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Transfer – Player transfer in esports is an essential and dynamic process that reflects the constant evolution and increasing complexity of this industry. Like the world of traditional sports, player transfers in esports involve moving talent between teams within a specific league and discipline. It is essential to understand that a player from a particular game, such as CS:GO, can only be transferred within the league of that game and not to others, such as Valorant, for example. For this to happen, the player must first leave the CS:GO league and enter the Valorant league, this being another type of process.

Legal aspects

The concept of transfer covers a wide range of legal aspects that directly impact the competitive dynamics and the very structure of the esports industry. As this sports industry continues to expand and consolidate as a form of entertainment and global competition, transfer management becomes increasingly crucial to ensure the integrity of leagues and fairness between teams.

For a transfer to be valid and legally recognized, it is imperative to obtain approval from the corresponding league and formalize the agreement by text. In some cases, these transfers may involve monetary transactions, commonly known and incorrectly called “player purchases”, a concept that must be eliminated from dialogue/vocabulary since we are talking about people and not objects. In addition, there is the concept of hybrid transfers, where various forms of exchange between clubs are combined, such as transfers, loans, or player exchanges. These hybrid transfers add an additional layer of complexity and diversity to the process, compared to more traditional transfers.

Esports leagues typically require clubs to establish formal contracts with their players, creating a public database for all teams involved. Each league has its own set of rules and regulations regarding transfers, tailored to its specific market and season. Factors such as the player’s contractual status, the deadlines set for transfers and loans by the league, and contractual clauses between clubs and players, all play a crucial role in the transfer process.

The employment relationship between players and clubs in esports poses unique legal challenges, especially regarding the application of existing labor legislation (which is uneven across many countries and continents) and the definition of working conditions in particular environments such as gaming houses or gaming offices. Contracts between players and clubs, along with sponsorship and confidentiality agreements, are essential elements in player transfers. Additionally, intellectual property protection is emerging as a critical aspect in this ever-evolving industry, where player-generated content can have significant value.


However, the lack of established laws and regulations in key areas, such as intellectual property and contracts, contributes to the complexity of the legal terrain in esports, as current rules only adapt to the terrain of the sport, but are not standards who were born with the sport itself. This underlines the importance of having specialist legal advice to ensure fair and impartial transactions in this area. Although specific cases resolved in court are not cited, it is essential to be aware of international regulations and have well-informed and up-to-date lawyers in the legal field of esports.


In summary, the transfer of players in esports is a fundamental and intricate process that encompasses legal aspects. From regulation by leagues to agreements between clubs and players, this essential concept influences the evolution and excitement of this exciting electronic competition industry. Proper transfer management not only ensures the integrity and fairness of competitions, but also contributes to the sustainable growth and development of esports around the world.


  • David Santiváñez

    David Santiváñez is the inspirational founder and chief leader of GameMetron Law Firm, a pioneering firm providing legal services to the creative industry and esports in LATAM. Passionate about gaming culture, his profound knowledge and extensive experience have led him to collaborate with prominent indie gaming companies and creative entities in the region, as well as with various esports teams and personalities in Latin America. His expertise extends beyond the legal realm; he also stands out as a mentor in movements and non profit organizations such as the IGDA Foundation, Global Game Jam, and GameJamPlus, among others, always seeking to foster entrepreneurship, creativity, and disseminate legal knowledge in a dynamic and understandable way. In addition to his outstanding performance as a lawyer, David has shared his experience through teaching. He has been invited as a professor in various programs related to esports, such as ISDE Law & Business School in Spain in 2019 the Saudi Esports Academy in Saudi Arabia in 2022 and the Sports Law Diploma of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in 2019 and 2020. He has also taught classes in institutions related to law and traditional education, such as Universidad Nueva Galicia (from 2021 to 2023) and the Universidad Contemporanea de las Américas (UNICLA) in Mexico in Outside of his role at GameMetron Law Firm, from 2018 to 2020, he served as Senior Legal Counsel at DEVHR, the international forum for gaming professionals. In March 2020, he founded the Esports Directorate of the Cámara de Comercio de México (CANACO), currently under the direction of Hugo Sánchez, a prominent figure in esports in Mexico and the region. Additionally, he has collaborated with the Instituto Nacional de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos Personales (INAI) as an advocate for the protection of personal data for children and adolescents in accessing video games as well as with the Secretaría de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana of Mexico (during Cybersecurity Week), evangelizing and promoting cybersecurity for parents and youth in the gaming and cyberspace environment. David is a prominent member of organizations such as the Video Games Bar Association (the Esports Bar Association (EBA) and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). He is also recognized as a legal expert in intellectual property matters on the Safe Creative platform and is part of the select group of professionals endorsing arbitration as a method of conflict resolution called WIPO ADR Young, belonging to the World Intellectual Property Organization. Currently, David is pursuing an MBA at ThePower Business School and continues to lead GameMetron Law Firm while overseeing the firm’s expansion throughout Latin America, directing strategies from the offices in Peru.

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