Rep. Dong-soo Lee, a member of the Democratic Party and South Korean parliament, proposed the "Heroes of the Storm Law", along with a group of other politicians and lawmakers.
On 18th May 2021, Rep. Dong-soo spoke in the parliament, where he explained why he wants to make these changes and why they are important for the future of the esports industry in South Korea.
"In the case of esports, if the game company is no longer willing to continue the competition, there is room for the competition to end even while the competition is in operation," he stated, as reported by Naver.
He explains that these kinds of unilateral decisions can seriously infringe the rights of numerous other parties involved in the competitions, including esports organisations, pro players, casters, and other people involved in the production of such events.
As one of the most infamous examples, he brought out the abrupt termination of the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC).
Gen.G Esports was one of the best Heroes of the Storm teams in the world (Picture: Blizzard)
The HGC saw a sudden end in December of 2018, which effectively ended the game's pro scene.
This came just weeks after a lot of people involved in the competition, including players, casters, and even developers, were reassured that the next season of the HGC was going to be bigger than ever before.
And this is exactly the type of situation which Rep. Dong-soo Lee wants to prevent with his proposal. The bill would require that publishers or others who own the copyright of a game will need to inform at least several months in advance all of the involved parties if they are planning to cease operations of an esports competition.
In this way, the rights of teams, players, casters, and viewers will be protected as they will know the exact state of the competition, and can prepare for their future accordingly.
Rep. Dong-soo Lee emphasizes that many esports players are in their teens or early 20s, which is a crucial time for a person's development. Many of them are dedicating their life to a game they play professionally, and a sudden ending of competitions (and thus their careers) can have severe and long-lasting consequences.
"In particular, professional gamers are investing in their teens to early-mid-20s, which is the most important period in a person's life due to its nature, and as there are not a few minors, institutional protection measures must be introduced," Dong-soo stated.