Ahead of the 2022 school year, META Esports announced earlier today their appointment of Andrew Kinch into the role of League Commissioner. Kinch will replace outgoing Commissioner Woody Wu, who steps into an advisory role with the company.
Kinch spoke with Snowball Esports saying that “esports needs a safer, grass roots pathway that allows young gamers to compete in a structured, organised esports league compared to simply playing ranked or casual modes online.
“To build on that opportunity, we have to bridge the knowledge gap between parents, students and schools, maybe governments too. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
A former Health and PE teacher at Melbourne’s Elwood College, Kinch has been both a competitive and a casual gamer over the past thirty years. More recently however, he’s worked with young gamers as founder of GameAware, a mentoring service catered to youngsters with a specific focus on wellness and sustainability.
In his role as Commissioner, Kinch will focus on engaging schools into META’s high school leagues and use his wealth of experience to advance grassroots high school and university esports, noting that META believes in the “benefits and value of structured esports” as opposed to casual online play.
He also told Snowball Esports that “we believe the best way for students (and schools) to get those benefits is to help get schools and governments to support it the same way as traditional sports are supported, such as with coaching, student recognition, competitive pathways, as well as team and character building experiences.
“We can do this by providing a league with great values and competitive integrity. One of our obstacles to overcome is that gaming in general sometimes carries baggage around problematic play, garnering concern from parents and schools. Our proactive role modelling and support of healthy play will also be vital to the league’s growth and acceptance.”
Kinch will also be working side-by-side this year with Jordan Wong, META’s Head of Tournament and Events, with both the latter and outgoing Commissioner Woody Wu praising the approach that Kinch will bring to META this year.
“The last two years have been tough for schools and business across Australia with the impacts of COVID-19,” Wu said. “Bringing in a highly experienced educator as the League Commissioner for META High School Esports will help us better support the education sector adopt and utilise gaming and esports for their local youth.”
Wu is confident that his replacement was the ideal person to help META deliver on their vision of “support[ing] schools and governments to adopt and utilise gaming and esports to engage youth and create positive life outcomes.”
Wong also told Snowball Esports that “Kinch gives META an approach to schools with language they understand and a focus on solving problems they face in a COVID-19 world. That priority being awareness, student engagement and mental health when it comes to gaming.”
META also recently announced that their 2022 season will host events in League of Legends, Valorant, Rocket League, Teamfight Tactics and Legends of Runeterra, all beginning during May. For more information visit metahse.gg.