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K&L Gates Advises Charlotte Phoenix Emerging Esports Organization on Capital Raise, Other Legal Matters

9 June 2020

Seattle - Lawyers from the sports law practice of global law firm K&L Gates LLP have advised emerging esports organization CLT Esports LLC (commonly known as the Charlotte Phoenix) on a seed-round capital raise as well as a variety of intellectual property and employment law issues to assist the Charlotte, N.C., company in expanding its footprint in the esports industry. 
With the COVID-19 pandemic having led to the shutdown of traditional sports and other live events, esports organizations like the Charlotte Phoenix are experiencing a significant increase in overall interest, with viewership on Twitch, the primary streaming site for esports, for example, having increased by nearly a third in March 2020, according to a recent Time Magazine article. The Charlotte Phoenix own professional esports teams currently competing in League of Legends, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Rocket League, and Valorant.  

The capital raise is the latest in a series of matters on which members of K&L Gates’ sports law practice have assisted the Charlotte Phoenix in recent months, with other projects having included preparation of a suite of standardized player and coach contracts and individual negotiations in connection with those agreements, advising on a variety of employment law and intellectual property areas, and providing strategic counsel in connection with numerous other initiatives. 

“I am so grateful that the Charlotte Phoenix have the support of K&L Gates as we rapidly grow,” said Charlotte Phoenix owner Jeff Brokaw. “It’s rare to find a group of lawyers who not only understand the unique esports landscape and can combine that background knowledge with first-rate legal capabilities, but can also quarterback any question we have to one of their other lawyers, in essence serving as a one-stop shop for our legal needs.” 

The K&L Gates team advising the Charlotte Phoenix includes partners John Wilson (Seattle), Brendan Gutierrez McDonnell (Portland), and Randy Clark (Charlotte), along with associates Caleb Ginsberg (Portland), Nicolas Sabet (Washington, D.C.), Ryan Groshong (Seattle), and Kat Miller (Portland).  

“It’s been a real honor for our sports law group to advise the Charlotte Phoenix,” said Wilson, a leader of K&L Gates’ global sports law practice. “The emerging esports scene is an important one for our practice, and I’ve been especially impressed with the efforts of our associates Nicolas Sabet and Caleb Ginsberg, who have both quickly become ‘go-to’ resources for the esports community.” 

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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