The ESI Super Forum is this Thursday – here’s the lowdown

Our Esports Insider Super Forum, the one day conference focused on the crossover of esports and sports, is taking place this Thursday March 22nd.

At the home of Chelsea FC, Stamford Bridge, we will host a full day with seven talks, from panels to roundtables and a keynote session.

You can see the details of these in full right here.

Understanding the esports ecosystem; why should ‘traditional sports’ care (10:15-11:00)

Let’s get the basics tied down, who are the stakeholders in esports, where’s the money coming from (and going), where could it be coming from and why should ‘traditional sports’ clubs and leagues give a damn.

  • James Dean – MD- ESL UK
  • Michael ‘Odee’ O’Dell – GM – Dignitas
  • Mark Cox – Head of Publishing UK – Riot Games
  • Viktor Wanli – CEO – Kinguin
  • Moderator – Ian Smith, Commissioner, ESIC

Keynote (11:20-12:00)

Ballon D’Or winner and Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit will take to the stage at his former stomping ground to discuss the crossover of football and esports. Gullit recently launched Team Gullit, a FIFA esports academy, so is very much caught up in the crossover of the two worlds.

  • Ruud Gullit
  • Moderator – Sam Cooke, Editor-in-Chief, Esports Insider

Sports clubs in esports: The story so far (12:10-12:50)

By our count there are more than 180 sports clubs involved in esports to some degree. But the bigger question is who’s doing it well, what are they doing, what works and why.

  • Colin Johnson – GM of Rocket League, Street Fighter and FIFA – Fnatic
  • Paul Rayment – Marketing Manager of Goal – Perform (
  • Christian Sorensen – CEO – North (FC Copenhagen)
  • Pedro Honório da Silva – CEO – Qwatti eSports Agency
  • Moderator – Dom Sacco – Content Director – British Esports Association

Esports team ownership: A worthy investment? (14.00 – 14.45)

There have been plenty of sports stakeholders buying stakes in esports teams, or just buying them outright, in the past year. Relative to Premier League and NBA teams they’re still going cheap, but is it a good investment and on what do you base that answer?

  • Nicolas Maurer – CEO – Team Vitality
  • Ben Woodward – Co-Founder – Code Red Agency
  • Kieran Holmes-Darby – MD – exceL Esports
  • Moderator – Mike Stubbs – Esports journalist

Sponsorship in esports and why brands need to play a different game (14.45 – 15.30)

Sponsorship in esports is on the up, which is no surprise in an entertainment industry that’s predicted to be worth over $1bn by 2020. From Mercedes-Benz to Mcdonalds, find out what works, and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t work.

  • Frederic Weil – Partnerships Manager – Fnatic
  • Tomek Borowka – Esports and Marketing Manager – Super Evil Megacorp
  • Jakob Lund Kristensen – Founder and EVP Sales – RFRSH Entertainment
  • Seb Carmichael-Brown – Commercial Director – Hashtag United
  • Moderator – Duncan McMonagle – SVP & GM – Minute Media (DBLTAP)

Media rights and broadcasting in esports (16:00 – 16.45)

Twitch has ensured most people expect to watch the best of the best in esports compete at no cost. Media rights and broadcasting deals are an inevitable part of esports growth however, and we’ve seen some exclusive deals begin to be signed such as that between ESL and Facebook. But these exclusive deals come with their own problems. What’s the future of media rights and broadcasting in esports?

  • Martin Wyatt – Head of Partner Relations – Gfinity
  • Heather ‘Naysayerz’ Dower – Marketing and Communications Manager – ESL UK
  • Perry Smith – Director of Content Partnerships – Ginx TV
  • James Watson – Head of Esports – Sportradar
  • Moderator – Kirsty Endfield – Founder – Swipe Right PR 

Abios – The Esports Data Roundtable (16.50 – 17.30)

Esports data and analytics company Abios will discuss the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry. What are the challenges of sourcing accurate data in esports? This will also look at the live data ‘problem’, the differences across games and more in a session designed to be as interactive as possible.

In short, all your esports data questions will be answered here.

  • Oskar Fröberg – CEO – Abios

What else is going on

  • Squire Patton Boggs – Free legal consultations (10am-5pm)
  • ESI & SpecialEffect Tekken Showdown (From lunchtime, grand final at 5.30pm)
  • Networking drinks and official after party (From 5.30pm)

If some fantastic panels and talks aren’t enough then fear not, we also have the ESI Business and Networking Area, the ESI & SpecialEffect Tekken Showdown and the free and private legal consultations courtesy of Squire Patton Boggs.

We’ll have fighting games casters along to bring the Tekken tournament to life. Any attendee can sign up for this, and any attendee can also book a slot with Squire Patton Boggs for a free legal consultation by contacting [email protected]

Charlotte Lister, Associate in Data Protection and Intellectual Property, who’ll be one of three from Squires in attendance on the day, commented: “As you are most likely aware, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018, which reinforces and expands data privacy rights and is backed up by fines of up to 20 million euros. The scale of the changes imposed are significant, and as the 25 May 2018 is only months away, we would expect most organisations to have a GDPR-readiness work plan in place.

“Our Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Team are working alongside a large number of organisations to help them reach compliance by 25 May 2018. We regularly work with both B2B and B2C organisations and, in addition to organisations based in the UK, we also assist larger international organisations with their GDPR compliance globally. We can help with any queries you may have in relation to the GDPR, for example, relating to data breaches, data sharing activities, privacy notices, data retention and data mapping. We can also advise in relation to consents, a ‘hot topic’ under the GDPR, and the wider rules governing direct marketing including the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and upcoming ePrivacy Regulation.”

After the day is done and dusted, and plenty of business cards exchanged and Tekken played, there’ll also be networking drinks and an official after party (from 8 till late) at Under the Bridge, the nightclub favoured by Mr Roman Abramovich built into the Stamford Bridge complex. 

The ESI Super Forum is running alongside SBC’s Betting on Football conference, and you can read more about this event in its entirety right here

Partners include Abios, Sportradar, AliQuantum Gaming, Squire Patton Boggs, RewardMob, SpecialEffect, Qwatti, noblechairs and ESL UK

For more information and to secure your tickets follow this link, and anyone with any questions can reach out to [email protected]