ESL, the largest eSports company in the industry right now, has teamed up with hardware giant Intel to create a company focussed on promoting inclusivity within the eSports scene.
This new company, named AnyKey and headed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor T.L. Taylor, aims to represent minorities within the eSports subculture such as women, LGBTQ and ethnic minorities. Their plan of action is two-fold and spread out over 2 teams: the first team will be focused on researching "initiative topics" and organizing events where people have the opportunity to discuss these topics such as workshops. The second team will be looking at how they can implement those results to create an inclusive environment where people of all walks of life can compete.
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.
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.
The Intel Challenge Katowice, which is a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament for women held in Poland, is one of the first events sponsored by the newly minted company. This event will also play host to the AnyKey Lounge, which aims to be a place where people can come together and discuss inclusivity in eSports as well as give professionals the opportunity to network.
I know a lot of people get this gnawing, stinging pain in the back of the head when someone mentions inclusivity in gaming, but at its core striving to make gaming a place where everyone can come to compete isn't in and of itself a bad goal. If they manage to stay away from pointing the finger (like some supposed advocates of the subject) and instead try to come up with good ideas then this is a platform that should be welcomed by all. Before you yell at me for wanting to sit this one out, let's see what comes of this. It could turn into something great, which would be a nice change from where similar ventures end up.