Held at the iconic Twickenham Stadium, ESI London successfully played host to over 100 industry-leading panelists across four packed tracks, and well over 400 delegates. This year’s iteration officially grew by over 30% from last year’s edition, and 2020 is set to be even bigger and better.
Let’s take a look back at some of the key moments from this year’s ESI London.
The first day was packed full of intriguing panels with the convergence of pop culture and esports, franchising in esports, esports media & data rights, and sim racing among the topics that were covered. Robbie Doeuk, CEO of BLAST Pro Series, Patrick Mahoney, CEO of We Are Nations, Erik Anderson, Head of Esports at FaZe Clan were just a few who were involved in the discussions.
The ESI Brand Showcase was hosted over on the main stage with presentations from both ESL & DHL and LEC & Beko. ESL detailed how its partnership with DHL was created and activated through its three pillars of strategy: native product integration, exclusive content assets, and unique storytelling.
“Fans actually went out and purchased DHL T-shirts. They brought into what DHL was trying to do. Totally unprompted and totally organic.” – Charlie Allen, Director of Global Brand Partnerships at ESL
To finish out Day 1 we had a panel that focused on building on the biggest year in UK esports history with Ben Greenstone, Director of Taso Advisory, Heather Dower, Marketing & Communications Manager at ESL, Clement Murphy, Marketing Manager at FACEIT, and Daniel Wood, COO of UKIE, with moderation from Dom Sacco, Content Director at British Esports Association. The panel discussed the increase in government funding, the growing UK esports fan base, and tackling mainstream acceptance going into 2020.
The second day at ESI London saw the inaugural The Clutch presented by Esports Global Fund take place over on the main stage. Taking on judging responsibilities were Malte Barth, Founding Partner of BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, Amit Jain, Esports Investor at Rewired.GG, Helen Gammons, Relationship Manager – Media & Entertainment Group at HSBC Private Bank, Spike Laurie, Venture Director at Hiro Capital, and David Martin, Director – Investment Committee at Esports Global Fund.
We heard top tier presentations from all nine of the finalists but only would could emerge victorious. It was esports performance company G-Science that was crowned the winner of The Clutch presented by Esports Global Fund, in front of an impressed live audience!
The ESIC-led track started with a presentation from Ian Smith, Commissioner of Esports Integrity Commission. Smith highlighted the association’s esports threat assessment areas: online attacks, cheating to win, match-fixing, and doping. He also delved into setting a standard with event organisers and gaining clarity of who is responsible within the tournament chain.
Following that, Lee-Ann Johnstone, CEO of Affiliate Insider, Stepan Shulga, Head of Esports at Parimatch, Quentin Martin, COO of Luckbox, and Nick Nockton, Partner at Mischcon de Reya LLP discussed if esports and betting on esports can coexist in peace and harmony. Transparency, education, and looking at the sports industry as an example were among the main themes that were discussed.
“In order to support that top tier pyramid, we need to create a pipeline for players and talent.” – Jonathan Tilbury – Executive Director – National Student Esports
To close out another successful event, the final panel over on the main stage was all about building a sustainable future and the importance of grassroots esports. Discussions took place on setting realistic expectations for inspiring professional players, using mainstream media to educate parents, and building esports communities around the world.
If you have post-event blues, or you plain and simple missed out, then not to worry! Our final ESI Forum Series event of the year will be in London on November 14th at HKS. More details will be announced soon and we look forward to seeing you there.