Hardly ever do people actually relish the idea of rules and regulations. They’re often seen as an inconvenience or an annoyance that keeps things from being fully enjoyed. But, when you sit back and think about it, rules and regulations are there to protect people. Often-times, when operations and organizations become too large abuses of power occur. With the eSports industry becoming a multi-billion-dollar endeavor, it’s only a matter of time before good intentions turn bad. That’s where eSports governing bodies come in.
eSports as an activity and industry has grown beyond the Stanford University Spacewar! olympics that had a prize pool of a Rolling Stone Magazine subscription. Today, players compete for prize pools that climb into the tens-of-millions of dollars. Add corporate sponsorships for players and teams plus streaming revenue and you have a lot of money pumping through the veins of the competitive gaming industry.
To keep the integrity of the industry organizations work diligently to keep this quickly growing industry regulated to make sure competitions are fair and done in the spirit of the game. There are a variety of governing bodies that have been formed to preserve the sport. We at Gamercraft have compiled a short catalog of some of the major types of eSports governing bodies out there so you can follow the rules of the game.
Who are the eSports Governing Bodies?
Many of the games that eSports tournaments center around are ones with existing developers and publishers. If anyone knows how the game is meant to be played and what constitutes cheating or poor playing, it’s them. As eSports governing bodies, game developers and publishers can offer insight and finals says when it comes to the rules surrounding their game and competitor disputes.
While game publishers weigh in on their specific games’ rules and regulations, national eSports governing bodies represent athletes and teams. Often-times, these organizations train teams to compete internationally. While there’s no set standard for how these eSports governing bodies are formed, they’re typically tied to a major entity in their respective country. For some it’s a non-profit organization, an Olympic committee, or a government body.
Examples of this would be the Japan eSports Union or eSport-Bund Deutschland.
League and Team Associations
With all the money flowing in and out of the eSports industry, it helps to make sure that players and teams are properly compensated. That’s where these types of eSports governing bodies come in. League and Team eSports governing bodies work to establish a cohesive relationship between leagues and teams.
eSports leagues are typically formed by third party organizations and teams enter them to compete. These relationships seek to establish proper regulations for player compensation, conditions, and a standardized system of rules across multiple tournaments and competitions.
The World eSports Association is a prime example of these types of governing bodies.
These types of eSports governing bodies can be equated to labor unions in the work force. Players Associations are designed to protect the rights of the competing players by negotiating agreements with publishers and/or league organizers.
The negotiated agreements from these governing bodies help guarantee the rights of players and introduce other outlets for players beyond just competitive playing. They’re formed strictly by players from their respective game(s) they compete with.
Some examples include the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association, King Pro League Union, and North American League of Legends Championship Players’ Association.
Gaming Industry Associations
While the previously listed governing bodies are put in place and formed to serve purposes to protect the integrity of the industry and players, game industry associations represent the gaming industry. Essentially, these organizations exist within the confines of eSports governing bodies, but they don’t seek to regulate eSports.
Instead, they advocate for publishers and developers by insuring there are no intellectual property infringements or that their games are being played properly. They interact with government bodies and will organize events to be hosted within eSports tournaments. They are not technically classified under eSports governing bodies, but we figured it’d be helpful to know who they are.
Some examples of these organizations include Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association and Entertainment Software Association.
Rules and Regulations Help eSports
While the commonly held belief is that things can become too big to fail, but that’s quite a fallacy. Without proper regulation and the institution of standardized rules, industries can collapse, and the eSports industry is no different.
Prize pools continue to get bigger, companies continue to funnel sponsorship money to players and teams, and the sport is growing at an unprecedented scale. While still fragmented, the eSports industry and these governing bodies are doing their best to tame the uncharted territory that is competitive gaming. Like it or not, rules and regulations keep players and teams safe and are essential for the longevity of this industry.4