Thursday 10 January 2019

The basics about contracts for esports athletes.

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 athletes 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.

It should also be noted that President Ramaphosa signed four bills into law in late November 2018 to give effect to a R3,500.00 monthly national minimum wage for most categories of workers, but did not announce a start date. 

The legislation will see a R20.00 compulsory hourly rate, which will be phased in at R18.00 an hour for farmworkers and R15.00 an hour for domestic workers.
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 esports athletes 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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