The exclusive online take on Esports Insider’s industry-leading esports conferences, ESI Digital Summit, is almost upon us! Taking place over May 26-27th, the event is filling a gap presented by the unfortunate global situation.
To ensure that emerging topics – such as the convergence of sports & esports and how the industry will move on from COVID-19 – Esports Insider has devised programming that’s relevant, productive, and insightful. To make things even better, leading industry figures are set to grace each and every session over the course of the two-day event.
Esports isn’t short of interest from the investment sector. Whether it’s Drake becoming a co-owner of North American organisation 100 Thieves or high school esports platform raising $50 million (£40.1 million) in its Series C funding round, companies of all shapes and sizes worldwide are receiving significant injections of capital.
This sounds great on the surface but many know that the industry, in its current state, isn’t sustainable in many cases, with huge sums of money not trickling down the ecosystem in the way you’d perhaps hope and expect. Esports has managed to withstand the global pandemic better than many industries it’s true – with investment being a contributing factor, no doubt – but how will this trend be affected with venture capital firms and funds being rocked by wider market downturns? All of this – and more – will be discussed on May 26th.
The ESI Digital Summit will welcome seasoned investors Spike Laurie, Venture Director of Hiro Capital, Dave Martin, Director of Esports Global, Archie Stonehill, Investor at Makers Fund, and Christian Christoefl, Senior Associate at Deloitte Corporate Finance to tackle the subject.
The conference will also include the second edition of The Clutch, Esports Insider’s pitch investment competition. The Clutch Digital, presented by Esports Global, will see five judges and investors assess and dissect four live pitches from esports-related startups.
The companies in question are Puntt, Gamerpro, TEAMS.gg and FANFUNDER, whilst the judges are from the likes of BITKRAFT, Barclays Ventures, Station12, We Are Nations, and Esports Global. You can read more about it here.
Brands and Sponsorship
As the industry grows, so too does the demand for major, global brands to get involved with organisations and competitions. As such, ESI Digital Summit provides a platform for those at both sides of the equation to give insights into such partnerships, as well as the game-changing activations that they’re spawning.
The event will see Fnatic and OnePlus, LEC and KitKat, and Rogue and Kia all present their alliances, explaining how they work and where the value is for all parties. If you want to hear from rights holders and their commercial partners, now’s your chance.
The likes of Anna Baumann, Managing Director of Rogue Sports Europe, Eric Gass, Director of Global Brand Partnerships for OnePlus, and Georg Fischer, Marketing Manager for KitKat in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa at Nestlé and more will all grace the digital stage to shed some light on their successful partnerships.
Of all the areas in esports that have benefited the most from COVID-19, the betting space is undeniably up there. With sports mostly off the table, punters have been looking for something new to take their chances on – and esports stepped up in a big way.
With FIFA and NBA 2K seeing a notable increase in market share with some bookmakers, what’s happened in esports betting in the last quarter has been nothing short of extraordinary. Can this level of market share and activity sustain when football, basketball, and other sources of entertainment return? We’ve tapped industry experts to speak all about it at ESI Digital Summit.
We’ll have the likes of Quentin Martin, CEO of Luckbox, Adam Savinson, Head of Esports for Betway, Moritz Maurer, CEO & Founder of GRID, and Marco Blume, Trading Director for Pinnacle tackling the many questions presented by this emergence.
Sports Meets Esports
It’s nothing new seeing esports and sports bleed over into each other, but what we’ve all experienced in the past couple of months has been the peak of the convergence thus far. With athletes not able to train and compete as they’re used to, considering most of sports has been postponed, they’ve taken to gaming and esports to keep up appearances, retain some levels of competition, and to connect better with their fans and audience.
Perhaps the most interesting and unexpected point of growth for esports among the pandemic has been sim racing. Widely touted as the esports genre that’s the closest to a ‘traditional sport,’ the likes of NASCAR and Formula 1 put all of their energy into sim racing to fill the gap left by motorsport’s absence.
During this track, we’ll not only explore sim racing’s explosive rise to mainstream prominence, but also FIFA’s familiarity providing comfort for many and how a sports group such as Miami Heat is putting its expertise to use in esports through its part-ownership of Misfits Gaming Group.
Join the likes of Dr. Julian Tan, Head of Esports at Formula 1, Darren Cox, President and CEO of Torque Esports, Seb Carmichael-Brown, Commercial Director for Hashtag United, and Lauren Cochran, Senior Director of Interactive Marketing for Miami Heat to name but a few who will explore the ever-growing convergence.
Perhaps the least obvious track at the event is one we aptly titled THINK, encapsulating topics that will be thought-provoking, as well as potentially divisive and debate-worthy. Included in this track are thought-leadership sessions on the current state of play in esports in Japan, the growth we’re witnessing in Southeast Asia, can the city-based teams model work, the development of media rights, what’s next for esports related venue post-quarantine, and much more.
We’ll welcome the likes of Mike Sheetal, CEO of PlayBrain, Allan Hvid, Head of Esports at TV 2 SPORT, Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan, Esports & Gaming Group Lead at Nixon Peabody, Nikita Buffee, Business Development Manager at Allied Esports, Rod “Slasher” Breslau, Chester King, Co-owner of London Royal Ravens, and plenty more!
ESI DIGITAL SUMMIT REGISTRATION