The UK Government has given the thumbs up to the creation of the British eSports Association, and the eSports Integrity Coalition introduce Ian Smith as commissioner and outline their framework for the future.
Two months ago, eSports got a professional shot in the arm when the Electronic Sports League (ESL) and a group of the most popular eSports teams in the world did a Care Bear Stare and created the World eSports Association (WESA). The purpose of which was to create an umbrella organisation working on player representation, standardised regulation, and a whole lot more.
Two months later, and the country that has shown the world that it likes to do things its own way, has decided to do things its own way.
The UK Government has given blessing for the rise of the British eSports Association. Working in conjunction with the John Whittingdale’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the foundation will become the National Governing Body for eSports in the UK.
Based at Pinewood Studios, in Buckinghamshire, the association will be spearheaded by Andy Payne OBE, acting as Chairman, and the beautifully named Chester King acting as CEO. According to King’s Linkedin Profile, he is a very busy man including an ambassadorial role for the Bobby Moore Club in Wembley Stadium – now there was a sportsman and a half.
The new organisation wants to represent UK players at all levels of the game. They want to support existing players and help them become global champions. They also want to work at the grassroots level to provide the infrastructure to lead the next group of champions out of their bedrooms and away from their consoles.
Jules Robinson, Head of Business Development, stated in the press release that they were planning to create a new National Training Centre to help them achieve their goals.
Before they act, they want to listen.
For the next three months, the association is encouraging the masses to provide them with as much data as possible.
– How can they help shape the future of UK eSports?
– What would you like to see from them, and what can they do to grow eSports in the UK?
If you have some sensible answers to these questions, then fire away. The email address is [email protected] and the deadline for feedback is September 30, 2016.
Official Launch of the eSports Integrity Coalition
In 2015, a group of eSports enthusiasts created a non-profit known as the eSports Integrity Coalition (ESIC). The first job of the ESIC was to carry out a threat assessment. The popularity of eSports was growing at an unprecedented rate, and the team at ESIC wanted to understand what the dangers of such a meteoric rise would be.
The results of the threat assessment revealed four major issues that needed a keen eye.
– Cheating to win via software corruption
– Online attacks that slow or disable opponents
– Match fixing
Yesterday, at a special event held in London, ESIC introduced Ian Smith as the first eSports Integrity Commissioner whose role it would be to oversee the frameworks and policies that would ensure these issues didn’t pop up like flesh in a fat boy’s wetsuit.
ESIC has opened its arms to all members of the professional eSports industry and has promised to operate with as much transparency and openness as possible. They have created a programme to be adopted by those stakeholders including a Participant Code of Conduct, an Anti-Corruption Code, and Anti-Doping Code, and an appropriate Disciplinary Procedure. The beating heart of the programme comes via cricket’s anti-corruption programme deemed to be one of the best systems in the world.
Education is also important. A new industry brings with it new minds, and the average age of an eSports athlete will be lower than most traditional sports. With that in mind, ESIC has created an Anti-Corruption Education Program and over 100 eSports professionals have already been through the program.
Smith spoke of his nine-month tenure at ESIC and called it ‘eye opening’. He has spent the past two decades working across a wide range of sports, and said he was ‘looking forward to applying all those insights and experience to the eSports ecosystem.’
Amongst the founding members of ESIC are Betway, Sportradar, and Unikrn.