UK esports and gaming organisations celebrate Black History Month 2021

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A host of esports organisations, content creators, companies and others in the gaming community have been celebrating Black History Month 2021.

The initiative takes place in the US and Canada in February each year, while the UK, Ireland and Europe typically recognise it in October. We’ve outlined some of the activities and recognition that’s been taking place in UK esports throughout this month.

Last week, the University of Warwick’s new esports centre played host to Combo Breakers, a public event streamed on Warwick Esports’ Twitch channel celebrating Black History Month and BAME history and representation in esports.

It featured an educational talk by Melanin Gamers – an international community built around promoting diversity and inclusion within esports and gaming – as well as a Tekken 7 tournament, with prizes provided by HyperX.

Harry Smith, equal opportunities officer for Warwick Esports, said: “As part of our growing initiatives to empower and acknowledge minorities within the esports community, we saw that Black History Month gives us a wonderful opportunity to recognise people of colour, both within our club and within the industry as a whole.”

Elsewhere, US Tekken player Jeannail ‘Cuddle Core’ Carter spoke about representing black excellence in gaming with British esports host Frankie Ward, as part of the latest Red Bull Gaming Podcast, which is available at Redbull.tv and all major podcast streaming platforms, including Apple and Spotify.

“In certain communities in gaming, I don’t always see black women or not as many, especially with esports pros, it’s not seen as much, and sometimes it can be a little scary. I understand why sometimes it’s hard to get into the community because of those things, it’s nice to see people who look like you, but I tried not to think about that cause I loved playing so much.”

Cuddle Core, talking to Frankie Ward

Cuddle Core said: “I really didn’t think this was going to happen to me, but getting signed to Red Bull as a player/athlete, it’s literally like the bow on a present. I do have a lot of pride also as being a black woman doing this because you want to do your job well, but I also like representing black excellence in gaming, and I think that’s really important, and I’m glad other people support that too.

“In certain communities in gaming, I don’t always see black women or not as many, especially with esports pros, it’s not seen as much, and sometimes it can be a little scary. I understand why sometimes it’s hard to get into the community because of those things, it’s nice to see people who look like you, but I tried not to think about that cause I loved playing so much.”

Arcade and FGC content organisation Arcade Press has also been celebrating the month and highlighting a range of talent, including UK fighting game legend Ryan Hart (who they interviewed a few months ago):

The UK has a range of black esports and gaming talent, also including Street Fighter players like ProblemX, Packz, Infexious, JesterPower, Shakz and others.

Outside of the player level, there’s plenty of other talent. For example content creators like YouTubers SUNPI and NNESAGA (who destroyed Soulja Boy with their reviews of his handheld games console earlier this year).

The UK League of Legends scene has caster Jamada (who has also cast the LEC), and on the coaching side, UK org Guild Esports recently announced the signing of their first ever performance manager, Edgar Chekera.

The British Esports Association will be also interviewing Excel Esports Fortnite manager Freeman Williams as part of Black History Month tomorrow (Tuesday October 26th 2021).

KingJae is also a popular FGC streamer from the UK, and another streamer, Shanghaid, was on the front page of the Twitch UK website for Black History Month.

Speaking of streamers, at the start of October 2021 a new group formed – Black Twitch UK – the first black-focused UK-based stream team.

They have since become partnered with Twitch:

Other initiatives based in the UK or with UK headquarters are also celebrating Black History Month.

Black Girl Gamers has headquarters in the UK, and GameDevLondon has also been celebrating Black History Month:

There are of course other activities and campaigns around the world. US-based media company 3 Black Dot has launched a new series of video shows called Gaming While Black to overcome the systemic issues that often keep well-intentioned projects focused on diversity from succeeding, as reported by Axios.

Finally, UK esports org Rix.GG also shared this list of black British creators:

Are you celebrating Black History Month in the UK? Is there anyone or any initiative you feel should be added to this article? Please let us know by DMing Esports News UK on Twitter.

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