You might know him as VideoGameAttorney on Reddit, but Ryan Morrison is going beyond social media to use his skills as a lawyer to empower gamers.
Morrison is CEO of Evolved Talent, a law firm that represents some of the top players in the world. Morrison spoke with In The Know about fighting the good fight to protect esports athletes as the lucrative industry evolves.
“Success is no longer Hollywood,” Morrison told In The Know. “People don’t want the star on the Walk of Fame, they want to be the top person on Twitch.”
Years ago, as esports became more profitable, so did exploiting players, many of whom were young or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Morrison began providing sound legal advice to gamers fending off questionable lawsuits and bad contracts on Reddit.
“Once we started helping these players, they started coming to us for everything because they had never had someone help them in a professional setting before like this,” Morrison told In The Know. “And Evolved very quickly, turned into a one-stop-shop to help them with whatever they needed. We negotiated the largest salaries in just about every eSport.”
Apollo Price, AKA Apollo, plays League of Legends for Team Immortals and is one of Evolved’s clients.
“Back in 2017, regulations were removed and franchising came in. And that was kind of a huge shift of a lot of money coming in,” Price told In The Know. “Back then, there wasn’t much negotiation to be had. You got on a team and really, you were lucky enough to get on the team in general.”
Price said as things became more professional, he wasn’t sure if he was equipped to deal with the changes. Evolved Talent now handles the legal side so that he can just game.
“It was exploitation left and right,” Morrison told In The Know. “These players constantly were told, ‘Fire your attorney or we’re revoking the offer. Come on, we’re such good friends, you’re really gonna bring a lawyer into this? Here, sign this 40-page contract.’ It showed us that, you know, this isn’t just little contract disputes, these kids are being taken advantage of.”
What Morrison loves about esports is that it is accessible. Other sports require a certain body type, with video games all you need is a brain and discipline.
“Anyone has that opportunity to go put in the work, do the homework, learn the actual game and compete at a top-level in esports,” Morrison said.
While becoming a professional gamer once seemed impossible, kids today can look up to today’s top Twitch streamers and players who rake in millions of dollars.
“It used to be when I grew up, you know, we would hide our video games or you would absolutely be going to prom alone. But the reality is now everyone is playing Fortnite and League of Legends. This is the culture at schools now,” Morrison told In The Know. “Everyone calls it new entertainment or digital entertainment. It’s not. It’s just entertainment now.”
If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s article on all the stuff you can do in the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands pre-patch.
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