Children in Esports: An Editorial on Player Rights

4 05 2018

16 year old Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan preparing for a DOTA game.


Children in Esports: An Editorial on Player Rights


Every day children commit to becoming a professional video game player. Esports, for those ill-informed, was a $655 million industry in 2017 that is expected to surpass $1 billion by next year, where people play video games for a living and compete around the world for millions of dollars in prize money. Because esports is such a new industry, rules and regulations are being made every day to protect their players and organizations. However one area that has not been protected is the rights of minors.

To be a professional player you need to have faster reaction times than an F1 driver, better hand-eye-coordination than a tennis player, and mental stamina of a chess player. These qualities are hard to find in a person over the age of 30, in fact some players are barely old enough to drink alcohol to celebrate a win. According to ESPN the average Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player is 23 years old. In comparison, the average professional baseball player is 29 years old. That being said there are plenty of players that are under 18 years old.

The film industry has rules and regulations for those under the age of 18 receiving money. This law is named Coogan’s Law. Jackie Coogan was an extremely successful child actor whose money was taken from him by his parents. According to the Screen Actors Guild website “Since a minor cannot legally control their own money, California Law governs their earnings and creates a fiduciary relationship between the parent and the child. This change in California law also requires that 15% of all minors’ earnings must be set aside in a blocked trust account commonly known as a Coogan Account.” Basically this means that 15% of the money the children earn has to be put into a trust account that the parents do not have access to, and the children can not access it until they turn 18.

The esports industry does not have any regulations for minors. According to Timothy Kimbirk, an esports coach and manager for the organization eUnited, his player does not have any regulations when it comes to how the player gets paid. In his words “[A] player under 18 – They get their money in their own bank, or parents bank if they wish. It’s up to them though.” This can lead to some major problems. Imagine a scenario where a parent does not allow their child to compete unless all the money they earn goes into the parent’s bank account. In this scenario the child is doing all the work, practicing sometimes 12 hours a day and they parents are reaping all the rewards. If the child was to sue under Coogan’s Law they would win the settlement, because the theory of the law is the same: to protect the child. These players do not sue because they believe that they can get off of the tier 2 and low tier one teams that tend to abuse player rights and if they sue a team they will ruining their reputation in the scene.

Another regulation that other entertainment industries have with minors relates to their schooling. Most actor’s contracts have a clause that has to deal with the child’s grades. If the child passes their classes they can continue to act. A lot of the times the child will have a tutor to help them with classes if they are struggling or to bypass the school system all together.

Most esports players do not have these clauses in their contracts. Kimbirk’s player on the other hand does have a school clause in his contract. According to Kimbirk it is up to the parents or organizations discretion, but there is typically not a clause dealing with grades in player contracts. This is another problem with the industry standards in esports. Unlike football or baseball, when a player is contracted when they are still in school they are sometimes sophomores or even freshmen in high school. This means these players will be practicing more than 40 hours a week and going to school full time as well. This can cause grades to slip if they are not a top priority. This is a problem because if the child does not succeed as a player, but also drop out of school then the player has no backup plan.

Esports organizations can choose to have policies about not hiring anyone  under the age of 18, or they can choose to not have any policies regarding the hiring of minors. Aristotle’s golden mean would suggest that these organizations find a middle ground between the two extremes. This middle ground would be allowing your organization to hire minors, but with restrictions. As mentioned above, Kimbirk has a policy for his players that they must be passing classes. This is a perfect middle ground, it protects the player by making sure they are not putting all of their eggs in one basket. However, it also allows them to play at the highest level.

Another ethical theory a CEO of an esports organization can use is Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative. This theory states that no person should be used as a means to an end. For example, an esports organization should not underpay, take advantage of and/or poorly treat a young esports player in order to win a championship. One problem that Richard Lewis discusses in a YouTube video is that new players are taken advantage of by esports organizations because they just want a paycheck. Kant would consider this unethical because these organizations are using these players as a means to win a championship and don’t actually care about these players.

Now it’s easy to see the organization owners that don’t just care about the money and fame. One great example of this is Jack Etienne the CEO of Cloud9. Etienne has a long track record of taking more pride in his players mental health than winning championships. For example, when Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek wanted to pursue a career as a full time streamer instead of a professional player, Etienne made sure that Shroud continued to receive support through the paycheck he was getting at the time. Kant would see this act as ethical because Etienne proved that Shroud is not just a means to winning a championship, but rather, someone he cares about as a person.

With esports being a relatively new industry they have a lot of mistakes to make and a lot to learn from those mistakes. But the esports industry can avoid mistakes other industries, such as the film industry, has made by implementing rules and regulations before they become a problem. This is extremely true for players under the age of 18.


Photo Courtesy of Tweaktown



34 responses to “Children in Esports: An Editorial on Player Rights”

9 05 2018
  Max-Hrd Review (11:05:40) :

Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly since I
was investigating for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

13 05 2018
  ingredientes do chá da vida (15:32:57) :

Como tudo na vida, nada vai agradar a todos.

13 05 2018
  como ganhar Na Mega sena rapido (21:26:44) :

Se escreve no bósforo BowWowVEVO ai abaixo.

14 05 2018
  João Joaquim (13:24:56) :

Crescimento é ainda maior: espantosos 300% ao ano.

17 05 2018
23 05 2018
  جستجوگر خبر (12:25:03) :

you’re really a excellent webmaster. The
site loading pace is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive
trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a
wonderful process on this topic!

9 06 2018
  Antônio (02:34:46) :

R. – Boa-tarde, Claire Bonnet e estimados ouvintes.

19 06 2018
  como fazer laço de tecido para tiara (23:32:48) :

Afinal, toda família só que melhor para a criança.

21 06 2018
  Maria Maria Luiza (23:55:51) :

Curso de direito tributário brasileiro, p. 202.

22 06 2018
  curso de laços e tiaras em recife (02:46:01) :

Ganha a equipe que finalizar a corrida primeiro.

22 06 2018
  poder de conquistar blog (20:05:27) :

A palavra de Deus esta acima da igreja de Deus”.

23 06 2018
  iMessage for Android (03:28:57) :

This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally, I have found something that helped me. Appreciate it! iMessage is a common informing application for the Apple gadget clients like iPad, iPhone and Mac –

27 06 2018
  Sauriol Bohde Wagner Architects and Associates (05:28:33) :

I haԛve read so mzny articles or reviews on the topic off tһe blogger lovers except
thіs ⲣoѕt is truly a fastidiⲟus paragraρh, keep it up.

27 06 2018
  curso de tiara infantil (12:46:13) :

Curso tiaras para bebê Funciona? Isa Laços & tiaras.

28 06 2018
  como fazer tiaras para bebe com perola (17:28:16) :

Jesus Cristo também era rei dos Judeus. Direitos humanos.

28 06 2018
  site (21:31:11) :
29 06 2018
  guia da reconquista perfeita (14:12:29) :

São Paulo: Sociedade Bíblica do Brasil, 1969.

30 06 2018 (12:08:48) :

Em 1850, D. Pedro II alterou sua posição.

30 06 2018
  como desenhar mangá corpo inteiro (17:13:40) :

E quais seriam desenhos fáceis de desenhar no caderno?

30 06 2018 (17:39:51) :

Pretendiam criar uma sociedade sem Rei e sem Deus.

2 07 2018
  Luiza (13:15:01) :
5 07 2018 (06:11:35) :

Quando a pessoa amada voltar jogue a caixinha no lixo.

6 07 2018
  Lorena (05:40:27) :

Ela precisa convencê-los de que pode salvar rei.

11 07 2018
  Aurora Charms (06:08:06) :

Piękny post, ogólnie masz racje, chociaż w kilku
aspektach bym się kłóciła. Na pewno sam blog może liczyć
na szacunek. Myślę, że tu jeszcze wpadnę.

14 07 2018
  top torrents (05:46:55) :

This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading.

20 07 2018
  bandar domino online (02:18:11) :

Nice answers in return of this difficulty with firm arguments and telling the whole thing regarding that.

5 08 2018 (15:15:33) :

YKS Puan hesaplama sitesi olan yksdestek sayesinde harika bir şekilde puanınızı hesaplayabilirsiniz. Bunun dışında yks bilgileri, tyt ayt konu dağılımı geri sayım sayacından da faydalanabilirsiniz.

9 08 2018
  deaura viet nam (07:31:28) :

It’s in point of fact a great and helpful piece of info.
I’m glad that you just shared this useful info with us.
Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

16 08 2018
  Girls Spa Party Mobile (01:10:04) :

I actually felt your post was and not keeping
your head stuck in the phone the whole while, either) and living
life with appreciation for the natural world, keeps people
feeling sane and feeling joyous. Considering deep philosophical memes is likewise an experience that can assist us to know ourselves.

22 08 2018
  my website (13:20:30) :

I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site.
I’m hoping to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well.
In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to
get my own, personal site now 😉

7 09 2018
  اخبار چندرسانه (06:09:27) :

اخبار جهانی ، بهترین و جامعترین سیستم جمع آوری خبر فارسی و قویترین موتور جستجوی خبر و جستجوگر هوشمند خبر
اخبار جهان ، با ما از همه چیز باخبر شوید ،
اخبار جهانی

10 09 2018
  Nefelibata (04:08:16) :

man on the moon

19 09 2018
  Mainpasti (19:14:46) :

Glad to found your site today. I want to ask something about this topic. How do i get more information about this?

21 10 2018 (23:12:55) :

Good post. I learn something new and challenging
on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always interesting to read through content from other
writers and practice a little something from their
web sites.

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>