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Finally, the esports battleground is safer and fairer for everyone

07 Nov 2019
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Finally, the esports industry has something of a universal code of conduct when it comes to fair play and fun.

This week companies from the video gaming industry in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand released the Principles of Esports Engagement, which lists four major principles that esports gamers and organisers should follow.

There’s little doubt the principles will be a major help to the booming esports industry – according to Newzoo’s 2019 Global Esports Market Report, the industry will exceed US$1.1 billion this year and may be worth almost US$1.8 billion by 2022.

A statement from the Video Game Industry Association says that esports community includes game publishers, intellectual property owners, players, teams, and tournament organisers that bring the esports community to life.

“As members of this community, we created these guiding principles to foster an esports environment that is vibrant, engaging, fair and fun for everyone. As esports continues to grow, collectively we support an ecosystem of play that can be enjoyed by all members of the community – from international competitions to local community events.”

We believe values of respect, diversity, safety, integrity, and fair play should be the foundation upon which positive and enriching esports communities are built. It is our sincere hope that others in the esports community will join us today in welcoming our universal esports principles and affirming belief in an open and inclusive esports environment.”

Industry collaborators designed the principles to encourage safety and wellbeing, integrity and fair play, respect and diversity, and positive and enriching gameplay.

“Through mutual respect, understanding, and purpose, we strive to foster community that is responsible, welcoming, engaging, and of course, fun. By promoting a safe, fair, and inclusive esports environment, all members of the esports ecosystem benefit from sportsmanship, camaraderie, and other positive values that our industry actively promotes.”

The four principles are listed below.

Safety and wellbeing

All esports community members deserve to participate in and enjoy esports in safe spaces and to be free from threats and acts of violence and from language or behaviour that makes people feel threatened or harassed.

Integrity and fair play

Cheating, hacking, or otherwise engaging in disreputable, deceitful, or dishonest behaviour detracts from the experience of others, unfairly advantages teams and players, and tarnishes the legitimacy of esports.

Respect and diversity

Esports promotes a spirit of healthy competition. Whether in person or online, all members of the esports community should demonstrate respect and courtesy to others, including teammates, opponents, game officials, organizers, and spectators. Esports is truly global and brings together players from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. We believe the broad and diverse player base of esports contributes to its success. We support an open, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all, no matter one’s gender identity, age, ability, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

Positive and enriching gameplay

Esports can help build self-confidence and sportsmanship and boost interpersonal communication and teamwork skills. Esports brings players and fans together to problem solve through strategic play, collaboration, and critical thinking. Participation in esports can also lead to the development of new and lasting friendships among teammates, competitors, and members of the broader esports community.