the player's working conditions, pay, duties, and other pertinent details must be carefully spelt out.
As such contracts will provide for the following clauses:
  • Company or organizational guidelines
  • Ill health and leave benefits
  • Other benefits
  • Remuneration
  • Sponsorship requirements
  • The percentage the organisation will take from any potential tournament winnings
  • Working hours
Generally though, contracts for gamers will be for a finite period which could be a year or even a few months, or even just for a specific tournament.
However, in the case of all contracts, the contracts are subject to South African law.
The contracts  themselves may too have to comply with more than just the law. For example, Mind Sports South Africa will not select players who have contracts that are in conflict with the contract that MSSA requires the members of the National Team to sign.
It is a requirement in South African law to seek advice from a legal professional before signing. Any queries must too be raised before signing and clarification must be obtained. 
All 'vagueness' must be resolved before signing.

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