The UK has established an esports governing body, authorized by the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The British Esports Association aims to provide representation and support to British players and develop the region’s esports scene.
The British Esports Association will be acting as the national governing body for esports in the UK.
The association 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 nonprofit association will be chaired by former UKIE chairman, Andy Payne – an experienced games industry executive and lobbyist, who has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to the UK entertainment sector.
Businessman Chester King will take the role of acting CEO.
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.
— Andy Payne, chair of British Esports Association
Over the following 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. Players, fans and professionals from the Esports industry are asked to email their thoughts and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30th, 2016, and advise the association on “what can be done to grow Esports in the UK”.
UK’s esports governing body is located at the Pinewood Studios. The association’s website will provide news on events, teams and tournaments, and 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 Governing Body for Esports and is aiming to have a new National Training Center for Esports to help with grassroots and future British Champions.
— Jules Robinson, Head of Business Development, Pinewood Studios
This isn’t the first attempt at creating an esports governing body in the UK. In 2008, the United Kingdom Esports Association (UKeSA) claimed to be an official regulatory body for esports in the region. A year later – after a disastrous season with uncompleted tournaments and unpaid prize money – the UKeSA filed for bankruptcy.
Earlier this year, ESL has further demonstrated that esports governing bodies are somehow subjected to preordained failure. In May, ESL launched WESA (the World Esports Association) – a new regulatory body tasked with governing and standardizing the esports scene. ESL’s brainchild has already been subjected to much criticism for lack of transparency and dubious practices. The controversy surrounding WESA’s legitimacy has left the association looking less than credible. One of the members – FAZE, has already parted ways with the group. Since FAZE’s departure, WESA’s activity appears to have come at a standstill. The association’s website and social media accounts haven’t been updated since May 25th.