Ballon d’Or winner Ruud Gullit announced as keynote speaker at ESI Super Forum

The ESI team is delighted to announce that former Ballon d’Or winner and Chelsea legend Ruud Gullit will be the keynote speaker at the ESI Super Forum on 22nd March. 

For those that immediately ask, what does Gullit have to do with esports – the Dutchman has recently launched Team Gullit; a FIFA esports academy looking to help educate and nurture up and coming stars and transform them into the finished product.

The ESI Super Forum is taking place on March 22nd at Stamford Bridge. It will feature over six panels, 30 speakers and a networking and exhibition area.

Gullit returns to Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea football club – a team he made 49 appearances for, scoring 4 goals. He will be on hand to discuss his entrance to esports through the Team Gullit academy and will share just how and why he decided to get involved.

We’ve seen many teams get involved, but it’s rare for an individual of the stature of Gulllit to launch his own independent venture and commit to mentoring youngsters who wish to make it – not in the world of football, but rather football simulation.

Gullit said: “I’m looking forward to taking to the stage at the Esports Insider Super Forum to discuss the sports and esports crossover, and the founding of and plan for, Team Gullit.

“I may be biased but it’s great that the event is taking place at Stamford Bridge too. As a place close to my heart it will be a fantastic opportunity to make an impact there again, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of good esports chat with a host of industry leaders.”

Gullit will be joined by a host of other great industry speakers as the entire day examines the fascinating crossover between esports and the traditional sports world. Over 175 clubs have entered the space and that growth looks set to continue. Partnerships between football clubs and players specifically are evermore plentiful but they vary greatly in their format. For example there is the case of PSG, Valencia and Schalke who’ve entered using their own brands, and then there’s the likes of North, a joint collaborative project created by FC Copenhagen and Nordisk Films. We’ve also seen prominent names such as Gerard Pique (eFootball.Pro), Riyad Mahrez (Ares Esport), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Challengermode) and more invest in some form in the esports industry. You can read more about why sports clubs and leagues are entering the space, and indeed how, here

Whether it’s through sport simulation, or esports continues to franchise leagues – there’s little doubt it will remain of constant interest.

“I’m looking forward to taking to the stage at the Esports Insider Super Forum to discuss the sports and esports crossover, and the founding of and plan for, Team Gullit”

The ESI Super Forum will see six panels, a roundtable and Gullit speak amidst a busy day of networking and, one would hope, the forging of many valuable business relationships.

There’s an exhibition space, plenty of time allowed for meetings and discussion, as well as a token ESI esports social tournament which one would assume will be extremely competitive. Other notable speakers include: Christian Sørensen – CEO – North, Mark Cox – UK Head of Publishing – Riot Games, James Dean – MD – ESL UK, Alex Grimonpoint – Player Engagement Director – Hi-Rez Studios, Nikolaj Nyholm – CEO – RFRSH and Nicolas Maurer – CEO – Team Vitality, amongst a host of others. 

After the day’s done and dusted, delegates and speakers are invited to the World Cup Bar situated at Stamford Bridge for a beverage or two before the official after party gets underway at Roman Abramovich’s personal Chelsea bar, Under the Bridge. SBC Global’s Betting on Football conference is running alongside the ESI Super Forum, meaning a host of top football clubs including Real Madrid, Man City, Juventus, AS Roma and plenty more as well as other industry stakeholders will be in attendance throughout the day and till late at Under the Bridge.

There’s no other conference out there that covers the convergence of traditional sports and esports in quite the way that the ESI Super Forum will. To find out more and secure your place please click here.

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