Esports in South Korea – a short overview of the legal ecosystem
South Korea has always been at the center of esports. In the late 1990’s, the South Korean government decided to build a national broadband network for faster internet connection. This kickstarted the gaming revolution. Video gaming cafes (also known as “PC Bangs”) sprang up everywhere, as players flocked to play Starcraft. The multiplayer game concept took off. Roll the clock forward 25 years and the 2018 League of Legends Worlds Final in South Korea attracted 99.6 million unique viewers (up from 80 million in 2017) 1.
Alongside the growth of the ecosystem, the South Korean government has recognized the need for regulations to address a range of different issues, ranging from integrity to player welfare. Accordingly, this article summarises the development of esports in South Korea, looking in particular at governance and regulation, integrity issues and player welfare.
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- Tags: Anti-Corruption | Athlete Welfare | Commercial | Esports | Governance | Regulation | South Korea
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About the Author
Managing Partner, Ozkurt Law Offices
Emin Ozkurt is a Turkish lawyer and a managing partner in Ozkurt Law Offices.
Emin holds a degree from the University of Istanbul, Faculty of Law and also has an LL.M from The University of Manchester in International Business Law.
Emin is an internationally recognized authority on sports law and is the sole Turkish Arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Emin Ozkurt is also one of the founding Arbitrators at the newly created EuroLeague Arbitration Panel namely as EuroLeague Basketball Dispute Resolution Chamber. At this Arbitration Tribunal, Emin will be one of the very few (seven/eight) arbitrators to resolve contractual disputes between clubs and head coaches at EuroLeague.
Moreover, Emin is one of the few founding arbitrators at the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal (QSAT). QSAT aims to provide parties with an efficient and effective mechanism for resolving sports-related disputes through arbitration and mediation. Emin Ozkurt is amongst these 30 international Arbitrators at QSAT.
Emin Ozkurt is also one of the leading voices in the emerging area of esports. He is the Legal Director of Turkish Esport Federation. He is responsible for legally drafting the regulations on esports in Turkey and leading the legal scene in this field.
He also has extensive experience in sports-related disputes. Throughout his career, Emin has acted for athletes, coaches, agents and clubs in a variety of different matters, including contractual claims, doping infractions and disciplinary appeals.
Emin also has appeared before FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber (FIFA DRC), UEFA Disciplinary Bodies, Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT), Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), Swiss Federal Tribunal and also before the Turkish Sporting Bodies for sport related disputes.
Furthermore, Emin Ozkurt is a professor in sports law and gives lectures on sports at many venues such as Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE) Master in International Sports Law, Union of Turkish Bars and also many Universities in Turkey.