Future Games Summit 2016: A Recap

Last week saw the first Future Games Summit, an event hosted in London with some of the brightest minds in the industry gathering over two days to discuss a wide range of esports and gaming topics. 

Esports Insider was present on the second day with Ollie Ring chairing Track B: Level Up: eSports Pro and moderating the closing keynote panel on Advertising & media buying in eSports. Ollie’s broken down some of the key talking points below.

Diversity in esports

In wake of a recent article from the BBC which has, quite frankly been lambasted by the community (and quite rightly too) there was a lot of talk around the topic of diversity. 

Whilst the consensus was that women are more than welcome in esports, and both developers and teams would love for more women to be at the top level – there just simply aren’t as many females playing popular esports titles as males and none have quite managed to break into the top echelons of game play. 

Particularly, it was made clear that having a female at the top of any game would be “a developer’s dream” – and that esports is one of the only industries that, although it has problems, has a completely level playing field regardless of several characteristics (gender included) that act as barriers in other forms of competition.

eSports vs esports

One of the more humorous debates came about with people asking the question “big or small S”. The consensus in a room filled with industry professionals was, surprisingly – big S.

Then again, people voted for big S despite their teams and companies using a small s, so we came no closer to gaining a consensus. Here at Esports Insider, we’re firmly in the small s camp. 

Integrity in esports

The first panel that Ollie chaired, featuring Ian SmithEsports Integrity Commissioner (ESIC), Jordan Fawcett (William Hill), Adam Leadercramer (Onside Law), Kurt Pakendorf (FACEIT) discussed doping and gambling amidst other topics. 

It’s great to see steps being taken to combat doping – which is believed to not be widespread in the burgeoning industry as well as FACEIT releasing new anti-cheat software to combat cheating through soft/hardware. 

Additionally, Ian emphasised the need to educate those in esports competition at a grassroots level. He mentioned that there will be an online training course available to esports professionals in January/February to help protect against gambling fraud and other integrity issues that players may face in their careers. 

Media & Advertising buying in esports

It was a pleasure to moderate the closing keynote panel of the day – advertising and media buying in esports. The panel was stacked with some of the most knowledgeable heads in the industry. Mark Reed (Heaven Media), Tom Wallace (Target Media), Malph Minns (Strive Sponsorship) and Oliver Boden (IMG) shared great insight across a range of topics.

They covered the challenge of TV advertising versus Twitch advertising, the challenges that endemics and non-endemics face in a fascinating final hour. It also covered in more detail the challenges of presenting esports in a way that is digestible to multi-national companies.

The biggest point that I personally took from the panel was that multi-national companies looking to invest do not have a global budget for advertising. The budget tends to be focused in specific countries, or regions and therefore presenting global data can not always be particularly useful nor helpful for investors.

Esports Insider says: The second day was a great day for those in esports to network and learn from each other. I’m sure it provided great insight to those who came to learn more about the blossoming industry and therefore catered for everyone. For a first year of a conference, the panels were generally well selected and provoked great discussion.