Managing Gamer Payments in the Esports Wild West

Managing Gamer Payments in the Esports Wild West

The idea of getting paid to play video games for a living was downright laughable until recently. Esports is considered an official sport by some and gamer payments can reach over a million dollars. It is important for gamers to have a good payment experience no matter how much they earn.

Tens of thousands of pioneers faced the struggles of the Wild West to seek their fortune in the gold rush. Players, brands, and game publishers now hope to strike it rich in the lucrative, $1 billion (£796 million) esports industry.

Welcome to the new frontier

There’s a saying about “building a ship as you sail it.” It means that you make things up as you go. The esports industry is pulling it off. Explosive growth is not without its growing pains, however.

Publishers own their respective competitive video game titles but traditional sporting leagues do not own football, etc. Suddenly, companies that make and distribute games had to become licensees, event organisers, and more.

Game publishers run professional leagues, learning what works and what doesn’t. Grassroots tournament organisers have to consider licensing and collaboration. This might not have been required or enforced previously.

Japan and other countries have to work around existing laws that lump esports together with gambling. This greatly restricts prize money and gamer payments allowed. Japan is also working with local organisations to provide esports licenses to players. Licenses would allow players to compete and win money without gambling restrictions.

In 2020, $822.4 million in esports revenues will come from media rights and sponsorship. This is three-quarters of the market. Several top brands are diverting budgets away from traditional sporting events to esports, especially during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Many brands are still trying to navigate this exciting new world and figure out where they belong.

Navigating gamer payments and contracts

How to manage Gamer Payments in the Esports Wild West

“While lucrative, the gaming industry is still the wild wild west and unlike other sports, relevancy is not necessarily tied strictly to performance or wins and losses,” Darren Glover, division lead of VaynerGaming was quoted as saying recently. He stressed the importance of an ecosystem to manage and strategize all facets of involvement. This includes players to brand sponsors.

Indeed, teams have had to learn how to become businesses, and fast, which includes managing contracts and player payments. Some of the world’s top professional gamers have become celebrities, complete with endorsement deals, talk show appearances, and talent agents. Players have to become adept at navigating legal matters and contracts in addition to playing well.

Gamer payments and contracts can be confusing. In our experience negotiating legal matters in esports, players had many concerns. Players worry about how to understand the complex language of a contract, how to enforce that contract, and of course, how to get paid.

Gamers are no doubt reminded of these concerns when an esports contract comes into the spotlight, Turner “Tfue” Tenney and his recent lawsuit battle against FaZe Clan is one example. Players, organisations, esports teams, and brands need to understand what is expected of them. When a gamer agrees to play, this will be outlined in a contract.

Players need to understand their responsibilities before they can get paid. For example, they might need to submit an invoice. A contract will state whether payments are automatic or after an agreed amount of time. For conversion reasons, the payment currency will also be important to know.

Managing gamer payments requires key items like these to be considered.

Edge is here to help

If we are still using the Wild West analogy, look at Edge as your friendly local mining and mercantile store — it’s the backend of esports. We give you all the tools you need to be successful. Then you can go out and seek your fortune in the esports frontier whether that is reputation, business relationships, or literally a ton of money.

Business savvy and player excellence combine to achieve success in esports. Edge automates all gamer payments through smart contracts. We offer a 100% payment guarantee, plus all payment records are stored permanently. Plus, we offer tax solutions to help keep things simple and above board.

Our data integrates with publishers, social media, and league APIs for real-time verifiable data. All parties can monitor contract obligations such as hours played. Players using our system can ensure that payments are received on time. They are also able to dispute transactions easily.

If you are ready to explore gamer payment options, book a demo today!

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