British grassroots esports organisation LDN UTD has appointed Jacob Harrison as its Chief Gaming Officer (CGO).
Harrison brings a wealth of event organisation experience to his new position, having previously served as both as a community leader and as a product manager at ESL and BLAST.
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As LDN UTD’s new CGO, Harrison intends to expand the organisation’s social change-driven platform using his advanced research degree in International Development from the University of Oxford. Specifically, Harrison intends to “drive a step-change in LDN UTD’s capacity to use gaming and esports to provide opportunity and accessibility to young gamers whilst addressing the most pressing social problems.”
Harrison spoke on his new appointment in a release, saying: “Esports continues to expand and mature, but recent events in the space have exposed just how far we have yet to go to create an open, just and fair industry. With years of experience in traditional sport, the LDN UTD management team is in the perfect position to bring esports to the vanguard of social change – both within the space and outside. I am unbelievably excited to get to work with Olly and the team, to discover some great talent, raise awareness and standards on social issues I care about, and to win some tournaments in the meantime.”
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In the coming months, LDN UTD is looking to expand into new game titles and new tiers of competitive play, and Harrison is expected to play a pivotal role in this strategy.
Oliver Weingarten, Founder and CEO of LDN UTD, added: “As a grassroots esports org we aim to provide opportunity and accessibility to gamers of all backgrounds and give them the chance to further a career in esports, whilst aligning with societal benefits. With this in mind, Jacob is the hire that just makes sense. With his combination of drive, understanding, and native experience of the esports space, LDN UTD will continue to accelerate in what is already a really exciting time for us, as we look to expand into more titles and raise investment.”
Recent initiatives by LDN UTD include #GrimeAgainstKnives, an esports event that formed an Apex Legends team and raised awareness around knife crime in South London with grime artist P-Money. In addition, FIFA try-outs at the end of 2019 were held in conjunction with employment charity Street League and 2020 try-outs focused on the charity YANA stream that supported suicide prevention organisation, The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
Esports Insider says: Harrison’s background in esports, combined with his advanced studies in social science, puts him in a unique position to help drive LDN UTD forward in its pursuit to inspire change and create opportunity through gaming. In an age where social justice causes are intertwined with everything we consume, LDN appears primed and ready to help wherever its see fit.