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Volume 22 No. 28
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Krista Hiner, ESG Law

Photo: ESG Law

Krista Hiner

Senior Counsel, ESG Law

Born: Northfield, Minn.
Education: Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A.; William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.

In the esports world that is rapidly developing, Krista Hiner is helping keep burgeoning leagues and dynamic teams on track legally.

Hiner is an attorney for the Los Angeles-based ESG Law, one of the most prominent esports-focused law firms in the country. Originally from Minnesota, Hiner joined the firm and moved to L.A. in 2017 to pursue her passion at the nexus of law and competitive gaming after previously practicing employment law in her home state.

Between the number of deals in the esports space and the newness of franchised leagues, Hiner stays busy working with ESG’s dozen-plus clients, which include several of the biggest teams in the competitive gaming world.

“It feels like the Wild Wild West in regard to the law a lot of the time right now, because we have to juggle the uniqueness of an industry that operates across many jurisdictions,” said Hiner, who is a gamer and grew up playing Halo. “If a team is based in California, they are going to be competing all over the country or even world, so that creates lot of challenges there.”

Hiner helped found the Esports Bar Association to help esports law professionals network, discuss industry issues and bring about more diversity and inclusion in the industry. 

“Our clients are constantly doing deals that are in other countries, so I really have to do a lot of creative schedule maneuvering to get all the work done,” she said. “Esports operates on such short timelines, so the deadlines are a lot more demanding; it can be easy to get discouraged, but I try to remind myself how great it is to work in such a dynamic industry.” — Adam Stern

Getting to know...

Favorite day-off activity: Scuba diving or sailing.

Guilty pleasure: “Big Brother.” I’ve watched it religiously since Season 6.

Something your friends would consider “so you”: Talking way too fast.

Attribute I look for when hiring: Coachability. 

Misperception of working in sports business: That it’s always fun and easy. During work hours, I’m behind the scenes looking for answers to novel, complex legal questions.

Proudest professional achievement: Working on Team Liquid’s partnership with Marvel earlier this year is definitely a career highlight.

Woman in sports business you’d like to meet: Serena Williams. She’s strong, determined, resilient and 100 other things I aspire to be.

Role of sports in social issues: Prominent members of the sports community are often role models. They can (and should) use their position to inspire positive change with respect to social issues.