An eSports governing body has formed to help grow and promote the UK scene – and it plans to open a National Training Centre.
It’s nothing like the joke that was the United Kingdom eSports Association (UKESA, which still apparently owe Team Dignitas £11,000) – the new British eSports Association is backed by the UK Government and has been set up to foster local talent and ‘represent competitive video gaming at all levels’.
The association has been formed today, following authority from the UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid. It will act as the National Governing Body for eSports in the United Kingdom.
As an independent not-for-profit organisation, the British eSports Association will be chaired by games industry veteran Andy Payne OBE, with Chester King in the role of acting CEO.
It will be located at Pinewood Studios, and will work with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to represent players at all levels.
It’s not confirmed yet, but a spokesperson told eSports News UK that the association will ‘probably’ also regulate players, in a bid to avoid situations such as this.
The British eSports Association aims to ‘develop the grassroots eSports scene in the UK, nuture future talent, support existing professionals and provide the infrastructure to create future British global champions’.
The governing body’s website will soon be found over at www.BritisheSports.org, where it will contain news on events, teams and leagues, as well as advice for players and parents.
The UK Government has already dabbled in eSports, having also backed the Olympics-style eGames tournament which takes place in Rio this summer. The actual games and teams for that are expected to be announced soon.
“The establishment of the British eSports Association is an important initiative in furthering the credibility of the eSports industry in the UK,”commented Jules Robinson, Head of Business Development, Pinewood Studios.
“Pinewood is excited to be part of this National Governing Body for eSports, and is aiming to have a new National Training Centre for eSports to help with grassroots and future British Champions.”
Andy Payne 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.”
Over the next three months the British eSports Association will be gathering feedback from the UK eSports sector to ensure it ‘fully represents the interests of individuals, teams, game publishers and broadcasters alike’.
Thoughts and ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.