Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has “harnessed the collective competitive video gaming, or esports, experience of a core group of attorneys, to create a multi-office, cross-practice team that it hopes will meet the needs on a billion-dollar industry.
Greenberg Traurig’s newly established Video Game and Esports Group will be headed by Steve Walkowiak and P. William Stark, litigation shareholders in the firm’s Dallas office.
The new group, founded with approximately 20 attorneys from across the firm, “will leverage” the firm’s industry knowledge in several areas, including emerging technology, intellectual property, corporate and securities, stadium development, media rights, and litigation. The Video Game and Esports Group will also draw upon the experience of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Gaming and Sports Law Practices to address the industry’s many facets.
“This type of cross-pollination enables the firm to provide tailored solutions while proactively navigating opportunities or challenges that can arise,” Stark said.
The group currently represents esports teams and game developers across a multitude of legal needs, ranging from governmental regulation and antitrust to employment and policy initiatives.
“Esports is estimated to be a billion-dollar industry and growing,” Walkowiak said. “As the business and legal landscape of this exciting industry continues to evolve, our goal is to expand on what we can offer clients with a broad range of experience and resources leveraging our expansive knowledge with this industry specific focus.”
Esports involves multiplayer video gaming played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers. According to published reports, the industry recently experienced a resurgence, thanks to faster online streaming capabilities, big-name investors, and a global audience that continues to grow into the hundreds of millions daily.
The relocation of world-famous esports teams to major cities across the United States is also reported to be spurring development of new startups and large-scale real estate projects. In November, the city of Arlington, Texas opened a $10 million, 100,000-square-foot facility called Esports Stadium Arlington—making it one of the largest esports stadiums in the U.S.
Stark said that he believes “the legal needs of clients are dynamic, and it is important for the firm to be adaptive and strategic in how we solve those needs. Adding a video game and esports group allows us to draw from our existing expertise and develop viable solutions for clients involved in this sector.”