San Diego International Law Journal


Chandler Martin

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Comment focuses on the employment relationship of esports competitors signed to high profile teams. Specifically, players who are signed to an esports clan and stream their content live. Section II provides general background about esports, focusing on its rise and structure. This section also outlines some additional, common issues facing players. Next, it looks at South Korea’s esports industry and the steps their government has taken to protect esports players. Lastly, the section concludes with a rationale on why further analysis into the employment status of content creators signed to a clan adds to the existing literature.

Section III lays out three tests used to classify workers as employees or independent contractors. These tests are the common law agency test, the economic realities test, and California’s ABC test codified by AB 5. Section IV then applies these tests to a high-profile streamer who recently left his clan and extrapolates from these results the employment status of gamers working under similar conditions.

Section V proposes solutions to the various issues addressed in this Comment. These solutions not only suggest what the players and organizations should do, but how aspiring professionals in the legal community can get involved in esports. Section VI concludes this comment with suggestions for future research.