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The rapid growth of eSports has, to a large degree, been mirrored by the increased coverage of data protection over the last few years. There is of course no causal link between these two areas, but it is inevitable that their paths will cross and organisations involved in eSports will need to understand their obligations under data protection legislation – both under the current regime and the upcoming EU Regulation.

The nature of eSports means that huge numbers of individuals from around the world will easily be able to share and disclose personal data – ranging from usernames of players to account information of viewers to marketing preferences of interested parties – through a variety of digital media. This will mean that any company involved in eSports will need to consider data protection, particularly how it collects and processes personal data and how it organises its online marketing.

Data protection should not be seen as an obstacle to a growing industry. There are, however, compliance requirements when processing personal data (such as how data is collected, shared and what information is given to players), which will need to be considered and doing so from the outset could avoid complications in the future as well as allowing businesses to fully understand how best to monetise the data it collects.