Global
Esports Forum

Reflecting on a strong 2018 for the esports industry, and highlighting areas for progress in 2019

Katowice, February 28th 2019

What is Global Esports Forum

The Global Esports Forum is a half-day event that takes place February 28th, right before the start of the second weekend 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.

For Who

Who should attend?

This event is for everyone who wants to level up their knowledge about the esports industry, learn more about its key stakeholders, and its potential for future growth in 2019 and beyond.

Tickets available here

Speakers

Ralf Reichert

CEO, ESL

Ralf Reichert

CEO, ESL

Ralf Reichert is a man who has lived by the motto, “blaze your own trail.” A former soccer-player for Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, the athletic young man turned to esports with his brothers and friends to found the now world-renowned esports organization, SK Gaming. Constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible, Ralf’s vision of what the industry could (and should) be, is what has gotten the company so far. As a passionate gamer himself, Ralf is constantly striving to make esports as prestigious and recognized as ‘traditional’ sports.

Christopher Hana

CEO, TEO

Christopher Hana

CEO, TEO

Chris Hana is CEO of The Esports Observer (TEO), the leading source for esports business news and insights. Chris’s previous roles as Account Director at Fnatic and Co-Founder of Level99 have given him a unique perspective of the esports ecosystem from a team, agency, and analyst angle. Prior to his career in esports, Chris worked as a global project and program manager at Vodafone, one of the world’s largest Telco operators.

Torsten Haux

VP Global Media Rights + ESportsTV at ESL

Torsten Haux

VP Global Media Rights + ESportsTV at ESL

Torsten was appointed VP Global Media Rights and EsportsTV in August 2016. His new
established role is to create and package ESL esports products for TV broadcasters, Multi
Service Operators and Online platforms around the globe to bring esports to a new audience
with an entertaining and educating content portfolio. Before joining ESL, Torsten worked
eight years at German Sports TV Channel Sport1, where he was leading the program
department and the related content sales division as Program Director. In 2012 he started his
own media consulting company and created TV and Branded Content formats for national
and international clients. Recently he worked at Red Bull Media House in Salzburg, where he
build up an editorial department to run multiple sports and entertainment live shows for
their TV and Online Channels. He started his career as TV reporter at German News
Magazine „FOCUSTV“ in 2000, where he learned the handcraft of Storytelling.

Graham Ashton

Business Journalist, The Esports Observer

Graham Ashton

Business Journalist, The Esports Observer

Graham is a business journalist for The Esports Observer, the world’s leading source for esports business news and insights. His reporting primarily focuses on federations/associations, the ongoing conversation between industry stakeholders and the Olympic movement, and the growing influence of politics within the esports industry. He is also host of the TEO Podcast, a fortnightly discussion program that invites top leaders from the esports industry to discuss the accomplishments, opportunities, and challenges of the esports industry.

Frank Soqui

Vice President, Client Computing Group General Manager, Gaming Division, INTEL

Frank Soqui

Vice President, Client Computing Group General Manager, Gaming Division, INTEL

Frank J. Soqui is vice president and general manager of the Gaming Division, part of the Client Computing Group (CCG) in the Virtual Reality, Gaming and Esports group (VRGE) at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for defining and executing on CCG’s strategy for gaming, including optimizing client-to-cloud interaction in order to improve gaming experiences.
Before assuming his current position, Soqui was general manager for the Enthusiast Desktop business segment of the CCG, working on the gaming, VR, overclocking and community content creation and consumption segments. He has also represented Intel in many public appearances on major media networks, in TV commercials and at conferences where he has delivered many high level keynote speeches. His high profile work has been instrumental in the introduction of Intel VR to the general public and in communicating Intel’s VR strategies to the industry.
Soqui holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology. In addition to his responsibilities at Intel, he is an executive member of the Immersive Technology Alliance, working to improve the viability, advancement and adoption of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, stereoscopic 3D and related future innovations.

Nicolas Besombes

Esports Advisor, GAISF

Nicolas Besombes

Esports Advisor, GAISF

Nicolas Besombes is a sports sociologist at the Paris Descartes University. Since 2012, its research work has focused on several areas: the players physicality in the competitive practice of video games, the esports institutionalization by public authorities and sport governing bodies and the diversification of esports audiences (gender, generational and inclusion of disabled people).
He is also the Vice President of the national association France Esports, the main contact of the government and the various ministries.
He is also the co-founder of the French Speaking Association for Esports Research and Studies.
Finally, he advises the Global Association for International Sports Federations (GAISF) on topics related to the Olympic Movement and esports.

Nicola Piggott

Founder, The Story Mob

Nicola Piggott

Founder, The Story Mob

After a 10-year career in brand communications, Nicola spent over five years at Riot Games, where she was leading global communication for Riot’s esports team and the most successful esports title in history. Nicola has given counsel and training to esports teams organizations worldwide. Named one of PR Week’s top Women in PR in 2015, she has managed communications around global events like the League of Legends World Championships which in 2017 was the most watched esports event to date with over 80 million unique viewers.

Michal Blicharz

VP Pro Gaming ESL

Michal Blicharz

VP Pro Gaming ESL

Michał Blicharz is the VP of Pro Gaming at ESL. Michał was in competitive judo for over 10 years before transitioning full time to the professional gaming industry. He was an award winning esports journalist before switching to ESL to run the Intel Extreme Masters in 2009. Since then IEM has gone from the corner of trade shows to major events in stadiums on four different continents, and helped change how we view esports today.

Michael Heina

Head of Esports Europe, Nielsen Sports

Michael Heina

Head of Esports Europe, Nielsen Sports

Michael is now working for over seven years with Nielsen Sports and its predecessor companies like Repucom and Sport+Markt. He served in several positions within the company and is now Head of Esport Europe. His goal is to support teams, brands and rights holders 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.

Agenda

Main agenda

08:30 - 09:30

Guest Registration

09:30 - 09:40

Welcome speech from TEO & ESL

09:40 - 10:10

Keynote: ESL - Where Everybody Can Be SomebodyPresented by Ralf Reichert

10:15 - 10:45

Keynote: 2018 in Esports: The Numbers, the Upsets, and What’s NextPresented by Graham Ashton

Throughout 2018, investment capital and celebrity investors flooded into esports. What led to this sudden surge in VC interest, and how will it impact the future of esports teams?

10:50 - 11:20

Presentation: Heroes and Hailstorms: Storytelling in EsportsPresented by Nicola Piggott

Esports has redefined the way that sportsmen forge connections with their fans - and the way that stories about them are consumed and shared. In this talk, we'll take a look at what esports has learned from traditional sports when it comes to tales of struggle, skill, and sacrifice - and, conversely, what esports can teach the rest of the sports world when it comes to building fan affinity. When a sport is born into a post-internet age, the traditional rulebook is redefined. We'll explore what happens when technology meets mythology.

11:20 - 11:40

Networking and Refreshments Break

11:40 - 12:10

Technology Trends in EsportsPresented by Frank Soqui

Technology is the backbone of gaming and esports. Innovative technology disrupted the gaming industry and ignited a global phenomenon of esports. Frank Soqui will discuss the relationship between technology and global esports communities, and what new technologies are helping continue to shift the landscape of esports experience for players and fans.

12:15 - 12:45

Panel Discussion: Esports and the Olympics: What Follows on from Lausanne?Panelists: Nicolas Besombs and Michal Blicharz, session moderated by Graham Ashton

Learn how the International Olympic Committee gathered leading esports stakeholders for its summit in Lausanne last year. Panelists will share their views on esports and the Olympics, and the similarities with traditional sports and explore the current barriers preventing esports from joining the Olympic games.

12:50 - 13:20

Panel Discussion: Media Rights in the Esports IndustryPanelists: Torsten Haux, Michael Heina session moderated by Graham Ashton

Financial services company Goldman Sachs projects that media rights will account for 40% of total esports revenue by 2022. What does the landscape of esports media rights look like today, and how will it continue to grow?

13:20 - 13:30

Closing Remarks

13:45 - 14:30

Lunch at MCK

14:30 - 16:30

One on one networking

Location

Międzynarodowe Centrum Kongresowe

plac Sławika i Antalla 1
40-163 Katowice

Entrance: ul. Olimpijska

Contact