What you missed at the ESI Spring Forum Series

26 March 2019


The second event of the year in Esports Insider’s Forum Series is now over. The Spring Forum was our first business event in the north of England and close to 100 attendees gathered at the City Football Academy Media Centre at Manchester City’s sprawling complex. 

Taking place on March 22nd, the latest instalment of the quarterly series included a keynote, an expert panel on Battle Royale esports, and, as always, networking over free drinks and food.

ESI Spring Forum Series
Photo credit: Jak Howard

If you (regrettably) didn’t attend but what to know what you missed out on, you’re in luck. Hosted in partnership with Swipe Right PR, SpecialEffect, and Fast Web Media, here’s what went down.

Keynotes & panels

Esports: The enormous opportunity for growth from broadcasting revenues

David Fenlon of Proxima Group was first up in front of the audience, discussing the sheer amount and depth of opportunities for growth that are available when it comes to broadcasting revenues.

David Fenlon of Proxima Group at ESI Spring Forum Series
Photo credit: Jak Howardv

Fenlon rightfully compared how esports currently stands when compared to traditional sports, an industry that it has so desperately borrowed from when it comes to how it operates in numerous avenues. Esports is an entirely different beast to any other sport though and, with it being entirely digital in nature, there are key opportunities for things to be run better and more efficiently when it comes to generating revenue. 


Tom Donegan, Events Coordinator for SpecialEffect was next up to present to those in the auditorium, sharing exactly what it is that the SpecialEffect charity does.

SpecialEffect at ESI Spring Forum Series
Photo credit: Jak Howard

Enabling those with disabilities to game with the use of specialist technology – whether that means modified joypads or eye-control tools – SpecialEffect provides tailor-made solutions to provide a positive impact.

The Potential for Battle Royale esports

Poppy Ingham, Social Media Manager for Fast Web Media

James Dean, Managing Director of ESL UK
Maeve Finnegan, Marketing Manager at EStars
Jonathan Tilbury, Executive Director at National Student Esports
Mark Weller, COO of Vexed Gaming

ESI Spring Forum Series
Photo credit: Jak Howard

Battle Royale titles are rapidly becoming a staple in gaming, but what about in esports? We’ve seen H1Z1 come and go, the rise and very slow decline of PUBG, Fortnite’s explosion into mainstream relevancy, and Apex Legends’ momentary dominance over the market. 

In esports, these games aren’t quite making the same dent. With random elements such as loot spawns making the competition unpredictable (and arguably unfair), there’s a lot of discussion surrounding the legitimacy of the genre when it comes to competitive viability.

“Esports is always gaming, but gaming isn’t always esports” – James Dean, ESL UK

We assembled a host of experts that have all worked – and continue to work – within Battle Royale games in different ways to discuss the topic.


If you’ve attended an ESI event already, you’ll know that our networking sessions always go down a treat. With free food and drink supplied in a laid back environment, you have a great chance to forge new industry connections and to catch up with some familiar faces should you wish to do so.

Networking at ESI Spring Forum Series
Photo credit: Jak Howard

With team owners, sports clubs, venue owners, league and tournament organisers, governing and regulatory bodies, media and press, law firms, and technology companies all in attendance, there were a breadth of opportunities to meet people from all corners of the industry.

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Co-founder of Esports Insider shared his thoughts after the event: “Our first event in the North went down a storm. We hit 95% capacity, enjoyed the top notch facilities of one of the world’s largest football clubs, and each of the sessions, from David’s, to SpecialEffect and the panel itself – even if we didn’t use my clever ‘Esports are for life not just a fortnight’ title’, were well received.”

He continued: “The UK isn’t just London, and so whilst this was our first event in Manchester and the North, it most certainly won’t be our last.”

If you missed out on ESI Spring Forum Series – or want to attend another of our events – then secure your ticket for ESI New York now. Hosted on April 23rd, it has undoubtedly the best speaker line-up of any esports business event yet.

Tickets for ESI New York are available here