Video games are not only seen as merely a play, but also a competition involving professional athletes and prizes worth hundreds of millions of US Dollars. These video games are now known as esports, which is a short of electronic sports.
Indonesia has been engaging with esports in many regional and international level championships such as the South East Asian Games (SEA Games). However, it is interesting to understand further on how the laws and regulations regulate esports in the country.
The Indonesian Dictionary (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia) refers to esports as multiplayer video games competition. There are no specific laws regulating esports. However, Law No.11/2022 on Sports stipulates technology-based sports are competitive and interactive sports using electronic technology devices, such as computers, laptops, consoles, simulators, and mobile phones.
In contrast to Law 11/2022, the Indonesian Esports Executive Board (PBESI) as the parent organization of Esports sports in the country explicitly define “esports”. PBESI Regulation No. 034/2021 on the Implementation of Esports Activities in Indonesia defines esports as a competitive and professional sport competed in games that are nationally recognized by PBESI.
PBESI Regulation No. 034/ 2021 classifies esports team as professional and amateur.
Professional esports team refers to an esports team conducting business activities by investing, having the status of a limited liability company and fulfilling the requirements in terms of administration and performance in Indonesia.
Therefore, to be able to compete in the professional esports competitions, a professional esports team must be a limited liability company. To form a limited liability company legal entity, a professional esports team must comply with Law No. 40/2007 on Limited Liability Companies in conjuction to Law No. 11/2020 on Job Creation and their subsequent regulations.
Amateur esports team refers to an esports team participating in an esports League, tournament, and/or multi-sports event but has not met the requirements to become a professional esports team.
Esports Athletes’ Rights and Working Relationships with Esports Teams
PBESI Regulation No. 034/2021 regulates the rights of professional esports athletes of professional esports teams, namely;
a. monthly wages both as an active player and a reserve player based on a work contract;
b. professional athletes with a minimum period of 1 year work contracts may discuss employment contracts every four to six months for wage increases based on the achievements of each professional athlete;
c. the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan);
d. domestic and international health insurance and travel insurance ;
e. share of profits from the display or publication of image rights; and
f. granting approval in connection with the buyout and transfer clauses in the employment contract, including approval of the termination of employment.
Based on these provisions, it is understood that the relationship between professional esports athletes and esports teams is based on a work contract, so the provisions in the employment contract between professional esports athletes and professional esports teams are also subject to Law No. 13/2003 on Manpower in conjuction to. Law No. 11/2020 on Job Creation and its subsequent regulations.
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