“Drive, attention to detail, and intellectual rigor” — when esports attorney Bryce Blum lists what it takes to succeed at your passions, even the word choice isn’t messing around. Blum owns and operates the world’s only esports-dedicated law firm, ESG Law. Through his firm, Blum advises esports athletes and industry figures on the legal ramifications of their work as well as how to succeed in a constantly shifting business.
Read on for how Blum’s big break came about from a “fun side project.”
Find Your Grind: Tell us a little bit about yourself and career history, Bryce.
Bryce Blum: I’m from Seattle, Washington, and got into esports somewhat by accident. I started practicing law at Foster Pepper—one of the largest law firms in Seattle—where I drafted a white paper forecasting the legal future of esports vis á vis the legal history of traditional sports. This was meant as a fun side project, but that white paper was the first piece of legal scholarship surrounding the industry, and it wound up floating to the top of the League of Legends subreddit.
Before I knew it, various teams, players and businesses were getting in touch with me to help out with their legal needs. My book of business grew over time, and now I own ESG Law, the world’s only dedicated esports law firm. As my legal career was evolving, I also received a lot of requests to do business consulting related to the industry. At the beginning of 2017, I began undertaking this work through a company called Catalyst Sports & Media, which has helped bridge the divide between the world of esports and the traditional sports, media, and entertainment industries.
FYG: How would you describe your job to someone who knows nothing about what you do?
BB: I’m an esports attorney and business consultant. My work ranges from drafting player contracts to advising sports team owners and family offices on how to deploy capital in the space. Every day is different, but the unifying theme is advising individuals and businesses on how to succeed within the esports ecosystem.
FYG: What kind of experience or degree would someone need to get a job like yours? How did you obtain that experience/degree?
BB: On the law side, a JD (law degree) is a must. Beyond that, the most important thing I have is years of experience working throughout the esports industry, interacting with key stakeholders, and thinking critically about the trajectory of the space.
FYG: What advice would you give to kids in high school, especially kids from rural areas, who want to get into esports?
BB: Don’t just focus on esports—focus on building a skill that could be applied to a number of different industries. This will put you in a better position to enter the space because it will be clear how you can add value. It will also position you well for broader employment opportunities if you decide esports aren’t for you in the end.
FYG: What does it mean to you to Find Your Grind? Why is it important?
BB: Drive, attention to detail, and intellectual rigor.