The British Esports Association has today announced that Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP has been appointed as Vice Chair of the not-for-profit national body.
Vaizey worked as Culture Minister between 2010 and 2016 and currently serves as a Member of Parliament for Didcot and Wantage. He has always been an advocate for the video games industry, having secured tax breaks for game developers in his years as Culture Minister. He was recognised by GamesIndustry.Biz as one of the 100 most influential people in the British games industry, and so comes as somewhat of a coup.
Vaizey will now lend his experience, know-how and contacts towards pushing British Esports’ initiatives in the future. It comes in the same week as British Esports revealed news that it has joined Ukie, the UK Interactive Entertainment trade body.
Ed Vaizey said in the release: “I joined the British Esports Association as Vice Chair because I passionately believe that esports has a great future – in the UK and all across the world. It’s one of the fastest-growing industries we’ve seen. And as a British MP I want British esports to be at the forefront.”
He continued: “We’ve got a real opportunity here, even though the industry is growing and hundreds of thousands if not millions of people participate, it’s still a young industry and I think we can really put the UK on the map. The British Esports Association is there to promote, inspire and improve young players and promote esports, it’s fantastic.”
British Esports Association has been involved with several initiatives to try and get children involved and increase education and awareness of the industry as a whole. Back in June, it piloted the “after-school esports club” at Maida Vale library where children were encouraged to try their hand at Rocket League in a competitive setup, with casters on site and were even afforded the opportunity to cast games as well.
Vaizey added: “What I want to do with British Esports is some of the work they’re already doing, for example going into libraries and teaching kids about esports. So getting in with young people and their parents and explaining how esports works, and showing it’s not this scary thing or a waste of time, but has great benefits in playing. It’s an industry and you can make a career in it. And even if you don’t make a career in esports, you can use the skills you learn in esports to do other things.”
He concluded: “Also, I’d like us to attract more esports tournaments to the UK and I’d like to see British players and teams winning some of these leagues that are now springing up. There’s a lot of work to be done and I think the British Esports Association is going to an absolutely vital organisation to communicate the benefits of esports and the opportunities that exist in the UK for esports.
Andy Payne OBE, Chair of the British Esports Association, added: “We are delighted that Ed has joined us. We have a dedicated and experienced Advisory Board and so with Ed’s appointment this reinforces our aims to make Britain a great esports nation.”
Esports Insider says: More great news for British Esports, this time bringing an MP on board as they look to continue to push valuable initiatives in the UK. At a time when UK esports continues to get unwanted press due to immaturity of players and the community, there’s still hope & British Esports continues to make great progress.