The ESL has partnered with Intel to launch a new initiative, AnyKey, intended to "create more opportunities and inclusive spaces, whilst advocating for the underrepresented members of competitive communities."
The organization aims to impact the game industry by conducting research related to diversity in eSports, then acting on its findings to support underrepresented communities of competitive game players.
"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," ESL exec Jesse Sell stated in a press release today. "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 first example of this work was actually seen last year at TwitchCon, when AnyKey staffers helped moderate a "Women in eSports" panel and workshop featuring speakers from Blizzard, Twitch and the eSports community.
Diversity-minded developers may appreciate that AnyKey has already published a whitepaper based on its findings from those events to its Research hub, alongside a report of resaearch it conducted during the Intel Extreme Masters eSports tournament in San Jose last year.
Going forward, AnyKey will host its first AnyKey lounge at the Intel Extreme Masters event in Katowice, Poland this week. That event will also play host to the Intel Challenge Katowice, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro tourney organized for women and supported by AnyKey.