Welcome to The Black Esports Forum, where Black esports professionals and community leaders talk about their experiences in the industry, topics relating to diversity & inclusion and the state of Blackness in the industry. Join Amanda Stevens and Upcomer for some uncomfortable conversations, “ain’t that something” moments and more Blackness than 28 days can handle.
In episode one, Amanda is joined by Upcomer staff writer Nick Ray, head of collegiate esports content for CheckpointXP Norris Howard de Trois and programming lead for 1337 Entertainment Brandon Brathwaite. The crew talks about how they got hooked on esports — sharing stories of playing fighting games in their local arcades, to watching the Season 2 League of Legends World Championship in a high school cafeteria.
From there, the group moves on to how the esports industry handled the Black Lives Matter movement that surged in the summer of 2020. They each express their disappointment over various organizations’ follow-through on commitments to creating more diversity in the industry. Norris and Amanda discuss how things can be fixed from a collegiate perspective while Brandon and Nick discuss how low the financial commitment would be.
To round out the episode, the group somehow finds themselves on the topic of which League of Legends champions are Black and whether or not Dragon Ball’s Piccolo is Black.
Spoiler: he is.