Forty Under 40: Bryce Blum
Bryce Blum pledged early on that he’d actually follow through on the promise so many law firms make: to become an expert in his clients’ whole business, not just the legal problem of the moment.
Five years after graduating George Washington Law, he’s the linchpin of the burgeoning esports industry in part thanks to that ambition. Blum’s legal work and strategic advice is in extraordinary demand, from both the endemic esports world and the growing list of corporate investors looking for their own piece of the action.
His role in esports is difficult to overstate: His firm, ESG Law, represented six of the 12 charter members of the Overwatch League, and seven of the 10 members of the reconstituted League of Legends Championship Series (During the 2017 formation of those leagues, he found time for a wedding and a brief honeymoon, too.)
He also wrote esports’ standard player contract template that’s been used by more than 1,000 players.
“We have more reps on our core transactions than the rest of the lawyers in the world put together,” Blum said. “That’s a combination of the right place, right time. I was the first lawyer to market with an esports business.”
Since late 2016, he’s also been executive vice president of esports at Catalyst Sports & Media, where he’s advised on Madison Square Garden Co.’s acquisition of Counter Logic Gaming and the Hersh Family Investments’ purchase of Team EnVyUs. if you’ve kicked the tires on esports, you’ve probably been referred to Blum.
His role stems from hard work in developing relationships with clients through attending the tournaments, parties and meetings they all frequented, even when they didn’t have legal problems. His rise coincides with the emergence of esports as a viable business unto itself, not just a marketing expense for game publishers.
“I wake up every day and genuinely enjoy what I do,” Blum said. “I’m excited to be one of the people who builds the airplane in the air.”
— Ben Fischer
Executive Vice President, Esports, Catalyst Sports & Media | Founding Partner, ESG Law
Where born: Seattle
Education: Trinity College, B.A., environmental policy and international relations (double major); George Washington University Law School, J.D.
Family: Wife, Adriane
What gets you fired up? Spineless politicians that prioritize essentially everything over helping the people that need it the most; lack of common sense gun control; basically every opinion Antonin Scalia ever wrote; also, the right workout music.
Guilty pleasure: “Big Brother.”
Something your friends would consider “so you”: Arguing about something stupid without much to go on, like whether you can get a sunburn after
3 p.m. or the definition of what constitutes a sport.
Charity supported: The Center for Children & Youth Justice.
I am one of the best I know at … : Poker.
Forty Under 40 class members would be surprised to know that I … : Played far more sports than esports growing up. In fact, my parents wouldn’t let me own a gaming console.