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British Esports Association collaborates with IBM and industry specialists to create a safer esports space for young people

George Miller

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British Esports Association collaborates with IBM and industry specialists to create a safer esports space for young people
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The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and support grassroots esports, has revealed first details of its new membership platform.

The platform, scheduled to launch in spring 2021 initially for 12-19 year olds (with plans to expand to other age groups later on), will ensure users are verified at point of entry and that communication within the platform is reviewed to reduce toxicity and cyber threats.

The collaboration with IBM will explore how IBM Watson products can be used to enhance user experience, safety and wellbeing of young gamers.

The Association has also teamed up with safety technology provider GoBubble for real-time content moderation and will deliver accurate age verification using privacy preserving AI technology from Yoti to ensure age appropriate interactions.

Alongside the work of these partners, British Esports consulted with the NSPCC to ensure there are strong and consistent safeguarding procedures in the association.

Finally, British Esports, GoBubble and Yoti have been invited to test the platform within the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) Sandbox. This is a service developed by the ICO to support organisations who are creating products and services which utilise personal data in innovative and safe ways.

IBM is a global leader in hybrid cloud and AI. The intention is to use IBM Watson Assistant to engage gamers via a virtual assistant in the form of a gaming avatar. The assistant will also utilise IBM Watson Discovery to provide personalised content to enable the gamer to improve their skills, compete in tournaments and find the latest video from their favourite influencer.

The project partners will also explore how Red Hat OpenShift can enable the platform to scale to a global market and even potentially beyond the world of esports. The intention is to containerise the platform, enabling it to be deployed directly onto the cloud infrastructures of other esports bodies and potentially to any organisation that runs a digital community.

Yoti is the world’s leading identity platform with accurate age estimation technology providing a secure way of proving ages, without revealing any personal information. There’s no need for ID documents and images are deleted after the age check. The free Yoti app also enables people to prove their age with one tap, which is verified with a government ID and their unique facial biometrics. Yoti’s combination of AI technology, liveness anti-spoofing and ID document checks ensures businesses can be confident in the age of their customers.

GoBubble’s child-centred ecosystem helps developers safely scale and reduce the risk of children being exposed to anything inappropriate. GoBubbleWrap, GoBubble’s content moderation SaaS API, will be utilised to provide real-time text moderation across the platform to reduce toxicity and steer gamers towards more positive behaviour.

This creates an attractive proposition for parents and teachers looking for a safer space for their children and student gamers to play together.

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.

“When addressing these concerns, we also must keep in mind the experience for young people, so whilst we have a focus in a safer space, we want to ensure that the experience is relevant and exciting. This will be done through curated relevant content, exclusive offers, discounts and competitions and exciting esports tournaments taking place throughout the year.”

Kay Thompson, Media & Entertainment Industry lead at IBM, said “IBM is hugely excited to be working with the British Esports Association and its partners on this tech for good initiative to protect our children whilst gaming”.

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.
“The NSPCC worked with the BEA to strengthen their safeguarding procedures as well as develop a code of conduct and content for their safe gaming guidance for children and parents.

“By integrating safety by design into their new platform, the British Esports Association is demonstrating their intention to create a safer space for the gaming community that has the potential to improve young people’s safety in the world of esports.”

Julie Dawson, Director of Regulatory and Policy at Yoti, said: “Through the ICO Sandbox, Yoti, GoBubble and British Esports will develop privacy-preserving and ‘ethics by design’ systems that support under 13s age verification and associated parental consent. This same approach can support many other companies to comply in a friction-free way with the Age Appropriate Design Code and protect children.”

Henry Platten, GoBubble CEO and founder, added: “The dedication British Esports has to unite everyone in a single, safer, healthier and kinder community is inspiring. We’re honoured to help bring our experience and technology in creating safer, scalable and positive communities in 70 countries to benefit British Esports’ vision.”

Further launch information, pricing and other details are to be confirmed nearer the platform’s launch.

eSports

WePlay Ultimate Fighting League Tekken 7 Day 1 results and Photo Tour

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo credits: WePlay Esports
Reading Time: < 1 minute

After day 1 of WePlay Ultimate Fighting League (WUFL) Season 1 Tekken 7 competition, and we have the results of Group A. 

IMG

WePlay Ultimate Fighting League Season 1 Tekken 7 Group A results.  Image: WePlay Esports

Arslan Ash, SAINT, KiraKira, and Caiper advance to the playoffs.

WUFL Season 1 features competitions in Mortal Kombat 11 (March 25–28), SOULCALIBUR VI (April 01–04), and Tekken 7 (April 08–11). The prize pool of $150,000 is divided equally between all three competitions. The event will take place at WePlay Esports Arena Kyiv, already known to the WePlay Dragon Temple audience.

Learn more about the tournament on WUFL.gg and our social media channels: Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.

To get additional information about the event and find exclusive content, visit the website of DashFight the, WUFL S1 main media partner, where you can find everything about the world of fighting games.

1xBet is the official global betting partner for WePlay Esports events in 2021.

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eSports

L33T Gaming named Official Gaming Chair Partner for BLAST Premier

George Miller

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L33T Gaming named Official Gaming Chair Partner for BLAST Premier
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Esports tournament organiser BLAST Premier has agreed a long-term partnership with L33T Gaming to become Official Chair Partner of the Counter-Strike tournament series.

As part of the deal, L33T will provide players and talent with high-end gaming chairs across the season. The partnership will include product giveaways, collaborative content opportunities and branding across the global CS:GO tournament’s digital and physical assets.

L33T, based in Denmark, are best known for their series of innovative gaming chairs within their portfolio of gaming equipment for both the novice and more experienced or professional gamers. L33T’s quality gaming chairs will be used by talent, players and BLAST production staff throughout the partnership.

Oliver Clarke, Head of Brand Partnerships for BLAST, said: “L33T has a clear focus on creating the perfect setup for gamers of all levels. We look forward to supporting them in showcasing their gaming chair products to the global BLAST Premier community. The length of this deal highlights the growth BLAST Premier has enjoyed over the last few years and our current standing in the industry.”

Adrian Langer, Owner of L33T Gaming and Head of Marketing for Aurora & Deltaco, said: “We’re really excited to partner with BLAST Premier. Their brand is one of the strongest in the world of entertainment, creating incredible broadcasts and live shows that L33T will now be a part of. We can’t wait to see the best CS:GO players compete in our chairs when LAN events eventually return. Our vision for L33T is global expansion and this partnership is an important part of that journey.”

The L33T gaming chair (L33T E-Sport Pro Superior XL) will make their first appearance at next week’s BLAST Premier Spring Showdown (13-18 April), which will take place from BLAST’s studio in Copenhagen. Further, BLAST and L33T plan to collaborate on a co-branded gaming chair that fans will be able to purchase in the future.

BLAST Premier is a global Counter-Strike tournament series that unites all major events, offers opportunities to all regions across the globe and crowns the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 teams will take part in the seven BLAST Premier events this year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line.

 

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eSports

Alpine officially enters esports with Alpine Esports Team: driver lineup and competition schedule revealed

George Miller

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Alpine Esports Team officially launched its 2021 campaign today to compete in the biggest virtual racing competition in the world, the F1 Esports Pro Championship. The team, in partnership with Sim racing experts Race Clutch, represent Alpine’s first official venture into virtual racing.

As the team’s official partner this year, Race Clutch will help the drivers with their training and preparation for the 2021 competition from its HQ in Limoges, France. The team’s goal is to hire and train the best Esports racers in the world to compete in the biggest virtual racing competitions.

Suiting up for the team in this year’s F1 Esports Pro Championship starting in September, will be the returning driver pairing of Nicolas Longuet and Fabrizio Donoso, who led the team to third in last year’s championship.

The drivers will be guided by the leadership of Team Principal Richard Arnaud, Race Director Robin Bondon, Performance Manager Julien Southon, Ambassador Thom “Thomb” Brouwer and Coach Samba Sy.

In addition to competing in this year’s F1 Esports Pro Championship, Alpine Esports will act as an organiser to the Alpine Esports Series due to start next month. The series will run on Assetto Corsa Competizione, the official game of the competition in a championship of six races, with various prizes available to the winners.

Laurent Rossi, Alpine Cars CEO: “We are delighted to announce the first Alpine Esports team participating in virtual competitions and championships this year. By partnering with Race Clutch, Alpine Esports Team will seek out and train the best Sim racers in the world with the ultimate goal of winning. The team have fantastic facilities and a superb line-up to make it happen. The Esports team will also continue to bridge the gap between virtual and real races, as these bridges move closer and closer each year between the two worlds. It will also learn from our Formula 1 and Alpine Racing programs. We can’t wait to see our team and our drivers compete virtually in 2021.”

Richard Arnaud – Race Clutch president & founder, Team Principal of Alpine Esports:

“The entire team at Race Clutch is proud and excited to become part of the Alpine family! Our expertise and years of experience in Sim racing will give Alpine Esports the best environment to continue to compete at the front. The goal is to win championships, with the F1 Esports Series as a first target. I believe in the team we have put together. I am sure this collaboration will increase the interest for the sport, bringing new F1 fans with us, and opening new opportunities for Alpine in the virtual world of racing. This is an exciting new journey that starts for Esports racing in France.”

 

Nicolas Longuet, Alpine Esports Team driver:

“I am happy to continue my career with Alpine after a successful 2020 season. For sure, after a first full campaign, now the goal is to fight for the championship and add more wins. The experience from last year will help to not repeat some mistakes. Some other teams seem stronger than last year already, but I feel confident and I am looking forward to the 2021 F1 Esports Series.”

 

Fabrizio Donoso, Alpine Esports Team driver:

“Considering last season, it’s great to have a chance to compete again this year. I’ve had time for myself on and off the sim. My main goal now is to focus only on performance and my driving. I am happy with the way things are going and I am looking forward to the season with the reshaped team and our new colours.”

 

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