Former pro footballer Ruud Gullit will headline a conference that will explore the crossover between sports and esports next month.
The Dutch football manager and pundit will be headlining the Esports Insider Super Forum which takes place at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC's ground, where Ruud used to play) on March 22nd.
Ruud recently set up FIFA esports academy Team Gullit, which aims to help educate and foster up and coming esports players. He'll be speaking about the academy, why he broke into esports and the similarities with the traditional sports industry.
Ruud will be joined by other speakers including:
- Mark Cox, UK Head of Publishing, Riot Games
- James Dean, MD, ESL UK
- Alex Grimonpoint, Player Engagement Director, Hi-Rez Studios,
- Nicolas Maurer, CEO, Team Vitality
- Dom Sacco, ENUK/British Esports
There will also be networking, an expo space and a social esports tournament. After the event, delegates are invited to the World Cup Bar at Stamford Bridge for a drink before the after party gets underway at Roman Abramovich’s personal Chelsea bar, Under the Bridge.
The event will be for esports orgs, sports clubs and leagues and other industry professionals.
He said: "I'm looking forward to taking to the stage at the Esports Insider Super Forum to discuss the sports and esports crossover, and the plan for Team Gullit.
"I may be biased but it’s great that the event is taking place at Stamford Bridge too. As a place close to my heart it will be a fantastic opportunity to make an impact there again, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of good esports chat with a host of industry leaders."
"Our thinking is that by running business-focused events like these in London, it helps to elevate the esports industry in the UK as a whole."
Sam Cooke, Esports Insider
Sam Cooke, Editor at Esports Insider, added: "We ran the popular ESI Forum Series at Fnatic's Bunkr last year and so decided to step it up a gear for 2018.
"We've seen a number of panels on the crossover of sports and esports in the past 12 months, but we've opted to focus a whole one day conference on this as the focal point. Our thinking is that by running business-focused events like these in London, it helps to elevate the esports industry in the UK as a whole, and should provide some strong networking opportunities for those across esports and sports.
"With speakers including Ruud Gullit and the CEOs of esports organisations like Team Vitality and RFRSH there should be plenty of learning from both sides too."
SBC Global’s Betting on Football conference is running alongside the ESI Super Forum, with the likes of Real Madrid, Man City, Juventus and other football clubs and industry people in attendance.