With more than 30 attorneys across the United States and beyond, our Esports and Gaming practice group brings together legal experience across numerous practice areas critical to these industries. Our forward-thinking team understands all facets of this expanding international market and can confidently guide esports and gaming clients through a variety of potential legal issues.
We represent private and public companies around the globe as well as players and talent. Leveraging our collective experience, we look at the big picture, stay ahead of trends, navigate challenges, and proactively identify opportunities for our clients.
Who we work with
- Team and league organizations
- Marketing and media companies
- Tournament providers
With our breadth of cross-industry experience, we advise clients on issues including:
Labor and Employment + Immigration
We counsel clients on all aspects of their labor and employment practices and issues, from drafting employment and professional service contracts, to implementing forward-looking policies and HR practices, to helping players obtain proper visas to compete in international tournaments. Our experienced nationwide Labor and Employment Litigation team represents employers in state and federal court in single-plaintiff and class action suits, as well as before administrative agencies such as the NLRB and OSHA.
Gambling Laws + Regulatory Compliance
Our attorneys stay ahead of changes to the complex federal and state gambling regulations to ensure developers, publishers, tournament organizers, and teams do not create illegal derivative gambling markings through micro-transactions or other technologies.
We provide guidance and strategic planning to ensure clients comply with international and domestic regulations for cross-border transactions, virtual currencies, international tournament play, gambling restrictions, advertising and endorsement laws, broadcasting and media rights, and data privacy.
Whether you’re creating, backing, franchising, acquiring, or selling an organization, understanding the esports and gaming landscape is key to smart investing. Our experienced Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate groups know all aspects of the space to help clients unpack the complexities of the deal and make smart business decisions.
Public Financing + Zoning and Real Estate
With the growth in the esports and gaming industries comes the expansion into arenas and brick-and-mortar experiences. Our Public Finance and Real Estate groups guide clients through all steps of public financing, zoning, and real estate transactions.
We have performed current or past work on behalf of these clients:
- Video game developers and publishers, Stardock Entertainment and Valve Corporation, in a trademark and copyright infringement dispute involving Star Control: Origins, an action-adventure video game
- French video game maker, Gameloft S.E., on all trademark prosecution work
- Fantasy sports content provider on various real estate transactions and litigation matters, and navigating government regulatory inquiries across the country
- Various gaming companies on U.S. regulatory compliance of their tournament rules, including drafting rules
- Virtual reality esports company in patent matters
- Digital engagement consultancy group on patent prosecution work in regards to its proprietary game development platform
- FreshPlanet, a video game developer, with their trademark prosecution work
- Gameloft, a mobile game developer, in a suit alleging copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and other claims relating to the development of digital cars used in mobile video games
- Stardock Entertainment in a First Amendment defense to secure victory on behalf of Ironclad Games and Stardock Entertainment in a trademark infringement matter related to the “Rebellion” mark
- Bandai Namco Entertainment, a video game developer and publisher, in a lawsuit against AtGames, alleging copyright and trademark infringement, as well as counterfeiting, unfair competition, and false advertising
- Scientific Games Corporation (aka WMS Gaming), a manufacturer of slot machines, video lottery terminals, and software, to help casinos manage their gaming operations and on patent prosecution matters
- Professional basketball team looking to acquire a stake in a multigame esports organization to assist in managerial duties around the brand, including a new rebrand to match the basketball team’s colors, marketing, brand promotion, and sponsorships
- Esports festival—provided general business advice and drafted agreements
- Large food and beverage management company for an investment in an esports franchise
- “2020 Esports & Gaming Symposium,” Nixon Peabody, November 10 & 17, 2020
- “Women in Gaming,” Los Angeles Venture Association, October 15, 2020 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Gamer Safe Place,” Engine Media Inc., October 1, 2020 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Mitigating and Managing Reopening Risks in the Esports & Gaming Industry,” Esports Bar Association, Webinar, September 15, 2020 (Vincent Tennant, Bruce Copeland, Carolyn Nussbaum)
- “COVID-19 & Post COVID-19: The State of the Gaming & Esports Industry Webinar Happy Hour,” Nixon Peabody, May 12, 2020 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Next Level: The Past, Present and Future of Esports Law,” North Carolina Bar Association, Expert Series CLE, June 1, 2020 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Think - How Integral is the Development of Media Rights in Esports to the Industry at Large?,” ESI Digital Summit, Webinar, May 26, 2020 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Esports: Labor & Employment Issues,” February Finale (eSports), Cary, NC, February 2020 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Technology in Labor and Employment Law,” American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law's National Symposium on Technology in Labor and Employment Law, Washington, DC, April 2020 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Game On: The Billion Dollar Esports Industry,” ISCS Western Conference, Los Angeles, CA, September 2019 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Governance, Player Unions, and Dispute Resolution,” Esports Bar Association Conference, Los Angeles, CA, June 2019 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Future Forum: The Future of Esports in L.A.,” Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, April 2019 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Esports Summit: Law, Technology and Governance,” Pepperdine Law School, Los Angeles, CA, March 2019 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Who will be the Michael Jordan of Esports? Building the Next Generation of Brand Influencers,” Nixon Peabody & XLIVE Reception Series, Los Angeles, CA, March 2018 (Ellie Altshuler)
- “Women in Esports and the Video Game Industry,” Esports Activate, Sony PlayStation Theater, New York, March 2018 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Game On: Legal issues in the esports industry“ Nixon Peabody Blog, December 2, 2020 (Bruce E. Copeland, John Eden, Jason T. Kunze, Anais Masiello, Carolyn G. Nussbaum, Christopher Queenin, Vincent J. Tennant, Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan)
- “Should esports tournaments and other live events have participants and fans sign COVID-19 waivers when in-person entertainment gatherings resume?“ Nixon Peabody Esports Alert, July 30, 2020 (Vincent Tennant, Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan, Bruce Copeland, Carolyn Nussbaum)
- “How the EU copyright directive affects esports live streams,“ Esports Insider, August 6, 2019 (Jason Kunze, Jennette Psihoules)
- “SEC Expands the Circumstances Where it Deems a Digital Asset to Not Be a Security,” Nixon Peabody Esports Alert, July 29, 2019 (Dan McAvoy, Shirley Qin)
- “Ask the Esports Lawyer—Part 2: Covering the Most Pressing Issues in Esports Law” Esports Insider, June 7, 2019 (Ben Kim, Irene Scholl-Tatevoysan)
- “Ask the Esports Lawyer—How will FTC loot box investigations impact esports influencers?” Esports Insider, April 18, 2019 (Michael Strauss)
- “Demand for Esports-Friendly Venues to Grow,” GlobeSt.com, February 22, 2018 (Rudy Salo and Noah Lebowitz)
- “To Avoid Copyright Disaster, the Future of Game Streaming is Licensing,” VentureBeat, August 23, 2017 (Jason Kunze)
- “Ten Legal Issues to Watch When it Comes to Esports,” Forbes, May 19, 2017 (Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan, Chris Queenin, and Brianna Howard)
- “Immigration in Esports: Do Gamers Count as Athletes?” Forbes, May 18, 2017 (Courtney New)