The British Esports Association's Advisory Board
The British Esports Association - the not-for-profit charity set up to support, promote and instil good governance for amateur esports players and teams - has its own advisory board.
Each board member is encouraged to have a sub-group, and will rotate, with each member sitting on the board for a minimum of 12 months.
The board regularly meet to discuss developments and areas of focus for the British Esports Association, and offer their input.
We also invite observers along to our advisory board meetings. These include the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department of International Trade (DIT), Ukie, esports tournament organisers and others in esports. While they provide input for an individual meeting, they are not able to vote on certain matters or be passed opportunities that the advisory board members will receive, such as speaking slots at colleges or universities.
Note, the advisory board is separate to British Esports' game advisers.
The advisory board (led by British Esports chairman Andy Payne, OBE) is as follows:
Ceirnan "Excoundrel" Lowe
Ceirnan "Excoundrel" Lowe is an esports broadcaster with over four years experience in the UK esports industry, covering multiple titles as a colour caster.
He previously studied medicine at university but have left the field and found a home within the esports industry. He has cast a host of games from League of Legends to Hearthstone and Vainglory, for a range of companies.
Michael "ODEE" O'Dell
Team Dignitas general manager
Michael O'Dell (aka ODEE) is general manager of long-running UK-based esports organisation Team Dignitas, and manages its professional esports teams. He is a veteran of competitive gaming and a keen supporter of the growing industry.
Team Dignitas was founded in 2003 having started out in Battlefield 1942, and has grown to produce top sides across multiple titles including League of Legends, CSGO, Heroes of the Storm and more.
Dignitas was acquired by US NBA basketball club The Philadelphia 76ers in 2016.
Tournament provider (GAME/Belong/Insomnia)
Mary Antieul oversees esports strategy, operations and partnerships at GAME across the Belong arenas and Insomnia Gaming Festival. She has worked in the gaming industry for over ten years and has significant experience within gaming retail, in building and sustaining gaming communities and delivering exciting competitive experiences for gamers.
Mary’s focus is to encourage the growth of the grassroots scene through competition and supporting infrastructure.
Content creator and host, former pro gamer
Ryan Hart is one of the most well-known UK players in the fighting game genre, having won over 450 tournaments.
The former professional Street Fighter player is a four-time Guinness World Record holder, two-time Evolution world champion and the most successful UK esports player to date. These days he works as a content creator and host.
Student representative (NUEL)
Josh is focused on giving people their first opportunities to participate in esports and help them develop their talents. He founded the National University Esports League (NUEL), the UK's inter-university esports tournament, in 2010, which has grown into one of the largest participation esports leagues in the UK.
Josh is also one of the founding members of University Esports Masters (UEM), the European group of university esports leagues working together to grow the collegiate scene within Europe and organise the annual continental championship.
Director, Gfinity/Edge Esports
David Yarnton has been involved in the video games industry for over 30 years and was a founding director of Gfinity, the first company to launch a dedicated esports arena in London.
In addition to Gfinity, David is involved in the esports industry with a couple of digital start-ups including Edge Esports, and prior to that was a senior executive with Nintendo for 17 years, most recently in charge of their business in the UK & Ireland, having moved here with the company from Australia in 2003.
He has been on a number of industry boards and is currently chairman of the esports sub-group of UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment, the only trade body for the UK's games and wider interactive entertainment industry) as well as being founder and chairman of the British Inspiration Awards, an organisation that helps recognise and celebrate British creative achievements.
Carleigh Morgan is a former Fulbright scholar and a currentPhD candidate at King's College London.
Her dissertation explores the cybernetic sutures between bodies and machines, with particular emphasis on the diagrams of legibility that encode gamers as programmable and readable by computer technologies. Pro gamers feature centrally as part of this work, and many hours of research involve interviewing players, streamers, sports psychologists, physiologists and sports managers to develop a broad understanding of the training regimens of top gamers.
In 2016 she graduated from the MA in Contemporary Literature, Culture, and Theory at King's College, London with a Distinction and is currently a research assistant at the Centre for Digital Culture. She also works with Women in Gaming as well as the Institute for Esports Research Portal, and has written about the legal rights of esports players for various publications, including Motherboard.
Mark "Garvey" Candella
As the second executive from Twitch on British Esports' Advisory Board, stepping in for Chris if he's unable to attend a board meeting (and vice versa), Mark Candella is the firm's Director of Strategic Partnerships.
Craig "Wizzo" Fletcher
Having run his first online gaming league (over dialup modem) and "LAN party" in 1994, Craig then founded Multiplay in 1997 as a games-orientated event management company, with a primary focus on running LAN events and the very early days of esports.
He is responsible for the Insomnia series of events, which now take place at the Birmingham NEC several times per year and attract thousands of visitors. Multiplay was sold to GAME in 2015, and Craig now sits as part of the retailer's senior executive team, where he leads the group's transformation strategy around esports and competitive gaming.
Andrew heads up the sports and esports team at the entertainment and media firm Sheridans. Andrew acts for a wide range of stakeholders within the esports industry, including rights holders, leagues, teams, game developers and individual esports talent.
He has also spoken at various esports and sports conferences on esports, across a variety of issues, including regulation, player welfare, governance and the commercialisation of esports and content licensing. Andrew's background is in traditional sports sector, acting forgoverning bodies, rights holders, sports data companies, sports clubs, sports agencies, sponsors and individual athletes. Andrew is also a non-executive director of Table Tennis England and sits on the editorial board for Law in Sport.
Heather "Naysayerz" Dower
Presenter, caster and host
Heather is well-known in UK esports having worked with the likes of Ginx TV, Multiplay and others, hosting the likes of the Daily Download show, Insomnia esports tournaments and more.
The presenter, caster and stage host joined the board in September 2017. She said: "I have always believed that esports is a powerful space that can be used to enrich the community, something I will endeavour to do as a part of the association."
Darren "Slammer" Newnham
“Slammer” Newnham is a gamer, esports fan and business development professional
who has brought years of commercial and corporate experience (from Disney, SEGA
and O2) to teams, players and brands.
Currently head of Nexus, his own esports business that brings teams, organizations, brands and players together. He cut his teeth in esports with the largest global esports teams: Fnatic.
Darren can often be found on a PUBG map, on BF1 with friends or still tanking a few LFR groups in WoW. He started gaming back in the days of 486 PCs and Duke Nukem 3D ladders on Compuserve on a 14k dial up modem (yes he’s that old)!
For more information on who runs the British Esports Association on a day-to-day basis, read our 'meet the team' page here.