eSports: General Sports Law is approved in the Brazilian Senate following rejection of amendment

Questioned by publishers and developers, amendment 89 was focused on granting CBDEL the status of maximum eSports entity in Brazil

On June 8, 2022 the Brazilian Senate approved the Complementary Law Project (Projeto de Lei Complementar/PLS) 68/2017, establishing Brazil’s new General Sports Law. Among the project’s 218 articles, amendment 89 – which changed legal provisions concerning electronic sports (eSports) in Brazil – was rejected.

Amendment 89 of Brazil’s new General Sports Law

Proposed by Senator Rose de Freitas (MDB/ES), amendment 89 intended to centralize eSports rules and guidelines in the hands of Brazil’s Confederation of Electronic Sports (Confederação Brasileira do Desporto Eletrônico/CBDEL), granting it greater power and benefits.

If the amendment had been approved, CBDEL would have become part of Brazil's National Sports System (Sistema Nacional do Desporto), and thus begun to receive lottery funds — as is already the case with Brazil's Olympic Committee (Comitê Olímpico do Brasil/COB), for example — and become its own sports subsystem. In truth, it would gain the status of “maximum entity” for the segment in Brazil.

This would allow it to act as a centralizer of rules, competitions and guidelines for different electronic games, although the policies governing each intellectual property are stipulated by their respective developers/publishers.

The amendment was questioned by companies in the sector

Amendment 89 was seen with intense suspicion. To 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 eSports companies – and a possible standardization of the market as a whole would not take into consideration the peculiarities (concerning rules, policies and formats) of each game.

This was also the understanding of Senator (and project rapporteur) Leila Barros (PDT/DF). On May 26, 2022, she presented her report without the articles that granted greater power to CBDEL.

“[…] We believe that the inclusion of the Brazilian Confederation of Electronic Sports in this roster is a mistake. In fact, eSports are already represented by several entities which are recognized by Brazilian legislation. Thus, we see no plausible reason for including one of these entities in the law instead of the others. In addition, this roster does not include any entity that specifically represents a sport, but organizations that act in broader spheres such as the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and club games,” said the senator in her report.

In view of this, the Brazilian Senate approved a substituting text for the General Sports Law, rejecting amendment 89 proposed by Senator Freitas.

Good for eSports?

This movement can obviously lead to a number of discussions — and even more so when it comes to a growing segment such as electronic games. According to Marcelo Mattoso Ferreira – partner at Barcellos e Tucunduva Advogados and an experienced lawyer in the field of Games and eSports –, rejection of the amendment avoided greater risks.

“The electronic sports market’s peculiarities make having its own sports subsystem unfeasible, since competitions, rules and guidelines belong to publishers/developers, holders of electronic games’ intellectual property. Centralizing this in a single entity would end up making the market itself unfeasible, and that wouldn’t be good for anyone,” said Ferreira.

Source: TecMasters