Contested by publishers and developers, amendment 89 wanted to give CBDEL status of “maximum entity” of Esports in Brazil
In a vote last Wednesday (8), the Brazilian Senate approved the Bill of Supplementary Law (PLS) 68/2017, which establishes the new General Law of Sports. Among the 218 articles contained in the text, one of the highlights was the rejection of amendment 89, which would bring changes to the provisions aimed at electronic sports (Esports) here in Brazil.
Amendment 89 of the new General Law on Sport
The amendment in question, proposed by Senator Rose de Freitas (MDB/ES), aimed to centralise the rules and guidelines of the Esports scene “in the hands” of the Brazilian Confederation of Electronic Sports (CBDEL), granting the entity more powers and benefits.
If the amendment were approved, the CBDEL would not only become part of the National Sports System and begin to receive resources from the collection of the numerical prognostic lottery – as already happens with the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), for example -, but would also constitute its own sports subsystem. In practice, it would gain status of “maximum entity” for the segment here in Brazil.
This would allow the entity to act as a centraliser of rules, competitions and guidelines for different electronic games, even though each intellectual property (IP) has its own policies stipulated by its respective developers/publishers.
Amendment was contested by companies in the sector
Amendment 89, however, has been widely questioned. For market players such as Leonardo Mourão de Biase, founding partner of BBL Esports and Nicolle Merhy, CEO of Black Dragons Esports, Brazilian confederations and federations do not represent e-sports companies and a possible standardization of the market as a whole would not take into account the various peculiarities (of rules, policies and formats) that each game has.
This was also the position of senator Leila Barros (PDT/DF) who, on 26 May, presented her opinion without the articles that granted more powers to the CBDEL.
“[…] we understand that the inclusion of the Brazilian Confederation of Electronic Sports (CBDEL) in this same list is mistaken. In fact, the electronic sports has several representative entities, all equally recognized by the Brazilian legislation. Thus, we do not see any plausible reason for the inclusion of one of such entities in the law, to the detriment of all the others. Besides, this list does not contemplate any entity that specifically represents a sport modality, but organizations that act in movements of a wider spectrum, such as the Olympic, Paralympic and club movements”, said the senator’s report.
In light of this, the substitute text of the General Law of Sport was approved by the Brazilian Senate, but with the rejection of amendment 89 proposed by Senator Freitas.
Good for Esports?
It is clear that the movement can yield several debates – even more so when it comes to a rising segment such as electronic games. But for Marcelo Mattoso Ferreira, partner of the law firm Barcellos e Tucunduva Advogados and attorney active in the gaming and sports market, the rejection of the amendment avoided greater risks.
“The e-sports market has peculiarities that make it impossible to have its own sports subsystem, since the competitions, rules and guidelines come from the publishers/developers, owners of the intellectual property of electronic games. Centralizing this in some entity would end up making the market unviable, which would not be good for anyone,” said Ferreira.