Esports organisation FNATIC has announced a new partnership with UNICEF aimed at tackling issues affecting children, with a particular focus on toxic behaviour in gaming.
According to FNATIC players all too frequently experience racism, homophobia, sexism, hate speech and other forms of bullying through interactions with other gamers, and funds raised from the partnership with UNICEF will contribute to the charity’s programmes around the world, which aim to create a safer, happier and better world for every child.
The partnership will kick-off with the #GotYourBack campaign, a programme of charity streams and content to promote positivity in gaming. FNATIC players and influencers, as well as UNICEF supporter and England international footballer Marcus Rashford, will be involved to help raise funds for UNICEF programmes around the world.
As well as promoting positivity, #GotYourBack is set to give players and the esports community a platform to discuss their experiences and share methods on how to deal with toxic behaviour.
Rashford said: “I have experienced the effects of toxic online behaviours myself, I know what that feels like, so partnering with UNICEF and FNATIC to promote positivity in gaming was a no-brainer for me. It’s important our platforms are used positively to offer a voice to causes and, in this case, children, who sometimes struggle to be heard. I’m very happy to provide that.”
Glen Calvert, COO, FNATIC, added: "Toxicity online is one of the biggest challenges we face in our industry as it creates barriers to entry and enjoyment for players and fans alike.
"Together with UNICEF we can help our community tackle this problem and work to build a safe, positive and inclusive environment for all, while raising money for the world's most vulnerable children."
FNATIC is raising funds for programmes such as UNICEF’s child friendly spaces initiative. Child-friendly spaces offer a safe place where children can be children, where they can learn and play together. These sanctuaries also offer essential health services such as vaccinations and counselling and help to protect children from exploitation and trafficking.
Sue Adams, Director of Partnerships, UNICEF UK, said: "UNICEF is committed to creating a better world for all children, wherever they are – online or offline. We therefore welcome this opportunity to work together with FNATIC to tackle online toxic behaviour, whilst also raising funds for our on the ground programmes."
Rashford will kick off the #GotYourBack campaign on 23rd January, when the Manchester Untied star will take part in a live stream with World number one FIFA player Donovan ‘Tekkz’ Hunt.