UPDATE 10/06/23: VC of the UKETC Jeff Simpkins has shared details about the situation to Esports Insider. The article was updated to include his statement.
The United Kingdom Esports Team Committee (UKETC) has announced that Overwatch League franchise London Spitfire will no longer be a part of the Committee.
The UKETC noted via social media that the main reason for the removal was due to the franchise’s lengthy period of inactivity with the committee. The UKETC also noted that applications for new members are open on its website.
The UKETC is a non-profit organisation that consists of prominent UK-based esports teams. As of right now, the organisation has 14 members, including Guild Esports, Fnatic, EXCEL Esports, Endpoint, and MNM Gaming, among others. The organisation was formed in 2021 by eight organisations, with London Spitfire being one of the founding members.
Since its inception, the non-profit has created a list of principles aimed at professionalising the esports industry in the UK and has worked with nonprofit Play Aid to include psychological first aiders in all of the member teams.
London Spitfire is an Overwatch League franchise owned by North American esports organisation Cloud9. The team’s biggest success is winning the Playoffs of the Overwatch League Inaugural season in 2018.
The UK’s esports ecosystem is undergoing a growth period in 2023, with major events such as the Mid-Season Invitational in League of Legends and the Apex Legends Global Series both taking place in London. In addition, UK teams have performed well in international competitions, with the likes of well-known organisations like Fnatic and lesser-known teams like Into The Breach recording good runs at high-profile tournaments.
VC of the UKETC Jeff Simpkins commented on the situation: “A new representative wasn’t put in place for the UKETC when their previous one left. We’ve sent several emails to see if they still want to be involved however we’ve not had any response. They’ve not attended meetings in over 12 months.
We want the member organisations to actively be involved in trying to progress the UK scene and not just put their name to it in order to appear that they are invested in what we are doing. We’re currently reviewing the applications of a couple new members so there will hopefully be some news on that next month.”