Collegiate tournament provider and education-focused body the British Esports Association has revealed first details of its new membership platform.
The platform, due to launch in spring 2021 initially for 12-19 year olds, ‘will ensure users are verified at point of entry and that communication within the platform is reviewed to reduce toxicity and cyber threats’.
Those aged outside of that range will be allowed to join as a member at a later date.
The Association has teamed up with the Information Commissioner’s Office Sandbox, IBM (with its AI system IBM Watson), safety technology provider GoBubble for real-time content moderation and age verification/AI technology provider Yoti. British Esports has also consulted with children’s charity NSPCC around safeguarding procedures.
The project partners will also explore how cloud platform Red Hat OpenShift can scale and potentially reach beyond the world of esports in the future.
Yoti checks age using an uploaded image, which is deleted after the age check and removes the need for ID documents.
Chester King, British Esports Association CEO and founder, commented: “Over the past few years we’ve worked hard to build a community of esports fans from schools and colleges across the UK.
“What’s been clear through feedback from parents and teachers is the need to ensure that young people know who they are playing and communicating with, and that where communication takes place, we must work hard to reduce toxicity in all its forms.”
Christian McMullen, Head of Professional Engagement at the NSPCC, said: “We have a mission to ensure every child is safe online and were delighted to be approached by the BEA with an exciting proposal to make the world of esports safer for children.”
British Esports also said its membership platform will offer users content, exclusive offers, discounts and competitions, as well as access to tournaments.
Pricing has not yet been revealed.
Elsewhere, British Esports announced that the school and college British Esports Championships will continue again after being put on hold because of school closures around covid. The tournaments in Rocket League, Overwatch and League of Legends will recommence again on Wednesday February 24th.
British Esports recently held a women’s Valorant tournament with UK org Rix.gg, which was won by LaGals.
Disclaimer: Esports News UK editor Dominic Sacco previously worked at the British Esports Association full-time, and now produces its email newsletter and some of its articles on a freelance basis
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.