ESIC Disciplinary panel becomes operational after formal launch

07 February 2017


The ESIC Programme has announced its formal launch and appointment of the ESIC Panel. The panel is “a group of respected experts with esports and ideally, legal experience” that will provide independent enquiries, investigations and rulings, including appeals, in relation to matters brought to its attention. 

Ian Smith, ESIC Commissioner

Ian Smith, the ESIC Integrity Commissioner, approached Kevin Carpenter to become the inaugural chair of the ESIC panel – on the basis that he was independent  from all stakeholders in esports, including ESIC and is a legal expert in the field of sport integrity.

The panel was appointed through ESIC’s ‘open and transparent’ recruitment process. The role description went live at the end of October 2016, and closed on 15 November 2016. Additional emphasis was placed on the diversity of the panel and additional consideration given to the continental and regional representation of those appointed given the global nature of the esports world.

There were 21 applicants for the role, of which 86% were men, 14% women and 95% had legal experience and/or education. Meanwhile, geographically, 76% of applicants were based in Europe, 9% in Asia, 9% in North America and 4% from South America.

The inaugural members of the ESIC Panel as of the launch are as follows:

  • Kevin Carpenter (Chair) – Principal & Consultant, Captivate Legal & Sports Solutions, UK
  • Alfoso Leon – Sports Lawyer, Ruiz-Huerta & Crespo, Spain
  • Anna Baumann – Esports Lawyer, Germany
  • Daniel Schulte – Vice-Director, ESL League Operations, Germany
  • James Kitching – Head of Sports Legal Services, Disciplinary and Governance, Asian Football Confederation, Malaysia
  • Lilia Russo – Director of Strategy and Engagement, IMG Esports, USA
  • Pedro Fida – Partner, Bichara e Motta Advogados, Brazil
  • Richard Bush – Associate (Sports) – Bird & Bird, UK

Integrity Commissioner, Ian Smith, said: “I am delighted with the excellent job Kevin has done assembling such a distinguished and able panel. It was very important to me that the panel was independent of ESIC and me and that I could not influence their appointments of their conduct once operational.

“This means participants who appear before them can be confident of a fair hearing without conflicts of interest of bias towards the prosecutor. This is key to one of ESIC’s core principles – adherence to principles of natural justice and, whilst I, of course, hope they have few cases to adjudicate, I’m confident that when they do, they will do so thoroughly and fairly.”

Esports Insider says: Hopefully the panel won’t have many cases to adjudicate, but the principle is good. It’s great to see a panel that is truly independent in wake of so many associations popping up with huge conflicts of interest.