Earlier this month, a set of gaming industry representatives agreed upon and released a set of unifying esports principles. These representatives include the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), as well as associations from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the UK, and Europe. These “Principles of Esports Engagement” were developed in a collaborative effort and form a set of values applicable in all aspects of the global esports environment.

The principles include the following:

  • Safety and Well-Being
    • 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 behavior that makes people feel threatened or harassed.
  • Integrity and Fair Play
    • Cheating, hacking, or otherwise engaging in disreputable, deceitful, or dishonest behavior 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 Game Play
    • 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.

The goal of these organizations in releasing this set of principles is to foster an esports community that is responsible, welcoming, engaging, and of course, fun. Notably, in ESA’s press release announcing these principles, the association highlighted the growth of esports, citing research that estimates that, in 2019, global esports viewership will hit nearly 500 million and revenues will exceed $1 billion USD. With this level of growth, the esports community has a vested interest in supporting the best conditions for play and ensuring esports remains an exciting and inclusive activity and industry at all levels.