Last night, Esports Insider had the pleasure of inducting four new members into the ESI Hall of Fame’s class of 2022, marking the opening of ESI London 2022.
The ESI Hall of Fame, which this year is supported by the Global Esports Federation, was created to give credit and recognition to individuals who have helped craft and develop the esports sector into what it is today.
Alongside the Hall of Fame inductee, this year’s awards ceremony introduced three new categories: Rising Industry Star, Youth Award Champion and Community Champion.
It is with great pride that we invited the following individuals to be inducted into the ESI Hall of Fame as our class of 2022:
- Matthieu Dallon, Founding Partner at Trust Esport as the Hall of Famer
- Jon Winkle, Managing Director of epic.LAN as the Community Champion
- Telmo Silva, Founder and CEO at Grow uP eSports and Co-Founder at GIRLGAMER Esports Festival as the Youth Award Champion
- Dominika Szot, Head Of Brand Strategy at GRID esports and Founder of IT’S HER GAME podcast as the Rising Industry Star
Matthieu Dallon, Founding Partner at Trust Esport and this year’s Hall of Famer commented: “[I’m] so moved to have been honoured by Esports Insider and to be now a member of the ESI Hall of Fame, alongside some incredible pioneers in the space.
“It’s been 22 years of passion and entrepreneurship, success (and failures), hard work and dedication, trying to push further the definition of esports: as a legitimate sport, as an entertaining show, as an open culture to all countries, all genders and always new games. I am humbly sharing this distinction with ALL the people that made it possible.”
The class of 2022 joins previous honourees, including Naz Aletaha (Global Head of League of Legends Esports at Riot Games), Jason Lake (CEO of Complexity Gaming), Heather ‘sapphiRe’ Garozzo (ex-Counter-Strike Observer and current VP of Marketing at Dignitas) and Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez (Owner & CEO of OpTic Gaming), amongst others.
After taking place online for the past two years, this year’s edition of the ESI Hall of Fame returned in person whilst being hosted at gaming bar Platform, Shoreditch. Previous physical ceremonies were held at the rooftop of Nixon Peabody LLP, Los Angeles in 2019 and the Museum of Natural History, London in 2018.
Without further ado, here is a brief introduction of each of our newest inductees:
Matthieu Dallon’s journey started before esports was esports. He set up the Electronic Sports World Cup in 2003, a seminal tournament series that helped turn LAN parties into the esports events we know today. Working as the CEO of various esports companies in his long industry tenure. He moved on to found non-profit federation France Esports in 2016 with the French Ministry of Economy and major game publishers.
Equipped with 16 years of experience building successful esports companies, Dallon put his unparalleled industry expertise to work as a founder and main advisor to Trust Esport, the first ever esports-specific venture capital fund in France, and the second in Europe.
Jon Winkle, Managing Director of epic.LAN, put on his first LAN party in 2003 using his student loan to buy the equipment. Over time, that same LAN party evolved into what is now EPIC.LAN, one of the biggest and best LAN parties in Europe.
In 2018, Jon turned EPIC.LAN, which was then still a hobby, into his full-time job and grew out its B2B technical services arm. Hit hard by the pandemic, it shifted online until bouncing back — and selling out — in 2021. Jon continues to turn what was a small piece of esports history into a core part of Britain’s esports infrastructure.
Active in the esports industry since age 16, Telmo Silvia is an industry veteran who’s already amassed 20 years of esports industry experience. One of the first to recognise the need for responsible gaming and esports, he founded the non-profit Grow uP Esports in 2002, which to this day promotes healthy and responsible esports activities.
In 2020 the first Grow uP Arena was inaugurated, supported by the municipality of Sintra, with the objective to give opportunities to young people to learn about esports and how to channel it in a positive way in their day-to-day lives outside of gaming.
Dominika Szot’s rise up the esports ladder is truly a testament to her hard work, dedication and innovation in the industry. In the space of a year at Esports data platform GRID she has transitioned from Delivery Manager to the company’s Head of Brand Strategy, highlighting her growth in the sector.
Dominika’s short career has seen her work for the likes of Huawei as well as fan engagement tool StreamCards. Throughout her journey, Dominika has also championed diversity and inclusivity within the space and is a WIGJ Ambassador as well as the founder of the IT’S HER GAME podcast.
Heartfelt congratulations are given to our four inductees for their career achievements and contributions in expanding, legitimising and elevating the esports industry.
The Esports Insider Hall of Fame is the first of two special events during ESI London, with the 2022 edition of The Clutch, including a $25,000 (~£21,500) prize pool, taking place on Wednesday, September 7th.