Article September 15, 2021

Esports: Building momentum

CFC’s Jade Giltrap looks at the ways in which IP exploitation is driving a booming esports industry, particularly in the wake of Covid-19.

This story was originally featured in the September issue of IP Magazine. You can read the full article here or get in touch with to find out more. Below is a excerpt from the piece:

As countries gradually emerge from lockdown, major live events such as Euro 2020 and Wimbledon have started to welcome fans back through the doors. This is also true in the esports world with some mega esports events still to come including the League of Legends World Championship 2021 in China.

Traditional sports and esports finally have live events in common again and though they may seem like different spaces, the intellectual property (IP) infrastructure of each is actually very similar.

Fundamentally both have much in common in terms of the ecosystems in which they exist from the games, fans and spectators to the associations, leagues, and  governing bodies, the teams, players and influencers. 

These ecosystems also extend to the broadcasters and the financial stakeholders including owners and investors and those providing commercial sponsorship, advertising spend, collaborations and endorsement deals. 

And when it comes to revenue, one of the biggest streams within both areas is the monetisation, exploitation and optimisation of IP rights. The major difference between the two in terms of IP rights ownership and control is that in the traditional sporting world, there are many owners and controllers of IP rights such as teams, leagues, and associations.

In esports, there are far fewer major IP owners as most of the overarching IP rights belong to the games publishers, who allow all other participants within the space to use this IP at their discretion. 

You can read the full article here or get in touch with CFC's media team.