Meet the team
Who is behind the British Esports Association?
Andy Payne OBE, Chair
Andy is an experienced video games entrepreneur of 32 years, having run Mastertronic from 1988 to 2015.
He chaired games industry trade body Ukie from 2005 to 2015 and is still a board member. He is a board advisor at games developer Bossa Studios and a founder of games industry charity GamesAid.
Andy was a founder of mobile and tablet specialist AppyNation and Gambitious, a crowdfunding platform for games and movies. He is also chair of Esports specialist EGL, founder of simulation specialists Just Flight and a VP of games charity Special Effect.
Chester King, Founder and CEO
British Esports was founded by Chester King of the International Group. Chester received authority from the UK Government to establish the association in January 2016.
Chester has a 23-year background in traditional sports, with Stoke Park (owned by International Group) running the pre-wimbledon tennis event The Boodles, as well as working for the Football Association, Lord’s and the Rugby Football Union.
Chester also founded The eGames initiative, a separate international medal-based esports tournament which ran its showcase in British House alongside the Rio Olympics.
Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP, Vice Chair
The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit national body set up to support grassroots esports, has appointed the Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP as Vice Chair.
Ed worked as Culture Minister between 2010 and 2016, and is currently the Member of Parliament for Didcot and Wantage.
He is a big advocate of the video games industry in Britain, having secured tax breaks for game development studios, and was recently recognised by GamesIndustry.Biz as one of the 100 most influential people in the British games industry.
Adam Leadercramer, Director and Company Secretary
Adam is a Partner and the Head of Digital Media/Technology at Onside Law, a boutique law firm based in London and specialising in the sports, esports and media sectors.
He acts for a broad range of clients within these sectors including governing bodies, teams, individuals, established brands and start-up/growth businesses.
Adam holds a Master’s degree in Sports Law and Practice, and is recommended as a leading sports and media law practitioner, with a particular expertise in digital media work in the Legal 500 and the Chambers legal directories.
Dominic Sacco, Content Director
Dominic has an extensive background in video games trade journalism, having worked at NewBay Media on games industry publication MCV and as editor of tech trade title PCR.
He founded his own publication Esports News UK in 2015 to cover the UK League of Legends scene and other esports games in the UK, conducting player interviews, match reports and covering news.
Dominic is responsible for content on the British Esports Association website, internal and external communications, handling public queries and works with marketing and PR on the association's messaging.
Rob Allen, Projects Executive
Rob has impressive experience in esports coaching, having worked with ManaLight, a former esports organisation who made it to several UK finals in League of Legends.
He is helping to shape British Esports' education and membership offerings, and is working closely with the Enemy of Boredom initiative backed by the Prince's Trust.
Rob is passionate about UK esports and also helped with the association's kids' esports club at Maida Vale Library.
Tom Dore, Head of Education
Tom is leading our exciting schools project as Head of Education, looking at launching esports leagues in schools and colleges throughout the UK.
Currently still working at a school in Bath, he is an experienced teacher and educator with over 17 years experience in different leadership roles across a full spectrum of state and independent schools. He has also worked as an associate for PIXL, the national partnership of over 2,500 schools in the UK. He is passionate about supporting young people and enabling them to achieve success both inside and outside the classroom.
If you are a student or teacher and are interested in taking part in the schools/colleges league, please visit our Championships hub here or email Tom via the link below.
Natacha Jones, Student Esports Coordinator
Natacha Jones is an experienced esports producer and observer who holds the role of student esports coordinator at the British Esports Association.
She will be primarily developing the British Esports Championships for schools and colleges, working alongside school projects lead Tom Dore.
Over the past few years, Natacha has built up some impressive experience within UK esports. She was project manager for the King of the North gaming festival, president of the University of Manchester Esports Society and has also been working as a freelance esports observer and producer. Since January, Natacha has held the role of Twitch Student Program Manager at the NUEL, tracking the success of a pilot scheme for UK universities.
The British Esports Association (British Esports) - the UK's esports national body - established to support, promote and instil good governance for amateur esports players and teams– confirms its Advisory Board and launches its full website.
Led by British Esports Chair, Andy Payne OBE, the board currently includes:
- Michael "ODEE" O'Dell, President Team Dignitas
- Craig "Wizzo" Fletcher, Founder Multiplay
- Chris Mead, Twitch's UK Director of Partnerships
- Mark "Garvey" Candella, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Twitch
- Ryan Hart, World Champion Esports Player
- Ceirnan " Excoundrel " Lowe, Colour Caster
- Heather "Naysayerz" Dower, Presenter
- Josh Williams, Founder, National University Esports League
- Carleigh Morgan, Academic
- Andrew Nixon, Partner at Sheridans
We also have a series of British Esports games advisers, who provide input and expertise to make sure we can support and understand each community effectively, and to keep us abreast of changes in the grassroots/wider scene across multiple games. This will help us with our future initiatives and ensure we’re considering the needs of the community. You can see our current list of advisers here.