Bayes Esports has continued growing in 2020, announcing a $6m (~£4.46m) investment round in September and bringing on key hires as it expands its esports data business.
One of the most prominent additions is that of Amir Mirzaee, Bayes’ new Chief Operating Officer. Across more than 15 years in the tech business, Mirzaee has acquired significant experience in various roles, including six years spent with Google from 2011-2017 and serving as the Head of Family Office for Eisbaer Capital since.
As COO, Mirzaee will help amplify Bayes’ growth as it further expands the BEDEX independent data marketplace and seeks profitability. Following Bayes’ investment announcement, Esports Insider’s sister brand, The Esports Journal, spoke with Mirzaee about his view on the potential of the esports industry and what he will bring to Bayes.
The Esports Journal: Amir, what is your first impression after two months as COO at Bayes Esports?
Amir Mirzaee: To put it into one word: Potential. There is solid momentum in every part of the esports industry currently, and the achievements Bayes Esports has made are amazing. I feel a certain gratitude about having come into this exciting joint venture.
ESJ: You haven’t been active in the esports scene before. What brought you there?
AM: Many topics have come together. I have been active in the tech business for over 15 years as a founder, head of a family office, strategy consultant, and also as a Business Development and Growth Lead for Google – who by the way are a great company to work for and grow with. At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I took a moment to reflect on what I had done so far and how I could combine my passion with work life. Tech has always excited me and I’ve played video games since age five. One of my options at the time was to join Bayes Esports. It is absolutely what I wanted.
ESJ: You have been at Google for a long time. What is missing in esports to be as successful as Google?
AM: I think it is always a question of how much focus an industry gets. Google started revolutionising the ad industry with their search engine and performance ads, which brought the company into the focus of top talents, top investors, and experienced managers, as well as corporate interest. Three years in, they brought on Eric Schmidt, a very experienced manager that turned a product into a business.
This is a nice example of how an industry is gaining momentum and the market is growing rapidly with people coming in from outside of the industry itself. Top talent, top investors, experienced managers, and corporate interest: these aspects have come together rapidly in esports quite recently.
ESJ: What needs to change in esports for it to become more mainstream?
AM: What has to happen above all is regulation and standardisation. Esports lack a uniform structure and format. The leagues are not standardised, as is the case in soccer, for example. What is needed are game publishers like Riot and top league operators like ESL that show strong involvement and have a long-term view for the ecosystem.
Only with that kind of perspective, we’ll create a level playing field where skill wins, where exceptional players make their way to the top through consistent performance, and where esports is presented as a sport rather than just games. Changing this perception in the public eye has started, but will take a while, as we will see teams training and being managed professionally to be successful. In Asia and the US, this is much more well known already than in Europe, for example.
ESJ: What makes you stand out as COO? What can your team expect from you?
AM: I see myself in the service of the company and the team. Removing roadblocks, streamlining processes, driving efficiency and effectiveness on a company level, and making success measurable – that is my job. I form a unified whole from many individual actions. The COO is an important complementary role to the CEO. Structure is key for sustainable growth.
ESJ: Which areas of the company will be the most connected to you?
AM: Our CEO Martin Dachselt is a very experienced manager in the tech area. He focuses on product vision, strategy, and engineering. I focus on sales, partnerships, legal matters, and finance. I’d say we’re very complementary.
Read the full version of this article in Edition 7 of The Esports Journal.