Managing Director and General Legal Counsel, Rogue Europe
When I saw esports taking shape as the digitalized form of competition — potentially surpassing traditional sports as the entertainment of the future — I took the leap and found my own legal practice servicing the early stakeholders of this emerging industry. My assumptions were borne out: Lack of written contracts, overall fairness, and compliance with tax and labour law requirements were the norm in the nascent esports industry.
Making my mark
Being one of very few attorneys in the world providing the tools to build sustainable legal structures, I was rewarded with the opportunity of transforming esports players’ careers; I shepherd them from their desk at their parents’ house to the stage in front of thousands, forming good structures, developing best practices, and crafting innovative sponsorship and private equity deals in the market space along the way.
As many emerging markets in the digitalization space, esports offers a variety of opportunities for more female empowerment and equal female participation in labor markets, financial markets, and entrepreneurship. Unlike in already established industries, boys’ clubs almost don’t exist in the esports space, and the structural need for skilled indiviuals to steer this industry’s explosive growth seems insatiable. Even more so, esports is still figuring out how, as an entertainment-focused business, to reach female consumers for whom female leadership is crucial.
The great leap forward
Earlier this year, I decided to make the switch from a private legal practice to the managing director role of the Rogue esports franchise, and participated in the League of Legends European Championship. My decision was motivated in no small part by the unique vision of parent company ReKTGlobal’s leadership group founder and chairman Amish Shah and CEO Dave Bialek to build a global brand that connected music icons, esports superstars, and community outreach activists. We champion the idea that esports teams serve as role models in the digital space, and can make a real difference in online culture; these teams can take a stance against online toxicity and promote diversity through various community outreach programs, such as our Junior Rogue program in which girls and boys play side-by-side.
Women should embrace the idea of working in the uncharted territory of esports. It provides you with the freedom to shape your career without conventional limitations, and, if should you want, lets you change society for the better — a little bit, every day.
Anna Baumann, Managing Director and General Legal Counsel, Rogue Europe, [email protected]