Intel and ESL Want More Women in eSports; AnyKey to Launch Initiatives in Katowice

TAGs: AnyKey, ESL, eSports, Intel, Lee Davy

Intel and ESL create AnyKey to assist in creating a fair and inclusive space in eSports for women and other minorities. Numerous initiatives will be launched as part of the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Finals in Katowice, Poland, March 4-6.

Intel and ESL Want More Women in eSports; AnyKey to Launch Initiatives in KatowiceHave you seen the movie Suffragette?

I watched it the other night. It was a historical drama focusing on the movement seeking the right for women to vote. It was powerful stuff. It was something I missed during my history lessons, but my son learns about today. It was also a powerful reminder that we aren’t as far ahead as we think we are.

A lot has been written about the different ways in which men and women are treated in the world of poker. I don’t need to walk into a poker room to see the divide – I see it in my everyday life.

I see it in the way my mum jumps to attention when my dad walks into the house so she can run him a bath and cook his food. I see it breaking out in my life, courtesy of a spot of societal conditioning. I try to hide it when it pops up, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s there.

I know it’s there because I am more informed about the inequality. I watch movies like Suffragette; I listen to it on the news and read great articles like the one I picked up at Fortune highlighting the excellent work being carried out by Intel and the ESL.

In that article, John Guadiosi writes about a partnership between Intel and ESL that has spawned a new movement known as AnyKey.

“Our mission is to help create fair and inclusive spaces in eSports for women and other underrepresented gamers.”

It’s an excellent idea. It provides focus. I only wish poker did the same thing.

Those working at AnyKey have already come up with a broad range of initiatives, some of which will be rolled out during the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Finals in Katowice, Poland, March 4-6.

AnyKey is behind the Intel Challenge Katowice, a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament for women. There will also be an AnyKey lounge where people will be welcomed and given the space to connect and commune with like-minded individuals.

The new concept comprises of two different departments. The first focuses on research geared towards initiative-related topics, and the second is the implementation arm. The research team is headed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor T.L.Taylor. The implementation team falls under the stewardship of the co-founder of Ubisoft’s female gaming organisation Frag Dolls, Morgan Romine.

The Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice is a massive eSports event. In 2015, over 100,000 people attended the event live in person.


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