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ESL and Intel launch eSports diversity initiative

“The need for an organisation such as AnyKey is clear"

Intel and ESL have joined forces to create the AnyKey group which will focus on the issues surrounding diversity in the eSports scene.

The initiative describes its mission on its official site:

"To help create fair and inclusive spaces in esports for women and underrepresented gamers. Provide competitive gamers with resources, support, and opportunities. Highlight positive role-models. Create knowledge and tools to help create more diverse communities and supportive networks."

The scheme's first project was actually a workshop and panel organized for the first TwitchCon in September 2015.

"The need for an organisation such as AnyKey is clear, and with the help of Intel we have been able to make it a reality," said Jesse Sell, the senior manager of Pro Gaming, Business and Strategy at ESL.

"AnyKey initiatives are well under way and with those that will debut at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice and beyond, we hope to be an advocate for positive change. We're looking to broach a subject that most shy away from - it's a daunting road that lies ahead but we have a fantastic team on board and we're confident we can make a difference."

Its a positive step forward for Intel which attracted criticism for removing adds from Gamasutra in reponse to pressure from the hate group Gamergate.

"Intel has pulled its advertising from website Gamasutra," Intel spokesperson Bill Calder confirmed back in October 2014.

"We take feedback from our customers very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and placements."

It later apologised for the decision, adding that diversity was important to it as a company.

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Latest comments (4)

Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 8 months ago
I don't like this diversity meme in meritocratic and skill-based things like esports. People play for the high level of competition and people watch for exciting games, not to count gender and race ratios. If you want to appear on the top teams, prove it by how well you play. "Diversity" efforts like this only remind me of backwards systems like the US's affirmative action that drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator. I have still never seen any proof that shows more diversity gives better results for anything except PR and feel-good points.

The only thing these groups should be doing is helping those players who have the skills but who aren't financially capable of attending events.
Its a positive step forward for Intel which attracted criticism for removing adds from Gamasutra in reponse to pressure from the hate group Gamergate.
I love it when this site takes every opportunity it can to bash an unorganized hash tag where literally anyone could post whatever they wanted.
Not to mention that they initially pulled their advertising for reasons completely unrelated to diversity.
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Jamie Firth Video Games Production 8 months ago
I have still never seen any proof that shows more diversity gives better results for anything except PR and feel-good points.
If you want to start looking, Google "diversity improves profits" - there are loads of studies which suggest that there's a actual dollar value attached to diversity.
Put that alongside the PR value (also massively increases revenues) and feel-good points (can those be anything other than massively beneficial?) and it's probably hard to argue that it's a bad thing.
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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 8 months ago
If you want to start looking, Google "diversity improves profits" - there are loads of studies which suggest that there's a actual dollar value attached to diversity.
But does it bring any advantages to skill-based things?
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Show all comments (4)
Jamie Firth Video Games Production 8 months ago
Yeah. It enables talent to be discovered, and then thrive.
"At AnyKey, we are dedicated to fostering respectful, enjoyable, and harassment-free gaming experiences for everyone regardless of sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, or religion."
TL:DR - Equal Opportunity for all.
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