For burgeoning eSports players, the desire to join an organization is common. In addition to playing in tournaments and livestreaming, signing with an organization is a significant step towards solidifying one’s career as a professional player in the industry. Contracts can boost a player’s revenue, expand their fanbase, and increase the value of their individual brand. Depending on the terms of an eSports contract, having a professional organization’s support can make a player’s life easier. Most players, however, do not have the experience or representation to understand whether the contract they sign genuinely works for their goals. This article provides tips that may help players recognize their position and discern a good contract as they navigate the early stages of their career.

Read to Succeed

This point cannot be emphasized enough: players should read their contracts before signing them. It is essential that a player understand what they are bound to prior to signing. Reading a contract informs the player of the parties’ respective obligations and the consequences of not fulfilling them. The unfortunate reality is that many contracts are not easy to read.  Even so, one purpose of reading the contract is to identify provisions a player does not fully understand and seek guidance on how to proceed. A player may enlist a trusted individual to assist in reading through the contact, such as a parent or friend, as long as it someone with the player’s best interests in mind. Though players should have a degree of trust with the organization they’re contracting with, it is naïve to assume that the organization’s own interests are subservient to that of the players.

Look out for Vague Terms

Contracts are designed to collect the terms of an agreement so that each party knows what they are agreeing to. This purpose is defeated if the terms are not clear. Players should take note of ambiguous provisions of the contract. If the words are not representative of what the player intends, they should not sign until such provisions are remedied. Similarly, players should only enter into written contracts, which are the standard in the eSports industry. Verbal agreements are still enforceable but often preclude a comprehensive review of terms after signing. If a dispute arises at a later date, ascertaining the meaning of uncertain terms becomes a very difficult task.

Pay Attention to Payment

Compensation for the player’s hard work is a significant concern when entering into an agreement with an eSports organization. Players must pay attention to amounts, method, time, and conditions of payment in the contract—players should know what they need to do to get paid. Another important consideration is whether prize money must be shared with their organization. If any such details are vague, undesirable, or missing, players should refrain from signing until they are corrected. Clarifying payment terms ahead of time can prevent costly contract interpretation issues down the road.

Watch out for Non-Compete Clauses

Non-compete clauses are designed to keep players from joining other teams by restricting a player’s ability to sign with another organization. Typically, these clauses are included to prevent the player from taking important information to competitors or, in the eSports context, to prevent a player from simultaneously playing for two competing teams. If such terms are too restrictive, a non-compete clause can essentially pause a player’s career at the conclusion of the agreement, especially if the clause endures after the termination of the contract (i.e., the clause remains in force even after the contract has ended). In Ontario, courts often opt not to enforce overly restrictive non-compete clauses. However, players should not sign a contract with an extremely restrictive non-compete clause with the expectation that a court will strike it out later. Players should ask questions and be cautious before signing a contract with a non-compete clause.

How the Contract Ends

Every contract has a finite lifespan. Players should know when their contract starts, how long it lasts, what happens during, and what occurs when the contract ends without breach. Some contracts may have options that allow either of the parties to terminate the contract before the stated end date. Most contracts will specify how the agreement ends should a party do something prohibited or neglect to do an action specified by the contract. Specifically, before they sign, players must understand what happens if they don’t fulfill an obligation under the contract, as well as how they might terminate the contract before its specified end date.


Signing a contract with an eSports organization is one way to jump-start a player’s eSports career. Still, players must take care not to lose sight of the obligations they are committing to by signing. Reviewing a contract with a trusted party is a prudent first step. These tips should assist a player in signing an agreement that works for them and their career.

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