Why esports is the future, and how will the esports industry change everything around it? Find out at The Global Esports Forum 2020 in Katowice!
Katowice, February 27th 2020
ESL and The Story Mob together with Marshal Office of the Silesian Voivodeship present: the Global Esports Forum 2020. The third edition of the exclusive esports business summit for key industry leaders will be themed “Esport = Future”. This invitation-only, forward-looking conference will dive deep into how esports is influencing and leading innovation within – surrounding industries. Speakers will cover topics focused on three key areas: sustainability, people and culture, and technology.
The Global Esports Forum is a full-day event that takes place on February 27th, 2020, ahead of the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice, Poland. This is the perfect opportunity to combine your visit to the world’s largest esports event with an amazing networking experience.
This event is for everyone who wants to level up their knowledge about the esports industry, learn more about its key stakeholders and their vision for the unique value that esports will add to the surrounding industries in 2020.
For the 2020 edition, we’ve invited leading industry professionals to present how esports is leading the change in the industries that it touches, and why should we ask ourselves not what the future of esports is, but why is esports the future.
Local government officer, manager, social worker. Regional Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship for the 6th term. He was professionally associated with the broadly understood community in Tychy for many years. He held managerial functions in the financial sector, including Director of Corporate Governance and Director of Strategic Assets. He was the President of the Vistula Tourist Agency registered in Tychy and the Secretary of the Social Sports Council at the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. He is an expert in the field of projects restructuring in the shipbuilding industry and the activation of post-industrial areas. A member of the National Development Council of the President of the Republic of Poland involved in the work regarding local government and health care.
As a Representative of the President of Innovation Promotion in the city of Katowice, she was initiating identification actions of innovation development in Katowice, defining required forms of support for companies oriented in advanced technologies, especially smaller and medium companies including start-ups. Currently, she holds the position of Director of the Economy Department and International Cooperation and she leads the team working with investors and exporters, cooperating at the interface with local government, science and business and establishing and maintaining international relationships with partner regions of Silesian Voivodship.
A proven champion in his own racing career, Rupert has a wealth of experience and success within the motorsport industry, from both behind the wheel and in management. Transferring his experience and skillset into business, Rupert has been instrumental in shaping a value proposition within esports for some of the world’s biggest and best brands from Logitech to New Balance. Rupert has put significant time and dedication into the day-to-day running of Veloce, enhancing the Company’s commercial credibility with his exceptional drive and instinctive business acumen.
Hicham is the CEO at the legendary esports company Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), the first professional esports team to launch their own gaming peripheral line and one of the most well-known and renowned brands in esports. His experience ranges from the global financial industry to entrepreneurship, including nine-year run in managing hedge fund investments at Formuesforvaltning, the largest independent wealth management firm in Scandinavia. Hicham has extensive knowledge of building and growing businesses, having founded Diglife – a company bridging the digital lifestyle gap in Europe and the US – and built it into a global enterprise, where he serves as a Chairman. Diglife has invested in several global esports related companies, and holds a significant investment portfolio in other lifestyle, gaming and technology related companies worldwide, and is one of the most successful investors in the esports space
Aleksander Szlachetko joined ESL, the world’s largest independent esports company, in October 2016, taking the role of Development Director. Then in March 2017, he was promoted to a position of the Managing Director of the Polish branch. Earlier, he worked at Intel for 15 years as a Manager of PC sales in the region of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Aleksander was responsible for the strategy and sales of high-performance computers targeted at the market of players and enthusiasts as well as new, innovative PCs such as Intel NUC or Intel Compute Stick. He’s also the one who, from the very beginning believed in IEM Katowice and worked with ESL and the city to create the best esports experience in Katowice.
Global Senior HR professional with an outstanding track record of leading change, building practices from the ground up, creating world class initiatives and turning around people related problems. With over 22 years of experience in Operations, HRBP and COE roles, I have a history of working across multiple industries and cultures leveraging each experience. I moved to Germany in 2013 gaining international experience working for DHL. My experience working for Mars Inc, BMO and FedEx helped further my business understanding across industries. Always leading the people strategies for organizations globally and guiding HR teams around the world. I am passionate about HR, hold a “can do” spirit and always think out of the box to remove barriers for people, so they can focus on the business.
Adults Portfolio Marketing Manager in Coca-Cola. Responsible for entering Sprite into the gaming world and E-sport as well as first influencers’ activations in that area.
Simon Cox is a former rowing World Champion and Chief Coach who has led Olympic programs and National teams. His athletes have won numerous World and Olympic medals and titles over the last four Olympic cycles. Working as Performance Director in the Czech Republic he brought together the elements necessary to create a stand-alone performance centre to ensure the long term and sustainable development of athletes. He is now based in the UK where he continues in a consultancy role in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics. He has also led organisations in Switzerland, Australia and the UK specialising in developing structures and systems that create a culture of high performance and ensuring that world’s best practise is an integral part of the daily life of athletes, coaches and support staff. He is internationally recognised for his success in managing cultural change with a particular expertise in bringing specialists together and building a team ready to think outside the box to find innovative solutions.
David McKenzie McGowan is a former Olympic and World Champion athlete. He is now a high performance coach who has worked through 4 Olympic cycles in Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland. He has taken twenty two athletes to top five performances at the Olympic Games and coached athletes to eleven World records in the period between 2013 and 2017. His particular expertise is in athlete motivation, management and peak performance preparation. He is well known for creating high performance environments that ensure the whole organisation is aligned to achieve their stated goals. In addition he has used these unique skills in presenting to companies and universities on a course he devised – “Creating a Culture of Excellence”. He is currently the Head Coach working with four teams in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics including the world number one female athlete. Over the last 18 months Simon and David have been working on the implementation of their successful techniques and methodologies into esports. This crossover can be hugely beneficial to esports but, only when applied correctly.
Maciek is a co-owner and Head of Science in esportsLAB. As an researcher at the Institute of Psychology Polish Academy of Sciences, he works towards understanding the link between cognition, brain structure and professional esports performance. Result of those basic research efforts became a cornerstone for the esportsLAB project. Maciek is also an ex-pro player with passion for esports and sports rivalry.
Michael Heina is working for almost ten years with Nielsen Sports and its predecessor companies like Repucom and Sport+Markt. He served in several positions within the company and is leading Nielsen Esports in Europe and Middle East for more than five years now. His goal is to support teams, brands, media and rights holders in esports to make best decisions by using his experiences in combination with the relevant tools of media evaluation and market research. Also being a leading member of the consulting unit for many years, he gathered vast experience in working on countless projects for global brands, agencies, clubs and other rights holders.
Erik Anderson is the Head of Esports for FaZe Clan, the most popular gaming and esports organization in the world. Since 2016 he has led all esports strategy and operations for the brand, working closely with publishers, tournament organizers, and FaZe Clan’s own content creators to integrate esports into the organization’s massive community. Prior to esports he worked in the music industry as a part of the management team for artist Kid Rock. Erik currently lives in Los Angeles, California and is a graduate of Princeton University.
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Global Sport, Regional Impact
While global, esports also directly impacts societies at a local level – the city of Katowice is only one example of a relatively contained region where esports has been fueling parts of the local economy since 2014. In this part of the event, we will dive deep into the real-life consequences – both positive and negative – of esports touching regional economies and communities. How can the leaders from individual regions use esports to create positive changes for the future?
Case study: from Katowice to global esports productions
Aleksander Szlachetko, Managing Director ESL Poland, takes us through the development of his local unit into the production backbone of the world’s largest esports company.
The Olympic Effect: ROI for Host Cities in Esports
We know from traditional sports that hosting the Olympic Games positively influences the city’s local trade, infrastructure development, interest and participation in local events and most importantly: recognition on a global stage. Does the same apply to esports? Michael Heina, Head of Esports EMEA at Nielsen, dives deep into the ROI that esports can have on host cities. BONUS: a live sample ROI calculation for a host city!
Ninjas in Pyjamas: Surviving the apocalypse
With 20 years already in the books, Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of the oldest esports organizations still currently active. And with two decades of ups and down to thrive through, NiP has an authentic story of true resilience, grit, and embracing innovation to share. NiP’s CEO, Hicham Chahine, will dive deep into how Ninjas will re-invent themselves through key executive hires, strong partnerships, and initiatives that can change the course of history for the next two decades.
How to quench thirst in gaming
As little as 6 years ago, there was almost no understanding of the potential of gaming outside of the tech industry. At the same time, the growth of the gaming sector soared in double-digits every year, and Poland was one of the key contributors with millions of consumers in the one of the most attractive to brands groups: young, tech-savvy, educated and well-earning fans of gaming. It just couldn’t be ignored but for a FMCG brand with no history or credentials in gaming at all, the entry strategy required vision, creativity and courage. In this deep dive, we’re taking a look at how Sprite managed to convince their audience that the world of gaming and esports is a natural place for them, and encouraged fans to embrace its values and purpose.
As esports has grown and continues to expand and change the world of sports entertainment. As it evolves, the industry scope and responsibility continue to change which results in attracting the right talent becomes a competitive advantage for businesses leading the space. Aside from technical and practical know-how for any role that needs filling, “soft skills”, a diverse mindset and operating with a global big picture, are gaining importance among industry’s top recruiters. What skills and backgrounds are talent managers, hiring for the largest organizations in esports, now seeking? How has the workforce changed from their perspective, and what changes are still to come? What type of candidate can definitely count on a call back, and are gamers – with all gaming-related skills and universal aptitude for excellent problem solving – the best hires you can make??
Compared to the real world of motor racing, racing esports presents very low barriers to entry, making the sport accessible in a virtual world to a community who would perhaps never touch the real thing. CEO of Veloce Esports, Rupert Svendsen-Cook, will talk about the effect racing esports is already having on the top tiers of motorsport as well as the key differences in how the community and fanbases engage across the real and virtual worlds.
Embracing mobile esports
5G technology, more mobile games and the community’s access to and interest in competitive games on mobile devices are on the rise. It’s become easier to participate in mobile esports, and even easier than that: to produce and broadcast to a growing number of fans, hungry for authentic content. Will the increasing accessibility to facilities and devices that can make anyone a competitive gamer or an influencer, change how we consume content and compete in esports? FaZe Clan’s Erik Andersen dives deep into the organization’s vision for finding and growing the next generation of esports influencers.
Winning like an Olympian
Winners’ Mentality. Reaching the top is one thing, staying at the top – another. Creating sustainability for both players and organizations through investment in both physical and mental performance. Olympic coaches, Simon Cox and David McGowan, take their traditinal sports experience into a deep-dive about building and maintaining strong mental performance for professional gamers.
EsportsLAB: reaching the top through science and technology
esportsLAB is a prime example of esports and science intersecting to develop entirely new and valuable methods of recruiting and developing athletes. Hear how esportsLAB combines sports medicine, cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence to identify the next pro gamers, and help them reach their top performance mentally and physically. Using hardware and software solutions esportsLAB develops athletes’ self-awareness, coaches’ work methodology and the know-how of the esports organizations.
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