Esports livens up libraries as the British Esports Association teams up with Westminster City Council
June 13th, London: Esports could soon be heading to schools and libraries across the UK, thanks to a new partnership between Westminster City Council and the British Esports Association.
Over the next month, a children’s after-school esports club pilot scheme will be held at Maida Vale library, London. It’s the UK’s first free esports training club supported by a local authority.
There will be four weekly sessions, starting on June 20th and running to July 11th. Each free two-hour session will be open to 10 children from local schools (aged 10 to 13) as well as their parents.
Participants will be able to play some Rocket League matches against one another, as well as try out some casting and coaching.
Eight gaming systems and a casting workstation will be set up, generously supplied by London-based custom PC builder DinoPC.
Members and volunteers from the British Esports Association will also be giving talks on careers in esports, including British Esports advisory board member and professional caster Ceirnan “Excoundrel” Lowe.
Findings from the pilot scheme will allow British Esports to instruct schools and libraries how to set up their own clubs in the future.
British Esports content director Dominic Sacco said: “By engaging with children, we are looking at the bigger picture with the goal of creating more British esports talent in the long-term.
“This pilot scheme will help children, parents and teachers learn about esports and the career paths it offers, while at the same time demonstrate the benefits of playing esports, such as team-building and cognitive benefits.
“The findings from the pilot scheme will also help us instruct schools how to set up their own extracurricular esports clubs, and other libraries may be inspired to run their own sessions in the future. We’re delighted to be teaming up with Westminster City Council and DinoPC for this initiative.”
Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment, Sports and Community, Westminster City Council, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to receive training in one of the fastest growing international sporting arenas. But this isn’t just about helping support a generation of world class cyber athletes. As part of the pilot we are encouraging children to take the strategic skills and team management expertise they’ll develop online out onto our playing fields, and make healthy choices around playing a physical sport.
“The UK, and London in particular, has a global reputation for innovation and excellence in interactive creative media. I’m pleased Westminster City Council can be the first authority in the country to support a type of professional competition that is becoming a global phenomenon.”
DinoPC marketing manager Nic Carnelutti added: “We believe the educational aspects of what the British Esports Association aims to achieve are highly beneficial to children and younger audiences.
“This scheme encourages young people to learn teamwork and participate in a challenge - building up their social skills which can then be used in other aspects of life.
“They couldn't have decided on a better choice of game either. Rocket League emphasizes each of the aforementioned traits and remains enjoyable throughout. We are very proud to support this event and be part of this from the very beginning.”
Image source: Multiplay Flickr (used with permission)
'Esports is not a sport, but a beneficial activity that's here to stay' - British Esports Association
March 29th, London: “Esports is not a sport, but a credible activity in its own right,” the British Esports Association has said.
Following last week’s reporting by the BBC – The State of Sport week – many listeners and readers have debated whether esports (electronic sports) is an actual sport or not.
Some have argued that esports should be classified as a sport partly because recognising it officially would grant it access to sports funding. However, esports is competitive video gaming: it is currently classified inthe UK as a game (like chess and bridge) and not a sport.
The British Esports Association is also keen to emphasise that when done in moderation, esports can have positive cognitive, social and communicative benefits.
It can help to increase perceptual skills, decision making, reaction times and multitasking, and help stimulate brain growth. Playing and watching esports is very engaging to younger audiences, and esports is also a beneficial alternative to watching passive media like television.
Attempts have been made in the past to classify certain games, such as bridge, as a sport in the UK, and having learned from these experiences, the British Esports Association feels that the time is not right for such action for esports. Instead, we want to focus on educating the Government, media and general public on making sure esports gains the credibility it deserves and move away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate.
British Esports founder and CEO Chester King said: “I can see why there is a bit of confusion as millions of people play and watch esports; there are many professional teams, managers, coaches and tournaments. There is no international standard classification either as in some countries such as Poland, esports, chess and bridge are classified as sports.
“The ‘sport’ in esports may be misleading, but like traditional sports, competitive video gaming involves training, long-term dedication, determination, exceptional skills and reaction times, teamwork and coordination, and fun for all the spectators, casters, commentators and fans involved.”
In the UK, the British Esports Association positions esports as a modern mind game, celebrated at all levels of play which should not rival or replace traditional sports.
King added: “It’s time to get away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate and start realising esports’ true benefits and potential.
“Whether or not esports is or is not a sport does not change the fact that the esports industry has enormous creative potential. We must educate audiences to realise its benefits, such as gaining cyber skills and the many career paths it offers, like becoming a professional player, commentator, journalist, manager, or coach.”
Sports industry leader joins British Esports Advisory Board
February 8th, London: Sophie Goldschmidt, a seasoned sports executive who has worked for the likes of Adidas, NBA and the Rugby Football Union, has joined the British Esports Association’s Advisory Board.
Sophie is currently Chief Commercial Officer at Chime, the parent company of sport, entertainment and communication group CSM.
She previously worked for five years as Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer at the Rugby Football Union, where she was also a member of the RFU Board.
Prior to this, Sophie worked at the National Basketball Association (NBA) as Managing Director and Senior Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. She spearheaded impressive growth across media distribution, sponsorship, licensing and events in addition to overseeing various regional offices.
Sophie was also at the Women’s Professional Tennis Association (WTA) as Vice President of Marketing and Sponsorship, she began her career at Adidas where she was the Tennis and Women’s Soccer Sports Marketing Manager in the US.
Sophie is also currently a Non-Executive Board Member of the PGA European Tour and the Youth Sports Trust, and has experience in esports.
She will add another perspective to the Advisory Board, and help bring in non-endemic sponsors into British Esports.
She joins other British Esports Advisory Board members Paul Chaloner, Michael O'Dell, Craig Fletcher, Chris Mead, Ryan Hart, Ceirnan Lowe, Josh Williams, Carleigh Morgan and Andrew Nixon. An observer from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport will also be present at meetings.
“I am delighted to be joining the British Esports Advisory Board. The fast growth and excitement in the sector has garnered much positive attention.
When you look at the staggering numbers engaging in esports at various levels the potential impact globally can be very significant. I look forward to working with the Board to help shape the best path forward.”
British Esports announces Advisory Board and launches website
6th December, London; The British Esports Association (British Esports) - the UK's esports national body - established to support, promote and instil good governance for amateur esports players and teams– confirms its Advisory Board and launches its full website.
Led by British Esports Chair, Andy Payne OBE, the board for 2017 includes:
- Paul "ReDeYe" Chaloner, Veteran Esports Host, Caster and Presenter
- Michael "ODEE" O'Dell, President Team Dignitas
- Craig "Wizzo" Fletcher, Founder Multiplay
- Chris Mead, Twitch's UK Director of Partnerships
- Ryan Hart, World Champion Esports Player
- Ceirnan " Excoundrel " Lowe, Colour Caster
- Josh Williams, Founder, National University Esports League
- Carleigh Morgan, Academic
- Andrew Nixon, Partner at Sheridans
The board, which possess a wealth of experience across all aspects of esports and are some of the leading figures within the industry, will discuss developments and areas of focus for the British Esports Association, and offer their guidance and advice to constantly develop esports in the UK. The first board meeting will take place in January 2017 and each member will sit on the board for a minimum of 12 months.
"I am really proud and honoured to be taking this role on for British Esports at such an exciting time for the industry. We have assembled a really talented group of esports professionals to interact with the community and guide our activities. There is much to do, but given the talent assembled, we will be able to make a significant difference over the coming 12 months, bring it on." commented Andy Payne.
The brand new website www.britishesports.org will be an information hub, providing expert advice and support from grassroots levels and up, across the esports spectrum. There will be articles educating about jobs in the industry, to wellbeing, guidance for parents, to finding out the latest esports events, who are the event organisers, key figures in the industry and how to get involved in competition both locally and nationally here in the UK plus much more. British Esports wants to help existing gamers and nurture future British talent in becoming global champions.
The British Esports Association pledges support to grassroots esports, outlines five key areas of focus
5th October, London; The British Esports Association, the new not-for-profit organisation, has revealed its long-term plans.
Since being established in June 2016, the national body has been looking into areas of potential development and engaging with the esports community, both on a local and global level.
After previously announcing it will work to help and represent players, develop a grassroots esports scene and provide an infrastructure to nurture future talent, its consultation period has now come to a close and the association has outlined its five key areas of focus.
They are as follows:
1. To fund and support grassroots esports
2. To establish best practice
3. To deliver courses and qualifications
4. To increase awareness of esports
5. To provide expertise and advice
While the five points indicated above are our core areas of focus, we acknowledge there are other topics, which need to be addressed. For example tackling online harassment.
Meetings have also taken place between the British esports Association and Activision, Blizzard, Microsoft and with the UK Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The British esports Association is aiming to launch its full website by December 6th, acting as a go-to portal for those within UK esports and others who are looking for more information on it.
Chester King, Acting CEO, said:
"We are on a mission to promote the positive qualities of esports and reinforce it as a credible activity. Esports delivers important life and cyber skills, which all children should have the opportunity to develop".
"Ultimately I would like to see the same number of esports clubs in schools as there are traditional sports clubs."
As well as working with the esports industry, the British esports Association will also be working with academics from various universities and institutions.
Lee Dunn, academic director for technologies and head of digital futures at The University of Glasgow, and member of the Institute for esports Leadership, said:
"The British Esports Association is a central component in our ambition to develop and enhance esports and to act as a catalyst for discussion, collaboration and strategy, supporting current and future players within the United Kingdom. I firmly believe that the British Esports Association can become a beacon for amateur, semi-professional and professional gaming, throughout the world."
As the British Esports Association is a not-for-profit organisation, all revenues generated will go back into the running of the organisation, and into funding grassroots esports, including supporting the setting up of clubs, creating an infrastructure, supporting UK players, organisations and more. A charity is currently being set up to act as the owning body of the British Esports Association.
The association will also be setting up an Advisory Board, with each board member having a sub-group. The advisory board will rotate, with each member sitting on the board for a minimum of 12 months.
The Advisory Board for 2017 will be announced in December.
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British Esports Association appoints Dominic Sacco as Content Director
8th September 2016, London; The British Esports Association, the national body set up to promote grassroots esports in Britain, has hired a new Content Director.
Dominic Sacco joins the organisation as of today to look after its content strategy going forwards.
Dominic has an extensive background in video games trade journalism, having worked at NewBay Media on games industry publication MCV and more recently as editor of tech trade title PCR. He also founded his own publication last year - Esports News UK - which predominantly covers the UK League of Legends scene and will continue to do this.
Dominic will be producing news and content for members on www.britishesports.org, liaising with players, teams, and journalists and all those involved in the esports industry.
He will help to grow the recognition of esports in Britain, assist in grassroots development and help to raise the profile of the association. br> Dominic said:
"I'm delighted to be joining the British Esports Association. I can't wait to be a part of something special and help to grow competitive video gaming in Britain."
Andy Payne, Chair of British Esports, added:
"Dominic was the obvious choice to come on board in this hugely important role and we are delighted that he is part of our growing team. The next 12 months for esports in the UK will be incredibly important. We want to help develop British talent and build awareness around the real opportunities that esports offer. "
For press enquiries or for more information please contact British Esports at email@example.com
Additional Information about British Esports:
Launched on June 30th, the British Esports Association is currently in start-up mode and is in consultation with the esports and wider video game industry. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or complete our online survey with ideas on what you'd like us to do by September 30th.
Formation of the British Esports Association: A new not for profit organisation to represent competitive video gaming at all levels.
30th June 2016, London; Following authority from the UK Government, today sees the establishment of the British Esports Association.
Located at Pinewood Studios, British Esports, acting as the National Body for esports in the United Kingdom, will work in conjunction with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to help and represent players at all levels; develop a grassroots competitive video game scene that will nurture future talent; support existing professionals and provide the infrastructure to create future British global champions. The activities for British Esports will be easily accessible at www.BritishEsports.org, a portal providing the latest news on events, teams and leagues, alongside impartial advice for both players and parents.
"The establishment of the British Esports Association is an important initiative in furthering the credibility of the esports industry in the UK. Pinewood is excited to be part of this National Body for esports and is aiming to have a new National Training Centre for Esports to help with grassroots and future British Champions."
Commented Jules Robinson, Head of Business Development, Pinewood Studios.
The not for profit organisation, British Esports will be chaired by Andy Payne OBE, with Chester King in the role of acting CEO. The next three months will see a consultation period, during which British Esports will be gathering feedback from the UK esports sector to ensure it fully represents the interests of individuals, teams, game publishers and broadcasters alike.
Andy Payne, chair of British Esports, added,
"I am an admirer of the work of other sports associations such as British Cycling, and I am very confident that if we welcome and embrace all parties in the UK esports scene, we can deliver a range of benefits to all players, from professional to amateur in the UK over time. These are exciting times in esports and the time is right to build this organisation from the grassroots up."
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