Second #ESIForum goes off with a bang, esports betting at the Bunkr

04 September 2017


The second ESI Forum, in association with Digital Fuel, enjoyed an excellent reception late last week.

We’d had to extend the ticket allowance for this event after demand exceeded initial supply, and the result was a bustling Bunkr with an engaged crowd full of questions for the panel which discussed the convergence of betting and esports. 

The panel, moderated by ESIC Commisioner Ian Smith, and featuring Digital Fuel CEO Toby Oddy, Sportradar Head of Esports James Watson, UltraPlay Head of Esports Trading Peter Ivanov and Blinkpool CEO Suraj Gosai talked at length about a number of issues in the space. Much of the discussion centred around data, relations with game devs, and the question of how to turn esports fans into bettors.

These topics and more will be dissected further at the Betting on Esports conference in London at the Olympia later this month. 

From left: Ian Smith (ESIC), Toby Oddy (Digital Fuel), James Watson (Sportradar), Peter Ivanov (UltraPlay) and Suraj Gosai (Blinkpool)

Blinkpool CEO Suraj Gosai said of the event: “I was looking forwards to speaking on a panel where the audiences’ base knowledge on esports was already quite high. I met some really interesting companies and individuals who shared similar views. It was a really relaxed atmosphere and the pizza was great!”

Digital Fuel was the Key Event Partner of the evening whilst betting solutions provider UltraPlay was another vital sponsor which allowed the evening to take place. Plenty of networking took place with UK teams such as excel Esports and MnM Gaming represented, in addition to gambling regulatory bodies, bookmakers, data companies, the press, ESL and further stakeholders from both esports and the wide world of betting.

Fnatic’s own Alan ‘Mysterious Al’ Lavery was the eventual victor in a hotly contested Tekken tournament which saw some valiant performances from the likes of Tipstrr, and some top of the range casting by Ryan ‘Ketchup’ Neal and Jake ‘Mustard’ Neal. 

The prize of a signed Marcus Rashford shirt and a copy of PES was kindly presented to an enamoured Alan by the evening’s Official Charity Partner SpecialEffect.

Thanks to ESL UK, we’ll have a video covering the event out in the near future so those who missed out will be able to see just what they missed. 

As the ESI Forum Series garners more attention, this second event saw a story published on the Mail Online.We’ll continue to ensure the industry and those in and around it have a place to meet up in London each month, and we’ve the dates confirmed for the next three months at the Fnatic Bunkr.

Digital Fuel Group CEO Toby Oddy told ESI: “The forum has unearthed very good debate and insights into the growing esports business. Digital Fuel are proud to be a part of the journey and contribute and learn from the wider attendees.”

The next #ESIForum is on Thursday September 28th (6-10pm) and a panel titled ‘Kings of the merch?’ will tackle the opportunity with esports and apparel. There’ll be the usual plenty of good pizza and drinks (included in your ticket price) for those who make it down

Check out what we have coming up in the #ESIForum Series here. Thanks to everyone who attended the August edition and we hope to see you next time!

For anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities, or with any questions, reach out to [email protected]