Global
Esports Forum

Unleashing the Next Billion Esports Fans

MARCH 1, 2018 Katowice

What is Global Esports Forum

Global Esports Forum is a one day event that takes place right before the start of the second weekend of the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice, Poland, and is the perfect opportunity to combine your visit to the world’s largest esports event with a networking event.

The event will feature content tracks for attendees to choose from, including:

  • Main Track with panels and keynotes with and by top industry influencers
  • Deep Dive Track for hands-on sessions with subject matter experts on topics like communication and marketing, branding, fan engagement and technology
For Who

For who?

This invitation-only event is for everyone who wants to level up their knowledge about the esports industry, its stakeholders and its future.

If you’re interested in attending, please email contact@globalesportsforum.com

Speakers

Arnd Benninghof

CEO, MTGx

Arnd Benninghof

CEO, MTGx

German, born 1969. Arnd joined MTG in November 2014 and has led MTGx’s strategic investments in esports (ESL/Turtle Entertainment and DreamHack) and online gaming (InnoGames and Kongregate). Prior to joining MTG, Arnd worked as Chief Digital Officer for Digital & Adjacent at ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, and as Managing Director of SevenVentures, the group’s venture arm. Arnd has also been CEO of Holtzbrinck eLAB, the incubator of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, founded and built fifteen companies, and held various management roles at Tomorrow Focus AG. He started his career as a journalist, working for Deutsche Presse Agentur and TV networks.

Michał Blicharz

Vice President Pro Gaming, ESL

Michał Blicharz

Vice President Pro Gaming, ESL

Michal Blicharz is Vice President Pro Gaming at ESL. With 15 years experience in pro-gaming, for the past six years, Blicharz has lead the Intel Extreme Masters program and has grown the IEM brand into the world’s most prestigious competition and the longest standing partnership between two brands in the history of esports. Blicharz relocated to Los Angeles from ESL’s Germany office to join the ESL North America executive team. Prior to ESL, Blicharz worked for SK Gaming.

John Bonini

VP and General Manager VR, Gaming & Esports, Intel

John Bonini

VP and General Manager VR, Gaming & Esports, Intel

John Bonini is Vice President in the Client Computing Group and General Manager for the VR, Gaming & Esports Group where he is responsible for business strategy and profit and loss for Intel technology solutions designed to enable exceptional gaming and esports experiences.
Before assuming his current role, Bonini was Senior Controller in the Sales and Marketing Finance organization supporting Intel’s largest customer accounts in addition to regional sales, and supply chain support with sales operations. He was responsible for finance reporting and controls, maximizing revenue, optimizing inventory, and establishing budgets while driving efficiencies. Earlier in his extensive Intel career, he was senior controller for Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group where he led finance operations for the business, leading negotiations and business development activities for the joint venture formed by Intel and Micron Technology where he also served as a board member.
Bonini’s tenure at Intel also includes a role as senior controller with the Technology and Manufacturing Group, as well as a role as factory engineering supporting wafer production, including fab startups, technology transitions from R&D, and product ramps.

Luis Correia

CEO, Polaris Sports

Luis Correia

CEO, Polaris Sports

After a short experience in private banking, Luís Correia joined Gestifute in 2000, the leading agency in football worldwide. Together with chairman Jorge Mendes founded Polaris Sports in 2005, which provides and focuses on commercial image rights, not only for the clients they manage, but many more they also work in the sports consultancy and licensing arena, working with the best customers around the world. Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodríguez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa, David De Gea and Jose Mourinho are some of Polaris Sports clients.

Hicham Chahine

CEO, Ninjas in Pyjamas

Hicham Chahine

CEO, Ninjas in Pyjamas

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

Bart van Essen

manager Ajax eSports

Bart van Essen

manager Ajax eSports

Degree in Sportsmarketing
After graduating in Sportmarketing Bart started working at Triple Double in 2012, a top notch Sportmarketing agency in the Netherlands were he worked on several sponsor strategies, including Opel and Feyenoord, Albert Heijn and the Dutch Football association and Jupiler and Ajax. After working 4 years at Triple Double, Bart joined AFC Ajax where he is responsible for Ajax eSports as initiator of this new domain. Ajax eSports is considered a world leading club in FIFA eSports with a strong strategy.

Victor Goossens

co-CEO, Team Liquid

Victor Goossens

co-CEO, Team Liquid

Victor Goossens is the founder and co-CEO of Team Liquid, one of the most successful teams in esports. His experience as a professional gamer and poker player gives him special insight into the industry, and he has spent the past 17 years transforming Team Liquid from a humble community site into a global media enterprise. Aside from overseeing the strategic direction of the team, Goossens takes a hands-on approach on all fronts. As the heart of Team Liquid, his greatest goals are to create a deep connection with fans, to make the right decisions, and to leave a positive mark on the people he works with.

James Lampkin

Vice President Pro Gaming, ESL

James Lampkin

Vice President Pro Gaming, ESL

James Lampkin has worked in the esports industry for over a decade, beginning as Marketing Manager for Teamliquid. Upon joining ESL in 2013, James creatively spear-headed product development for the joint Blizzard Entertainment and ESL partnership of the World Championship Series. He has developed show and product for ESL One, ESL Proleague, WCS Global Finals (2013 – 2017) and advised publishers and developers on creating effective esports programs. James was part of ESL’s negotiation team which engaged top industry stakeholders in nearly 2 years of talks, resulting in the formation of the World Esports Association (WESA).

As Vice President Pro Gaming James leads product innovation and development for ESL and partner projects.

Leonard Langescheidt

Principal, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures

Leonard Langescheidt

Principal, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures

Leonard is a Principal at BITKRAFT Esports Ventures where he is instrumental in investment activities. Leonard is in charge of finding and analyzing new opportunities before presenting them to the investment committee. Additionally, he actively advises and supports BITKRAFT portfolio companies with a focus on operations, strategy, and growth. Prior to BITKRAFT, Leonard started his career at Auda, a private equity fund in NYC.

Ruth Lemmen

Interim Management + Coaching

Ruth Lemmen

Interim Management + Coaching

Ruth Lemmen co – developed the concept for Womenize! – the action day for new talent in Tech, Digital Business and Media and is the event’s program director. Ruth is an experienced project and event manager and also working as a systemic coach for individuals and companies alike. From 2006 – 2013 she worked for the Federal German Trade Association for Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU), today called game, and was among several other events in charge of gamescom the world biggest trade fair show for interactive entertainment. Ruth has strong networking abilities and her focus is with the International games, film and digital media industries. She is specialized in media literacy themes, funding questions, gamification and Serious Games and also working as an expert for the European Commission. She started her career in the mid 90s in a post production studio producing animation and VFX for Film and TV based in Potsdam Babelsberg where she was the head of the Event Marketing and Training division. Within a period of freelancing dating from 1999 – 2006 she worked as a project and event manager for companies, studios and film Institutes across Europe organizing and programing conferences and panel discussions and carrying out research work. She also entered the games industry as marketing and sales officer for a renowned German game developing studio.

Audrey Leprince

Co-founder and President of The Game Bakers, founder of Women in Games France

Audrey Leprince

Co-founder and President of The Game Bakers, founder of Women in Games France

Audrey Leprince co-founded The Game Bakers, an indie studio with a portfolio of exciting games like Furi or Squids. At Game Bakers she is in charge of executive production and some narrative direction. She started in the industry as a game designer for Quantic Dream then moved to China to work as a producer on several AAA console games for Ubisoft. In 2017 she created the association Women in Games France to increase diversity and promote women in the industry.

Tomas Lyckedal

Deputy CEO, DreamHack

Tomas Lyckedal

Deputy CEO, DreamHack

Tomas Lyckedal has been working with DreamHack since 2008 is one of the persons behind transforming DreamHack from world’s largest LAN party to become a digital festival and one of the leading tournament organizers in esports. Founded in Sweden 1994, DreamHack is now also established annual events in France, Germany, Spain, US and Canada. Tomas have 15 years background in esports, starting as Counter-Strike player in the early 2000 but also been involved in esports companies and start-ups such as ESN, SEL, NiP, mTw.ATI, NOOB, EGAMES.TV, Gamelio, PlayZeek, Rakaka, before joining DreamHack. Today, Tomas have the position as deputy CEO at DreamHack, and currently oversees all commercial partnerships.

Kalie Moore

Co-Founder, The Story Mob

Kalie Moore

Co-Founder, The Story Mob

Before co-founding The Story Mob, Kalie was Head of Communications for BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, the first investment fund entirely dedicated to esports. Through her work with BITKRAFT’s portfolio companies, Kalie has overseen the communications strategy, crisis communications, and media relations for esports technology startups seeking coverage in mainstream business, financial and tech news. Previously, Kalie drove growth, led marketing, and garnered media attention for startups and corporate clients across Europe and the US.

Jenny Nordenborg

CEO, Neat Corp

Jenny Nordenborg

CEO, Neat Corp

Jenny Nordenborg is running the Stockholm based games studio Neat Corp as CEO, currently working on the VR title Budget Cuts. She also leads Glorious Games Group as Head of Studio, founded Women in Games Stockholm and is representing Swedish diversity organisation Diversi. Her passion for making the games industry space more inclusive is the driving force behind her many events and initiatives in the Swedish game development scene.

Imari Oliver

Founder & CEO, Bond & Play

Imari Oliver

Founder & CEO, Bond & Play

Imari is the Founder and CEO of Bond & Play, a media, technology and entertainment company that focuses on designing consumer engagement strategies, creating new sales and business models and building digital IP that advances and shapes the Esports, Competitive Video Gaming and Entertainment Industry value chain.

Before founding Bond & Play, Imari led sales and global partnerships for esports at WME | IMG. There, he partnered with brands to design esports strategies and roadmaps that helped them authentically integrate within the world of esports. A strategic marketing visionary, technologist and executive producer, Imari leverages his ability to connect the dots from disparate data signals to create new value for brands and organizations.

Prior to WME | IMG, Imari was VP of Cultural Strategy at sparks & honey. While there he focused on uncovering consumer insights and market place dynamics that highlighted the value of culture as a strategic business imperative.

Nicola Piggott

Co-Founder, The Story Mob

Nicola Piggott

Co-Founder, The Story Mob

After a 10-year career in brand communications, Nicola has 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.

Ralf Reichert

CEO, ESL

Ralf Reichert

CEO, ESL

Ralf Reichert is a man who has lived by his moto, “cut your own path”. 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 clan, SK-Gaming. Constantly pushing at 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, he is constantly striving to put eSports up there alongside ‘traditional’ sports.

Alexandre Remy

Brand Director of the Rainbow Six

Alexandre Remy

Brand Director of the Rainbow Six

Alexandre Remy is the Brand Director of the Rainbow Six franchise at the Ubisoft Montreal Studios. Having been in the industry for the past 15 years, he has worked on titles like, Splinter Cell, Far Cry, Child of Light. For the past 5 years he has been dedicated in building and growing Rainbow Six Siege, leading the game -2 years after its launch- among the most played FPS and a serious challenger in esports.

David Smith

Founder, Women in Games WIGJ

David Smith

Founder, Women in Games WIGJ

David is the founder of Europe’s leading diversity group, Women in Games WIGJ, which seeks to double the number of women in gaming industry by 2025. With over 5000 supporters globally, this not for profit works closely with gaming and esports companies across Europe to attract and keep inspired the talent that is sought after by many other industries. WIGJ develops programmes to bring more creative and commercial success to its international and small studio partners. David has a background in Finance and Recruitment with over 20 years in the gaming industry.

Scott Smith

Esports Veteran

Scott Smith

Esports Veteran

Scott is one of the most experienced figureheads within esports. He first entered the scene as a Counter-Strike competitor, Scott then joined GotFrag, which was a leading source of news for hardcore esports enthusiasts. After GotFrag was purchased by MLG in 2007, Scott became the COO and a co-owner of Evil Geniuses (acquired by Twitch), one of the most storied pro gaming teams in esports. Having led players/teams to multiple tournament victories, Scott stepped down from active duty at EG to pursue new adventures. If you’ve kept up with competitive CS, you’ve seen Scott hosting desks, doing interviews, and most recently, assisting the pro CS players in organizing their voice via the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association.

Micaela Romanini

Vice Director, VIGAMUS Foundation | Event Director, Gamerome

Micaela Romanini

Vice Director, VIGAMUS Foundation | Event Director, Gamerome

After working as Content Manager and Head of Research at VIGAMUS Foundation, She was employed by Microsoft as Xbox.com International Coordinator in the EMEA Integrated Marketing Team at the European HQ in Reading, England. Currently employed as Vice Director at VIGAMUS Foundation, She is in charge of planning new business strategies and International Partnerships.She is the Event Director of Gamerome, the Developers Conference based in the Capital of Italy. Expert in communication, VR, interactive storytelling and author of Game Studies, She is teaching assistant in Theory and Criticism of Multimedia Interactive Works at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata and Professor at Link Campus University.

Viktor Romaniuk Wanli

CEO, KINGUIN

Viktor Romaniuk Wanli

CEO, KINGUIN

Viktor Romaniuk Wanli is an entrepreneur and visionary in the gaming and the eSports ecosystem since 2007. In 2013 he pioneered the secondary market for digital games, by creating the first marketplace where gamers could monetize extra cd-keys. This year the secondary market is projected to surpass one billion dollars annually.

– CEO of Kinguin.net, a marketplace for digital games with 6,5 million users

– CEO of Team Kinguin SA, the number one eSport organization in Poland

– CEO of Kinguin Franchising Systems a company created with the purpose to establish eSports hubs around the world

Vera Wessolek

Project Manager Esports, Mercedes-Benz

Vera Wessolek

Project Manager Esports, Mercedes-Benz

MORE TO COME!

Agenda

Main agenda
Spodek Stage:

08:00am - 09:15am

Guest registration

09:15am - 09:25am

Opening remarks - John Bonini - VP Esports and Gaming, Intel

09:30am - 10:30am

Panel: What is the Future of Esports Structures?

A group of industry experts from publisher, tournament organizer and team owner backgrounds will come together to ask themselves this question. Are publisher-driven leagues the future of esports? What value does an open esports ecosystem have? What is esports going to look like in 10 years in terms of how tournaments are organized?

10:30am - 11:20am

Panel: Esports Investments - Where is the Value?

The increasing popularity of esports attracts more money to the industry - but is it always a good idea to take it? Seasoned investors in the space sit down to discuss the intricacies of doubling down on the esports industry. They will cover recent investments made in esports, their meaning, and key learnings they bring.

11:30am - 12:00pm

Keynote: How Technology will Unlock A Billion Esports Fans

Intel’s VP of Esports and Gaming will discuss the relationship between technology and the global development of esports communities. How Intel technology can create opportunities for countries where esports was limited due to tech?

12:05pm - 12:45pm

Keynote: From Zero to Hero Player Journey

Becoming a professional gamer is a viable career, and esports stardom is within reach for millions of passionate and dedicated gamers around the world. ESL CEO explains how ESL designed and implemented an ecosystem that supports the Zero to Hero journey for all players.

01:00pm - 02:00pm

LUNCH BREAK

02:15pm - 03:15pm

Get Your Story Right - Why Esports Communication Matters in Fan-Driven Economy

With major brands making their entrance into the esports, it’s more critical than ever for non-endemics to understand how to communicate with esports fans - and for endemic brands to challenge themselves to up their game. Within this talk, we’ll examine the communication commandments that ALL brands should keep in mind when planning a campaign. This session will also take a look at some case studies that illustrate what and what not to do.

Deep dive and discussions programme
MCK, from 02pm to 04:15pm:

02:15pm - 03:15pm:

Mercedes-Benz presents: Introducing a non-endemic brand to esports fans

The world's leading car manufacturer in the premium segment, Mercedes-Benz, has had one of the most successful entries into the esports ecosystem among the non-endemic brands. Project Manager Esports, Branded Entertainment, Vera Wessolek, will be presenting a case study that will cover the translation of the #GrowUp campaign for the esports audience, the learnings and the takeaways.

Katowice: Esports City of the World

IEM Katowice is a legendary esports event for fans and players alike - but what does it mean for the city it takes place in? Representatives from the local government present a study case that will zoom in on the impact that this top esports event has had on the city. From tourism to investments in the infrastructure, and from local partnerships to global sponsorships and creating employment opportunities: learn here what esports can do to a city!

03:15pm - 04:15pm:

Esports Stars as Marketing Vessels

A group of industry leaders representing professional teams, sports agencies and communications will engage in a moderated discussion about using esports players as brands, developing them into stars, and building the right communication around them.

Enabling Talent Growth via Esports Economies

A presentation outlining how the economic setup of an esports ecosystem influences the development of future esports superstars. Michal Blicharz, SVP Pro Gaming at ESL, will present how establishing a correct esports structure influences the longevity of an esports game and which tournament structure is most conducive to fostering talent.

Embracing the Sport of the Digital Generation

Ajax Amsterdam Esports division will present their global marketing strategy as the leading Football club in FIFA esports, their partnerships with EA Sports, Liberty Global, Adidas, PayPal and Subway, as well as their next steps on the way to become a global esports brand.

Newzoo (from 02pm to 07pm):

Newzoo Presents: The Global Esports Market Report 2018

Newzoo will be sharing insights and findings from their just-released 2018 Global Esports Market Report. Meet with the team to discuss their take on the latest developments and trends. Interested in a demo of their esports intelligence solutions and exploring potential partnerships? To book a meeting with Jurre Pannekeet (Sr. Market Analyst, Head of Esports) and Kaylee van Geene (Sr. Data Analyst), at the Global Esports Forum, drop us a line at contact@globalesportsforum.com

Invite Only Expert Session (from 09am to 04pm):

Experts Discussion: Increasing female intrest and participation in tech, gaming and esports careers

Led by the head of UK’s Women in Gaming initiative, David Smith, this will be a workshop focused on reviewing existing and planned initiatives for increasing and maintaining female participation in careers in tech, gaming and esports with a view to summarising the most effective programmes in outline for Intel/ ESL and others to pursue. David will be joined by Jenny Nordenborg, Audrey Leprince, Ruth Lemmen and Micaela Romanini.

Location

Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa Spodek

Aleja Korfantego 35
40-005 Katowice

Latitude: 50° 15' 34.55" N
Longitude: 19° 01' 17.38" E

Contact