Global Esports League’s Establishment

CMS advised Electronic Sports League on all legal aspects of establishing the global league.

Following two years of negotiations, the Louvre Agreement has now established the first global league between signatories Electronic Sports League (ESL) and the twelve leading international esports teams for Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). With an average of 80 million hours of viewing per season in 2020, the CS:GO ProLeague is one of the world’s most watched leagues in CS:GO, ranking second in international esports.

With the key points having already been defined at the beginning of 2020, the constitutions, rules of the game and agreements required for a global league of this nature have now been drafted at all levels and in the necessary detail, and agreed between the 13 parties. The constitution for implementing this global league is only partially modelled on the existing set-up in conventional sport. Most of the regulations and decision-making structures have been specially developed to meet the requirements of this new market. They include transfer rules, compliance, arbitration rules and governance, together with new models for sharing revenue from media and sponsorship rights.

The teams taking part include Faze, NaVi, Fnatic, NiP, Liquid, EG, Vitality, Mouz, G2, Complexity, ENCE and Astralis. ESL has been developed into the world’s biggest esports company since 2000. It organises international leagues and tournaments such as ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League and ESL National Championships. ESL is owned by Swedish media company Modern Times Group.

The CMS team included Dr Pietro Graf Fringuelli (Picture), Lead Partner, Cologne, Media Law, Dr Malte Bruhns, Partner, Cologne, Corporate, Kai Neuhaus, Partner, Brussels, Competition, Thomas Gerdel, Partner, Düsseldorf, Tax, Dr Benjamin Lissner, Partner, Cologne, Dispute Resolution, Dr Thomas Sonnenberg, Partner, Cologne, Compliance, Thorsten Hemme, Principal Counsel, Cologne, Dr Patrick Ehinger, Senior Associate, Cologne and Martin-Lukas Landmann, Senior Associate, Cologne, all Media Law

Involved fees earner: Malte Bruhns – CMS Hasche Sigle; Patrick Ehinger – CMS Hasche Sigle; Pietro Graf Fringuelli – CMS Hasche Sigle; Thomas Gerdel – CMS Hasche Sigle; Thorsten Hemme – CMS Hasche Sigle; Martin-Lukas Landmann – CMS Hasche Sigle; Benjamin Lissner – CMS Hasche Sigle; Kai Neuhaus – CMS Hasche Sigle; Thomas Sonnenberg – CMS Hasche Sigle;

Law Firms: CMS Hasche Sigle;

Clients: Electronic Sports League (ESL) ;

Federica Tiefenthaler

Author: Federica Tiefenthaler