The nonprofit association announced its formation today in an effort to represent competitive gaming at all levels. With sanction from the U.K. government, the group will operate at Pinewood Studios and act as the national governing body for esports in the United Kingdom, working with the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport to help and represent players at all levels. With Twitch’s 100 million viewers watching 800 million hours of esports in a 10-month period, we’re seeing even more organizations scramble to get into this growing industry — one that’s on pace to bring in $892 million this year.
The new group joins other oversight bodies such as the World Esports Association, which was announced back in May.
Mike Sepso, the head of Media Networks at Activision Blizzard, said that he expects many countries to establish their own esports entities over time to deal with regulation of the industry. But he noted that he hopes that the government-sanctioned bodies will give the industry a lot of room to grow in its formative stages.
The British group’s goal is to help develop a grassroots competitive video game scene that will nurture future talent. And it will support existing professionals and provide the infrastructure to create future British global champions.
The group’s website will have 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 U.K. 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,” said Jules Robinson, head of business development at Pinewood Studios, in a statement.
The not for profit organisation, British Esports will be chaired by Andy Payne (Order of the British Empire) 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 to ensure it fully represents the interests of individuals, teams, game publishers and broadcasters alike.
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 U.K. esports scene, we can deliver a range of benefits to all players, from professional to amateur in the U.K. over time.”