In order to protect esports players and fans from the mercy of companies, South Korean Congressman Dong-su Yoo has proposed a bill to prevent esports leagues from being suddenly shut down unilaterally.
Inven Global reports that the bill requires game companies to first make an announcement or even try to switch hosts for the leagues.
“If a game company decides to no longer support the competitive league of a game title, they’re capable of shutting it down, even during the middle of it all,” Congressman Yoo explained. “There are instances where the rights of the related businesses, esports pro players, and the viewers’ rights are being violated through unilateral changes to the ruleset and even unannounced shutdown of the league.”
An example would be how Blizzard suddenly killed the Heroes of the Storm esports league in late 2018. As Kotaku reported at the time, the abrupt announcement came as a shock to hundreds of players and broadcasters, who suddenly found themselves without income streams with zero warning.
“While we cannot force anyone to donate their game as public goods, we need to prevent all related personnel involved in the game titles’ esport from facing damages due to the developers’ arbitrary decisions,” Congressman Yoo added. He noted how esports pros devote a lot of time to play when they are young, often starting playing as minors, and that there should be laws to protect them from such unilateral decisions.