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Why esports must adopt a child-first culture to protect participants and the industry

Little boy playing video game
Tuesday, 31 August 2021 By Robert Lewis, Andrew Cooke, Shulamit Aberbach

One-on-one coaching, rigorous training and high levels of competition already present dangers when it comes to keeping children and adults at risk safe in sports but throwing electronic devices into the mix is largely uncharted territory.  In this article, we explore the safeguarding lessons the esports sector can learn from the experience of a traditional sport like football while also highlighting the ways in which esports environments present unique challenges.

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About the Author

Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis

Robert is a Managing Associate in the Employment department at Mischon de Reya and Head of the firm's Education Group. He advises clients on employment-related matters, safeguarding, complaints and discipline. He has extensive experience advising clients in the sports sector and has previously seconded to the Lawn Tennis Association.

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Shulamit Aberbach

Shulamit Aberbach

Shulamit is an Associate in Mishcon Private.

Shulamit acts for a wide variety of clients, including high profile and high net worth individuals, companies and not for profit organisations. Her work encompasses a broad range of contentious matters, advising on commercial litigation across disputes including civil fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties.

Shulamit also acts for clients in relation to complaints against schools and reputational matters, as well as having experience of family matters, art law disputes and advising on political litigation, including acting for politicians in disputes with their political parties.

Andrew Cooke

Andrew Cooke

Andrew is the General Counsel at Fnatic, one of the most valuable and fastest-growing teams in esports. He introduced Fnatic's first holistic risk management program, focused on establishing the foundations of a long-term, values driven approach to delivering legal services to the team.

The program leans heavily on lessons learned during his time at Flash Entertainment, where he built one of the Middle East's most decorated in-house functions from the ground up. The program involved a new panel of external counsel, insurance advisors and trademark counsel; establishing the fundamentals of an enterprise risk management program; the deployment of specific strategies to enhance data, IP and corporate governance; and an internal education program, among other things.

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