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Fnatic, the London-based global esports performance brand, has today unveiled the first-ever set of safeguarding policies designed specifically for pro gaming. The publication of the organisation’s Global Safeguarding Policies highlights Fnatic’s commitment to spearheading the conversation and development of safeguarding in pro gaming to build a safer system that protects current and future gamers.
The industry’s first safeguarding policies were developed in partnership with leading experts, including safeguarding training consultancy Safeguarding Today, key advisers to the government on online harms and safeguarding, and safeguarding leads at professional sports teams, including various Premier League clubs.
Fnatic’s two policies include the Children and Young People Safeguarding Policy, which outlines the risks faced by people under the age of 18, and the Adults at Risk Safeguarding Policy, which outlines the risks faced by vulnerable adults. As well as pinpointing the risks faced by both groups, the Global Safeguarding Policies also include Fnatic’s approach to safeguarding, the organisation’s safeguarding Code of Conduct and guidance on how the team will respond to a safeguarding complaint.
In addition to the policies, Fnatic has also committed to a safeguarding pledge, which is based on the five Rs of Rights, Responsibility, Respect, Reporting and Risk. By committing to implementing the five Rs, Fnatic will be able to clearly distinguish between actions that drive gaming performance and those that are abusive.
As well as publishing the policies, Fnatic has also shared its latest Insights Report – Safeguarding in Esports – which addresses the current state of safeguarding in the competitive gaming ecosystem in a bid to open up the discussion on the issue. The report outlines the unique risks posed in esports and highlights Fnatic’s commitment to reducing the risk of abuse, bullying, harm, harassment and neglect of children, young people and adults at risk.
Andrew Cooke, General Counsel at Fnatic, believes that the launch of the first ever safeguarding policies in pro gaming can be the catalyst to starting further conversations and developing more policies in the pro gaming industry:
“Safeguarding is hugely important for any organisation that connects with or engages with children and young people on a regular basis. But so far there has been limited progress made when it comes to recognising and protecting the rights of young people and vulnerable adults in our industry.
“At Fnatic, we believe that we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of anyone we engage with. That’s why, in partnership with leading experts in sports safeguarding, we’ve decided to lead the conversation and development of safeguarding in esports to help protect current and future pro gamers against harm.
“We truly hope that by putting safeguarding in the spotlight and sharing it with any esports organisation interested in better understanding it, we can influence those around us to either adopt our policies and pledge completely, or use it to create policies of their own.”
Jennie Smith, Founder and Director of Safeguarding Today, an organisation that worked closely with Fnatic to develop the policies, believes the esports organisation is taking a pioneering approach to safeguarding in a digital environment:
“As we’ve seen in many traditional sports, it’s a matter of when, not if, a major safeguarding issue arises in esports so it’s really important that Fnatic has taken a progressive, forward-thinking view to safeguarding in the digital space to better protect those around them. I support their efforts to set standards in this area and I encourage other organisations in the ecosystem to follow their lead.”