The inaugural HOST Esports Festival at MediaCity reveals agenda 

The agenda has now been confirmed for the very first HOST Esports Festival at MediaCity in Salford. 

The event, set to take place on Friday March 11th at HOST, is part of the wider Digital City Festival 2022 in Manchester, and features speakers from BLAST, ESL Gaming, Leeds United FC, Gravity Media, WIGI, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Burnley FC and EPIC.LAN, among others.

Image credit: Esports Insider

RELATED: The Esports Journal 10th Edition out now

Attendees can expect a day of engaging panels that cover a wide variety of topics such as how UK esports can attract AAA events, why carving out a space for women and non-binary community members is key to making esports more inclusivity, the talent pipeline, as well as the benefits and opportunities esports offers to football clubs and players.

Moreover, attendees can partake in networking sessions throughout the day too, with lunch included. Attendance is free and those eager may register here.

The day will also kick off with an edition of the by invitation only ESI Breakfast Club, which is presented by Gravity Media. There will also be activations and giveaways throughout the breakfast and wider day, with Jimmy’s Iced Coffee on site throughout the esports festival, plus some more surprises in-store.

Sam Cooke, Esports Insider Managing Director and Co-Founder, noted: “HOST have been a fantastic partner over the past few months, and I’m very excited for ESI to keep working with them to help develop their esports initiatives and offering.

“There’s been an excellent reception to the event so far, and we’re expecting a strong turnout on the day from developers to brands, football teams, esports organisations and plenty more. I’m also pleased that our first event of the year in the UK isn’t in London, but Greater Manchester. We want to ensure we recognise that UK esports isn’t London only, and in turn we want to keep producing events further afield. We’re finally able to run an ESI event next to where Coronation Street is filmed too, a long time personal ambition of mine.”  

The HOST Esports Festival is one of three HOST sponsored events taking place at the Digital City Festival 2022. The events will focus on three key themes – skills, technology and innovation – all of which will be highlighted at the Cyber Summit, the India Pavilion (as part of the Digital City Expo) and its own Esports Festival.

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, operator of HOST, said: “We are excited to celebrate and host the Esports Festival in partnership with Esports Insider as part of the fantastic events happening at the Digital City Festival. The esports market is growing at a global scale and our ambition is for MediaCity to be a beacon for esports talent across the region and to provide the industry with its next generation of pro gaming talent.  

“By harnessing the benefits of the incredible esports sector, we are hoping to break down the barriers of entry to make it as accessible as possible and create fair access for all. Nurturing and inspiring local talent with the digital skills they need to advance in esports related careers will further drive prosperity for all our communities in the region.”

To conclude the day, there will be a VIP drinks reception at HOST, followed by an after party till late! 

Image credit: HOST

RELATED: Streamcoi breaks down esports streaming business in latest whitepaper

The full HOST Esports Festival Agenda (Friday March 11th)

9:00-13:00:  ESI Breakfast Club presented by Gravity Media – By invitation only – Please message [email protected] to find out more

13:00-18:15: HOST Esports Festival (Sessions and networking)

18:15-20:00: VIP drinks reception at HOST

20:00-late: After party

Session Agenda

14:00 – 14:40: How can the UK esports ecosystem create the best conditions for bringing AAA events to the nation?

Mark Weller – Chief Gaming Officer – Vexed Gaming

James Dean – Director UK Strategy and Commercial – ESL Gaming

Andrew Haworth – Commissioner – BLAST Premier

Rob Black – Chief Executive Officer – Promod Esports

Laura Byrne – Junior Account Manager – Swipe Right PR

14:45 – 15:25: Why carving out a space for women and non-binary community members is key to making esports more inclusive

Riley Soley – Media & Marketing Executive – Esports Insider

Anisah Munim – Product Manager – NUEL

Joanie Kraut – CEO – WIGI

Kendryx Linscott – Chief Marketing Officer – WIGI

Ruby Dawn – COO – Dota Valkyries

15:30 – 16:15:  Networking break & careers roundtables

16:30 – 17:10: Talent Pipeline – how to create healthy pathways into the esports industry

Heather Dower – Founder & CEO – Hotdrop

Nathan Edmonds – Head of Community & Marketing – Hitmarker

Becky Wright – Senior Partnerships Manager – NSE

Jon Winkle – Managing Director – EPIC.LAN

17:15 – 18:00 – What benefits does the esports space hold for football clubs and players?

Steve Hawthorn – Head of Digital, Data & Esports – Burnley FC

Aaron Duckmanton – Head of Global Digital and Content Strategy – Leeds United FC

Jonas Gundersen – COO – Ninjas in Pyjamas 

Suzie Dickinson – Head of Talent – Epic Global

Sign up to our ESI Dispatch Newsletter