Esports business conference ESI London takes place at Olympia from September 18th to 20th and promises a packed schedule.
We preview the event and ask Esports Insider MD Sam Cooke what it offers attendees this time around.
1. The esports workshops
The most important aspect of a conference is arguably the content, and ESI London promises a lot of that. September 19th will host a variety of esports workshops and panels in particular.
Esports Insider MD Sam Cooke explains: "For ESI London though we are going bigger, and far more international. The conference is taking place over three days, will see over 400 attendees, with more than 60 speakers across 18 sessions.
"These will consist of panels, live debates and workshops with topics on everything from the ins and outs of building, and running, an esports team, to the value of franchised leagues, building a brand in esports, sim racing and much more."
2. A focus on UK esports
We may be biased here at Esports News UK, but the national esports scene has been growing nicely the past few years and is in a much stable place nowadays with a bright future ahead.
ESI London has a panel dedicated to this space, titled 'UK esports - it's coming home?'
The panel will take a look behind the scenes at what the UK is currently doing to grow esports locally, and tap into the fifth largest video game market in the world. It will run on September 19th from 11.20am to 12pm.
- Kieran Holmes-Darby - Managing Director - exceL Esports
- Scott Gillingham - UK Gaming & Esports Lead - Intel Corporation UK
- Ben Greenstone - Private Secretary to the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries - DCMS
- Dom Sacco - Content Director - British Esports Association/Founder - ENUK
3. There's a new Hall of Fame
On the evening of Saturday 20th this new initiative will reveal the identities of and award three instrumental individuals, coinciding with the third edition of the SBC Sports Betting Hall of Fame Awards.
Sam Cooke says: "The inaugural ESI Hall of Fame awards show recognises individuals who've made a true difference to the industry over the years."
4. There's a separate betting track
Esports betting is still a hot topic and this area has seen various developments over the past few years, but it's still very much an extension to esports and not of interest to everyone.
So it's good to see ESI London splitting this topic off and giving it a day of its own.
The dedicated Betting on Esports track will take place on September 20th and feature sessions such as NiP and Betway's partnerships, blockchain and esports, casinos and esports, building a betting product for fans, loot crates and gambling and more.
5. Quality and experience
Esports Insider has built up a reputation over the past few years and has established itself as a well-known UK-based esports trade publication and events organiser.
ESI's Sam Cooke explains: "ESI London is our ninth event, so it's safe to say we're now well-versed in hosting them. Already this year, we've hosted two one day conferences, the ESI Super Forum, focused on the crossover of sports and esports, and ESI Birmingham, which was the official business conference of ESL One Birmingham.
"This conference, supported by ESL, Intel and PwC, preceded the fastest selling Dota 2 Major, and was undoubtedly successful, with a strong showing on the day and a clear indication of the potential for the esports industry in the UK."
Sam continues: "We've exceptionally high calibre speakers for ESI London too, with c-level executives and owners of teams including Fnatic, CompLexity Gaming, NiP, Team Vitality, North and more, as well as representatives from the key tournament organisers, game developers and other stakeholders in and around the space."
6. The Natural History Museum offers something different
Typical business conferences can be a little dry, but as an esports-focused event it's not your usual event, and it's great to see ESI turning to London's Natural History Museum for a different kind of venue.
The closing party will take place on September 20th at the Natural History Museum, giving delegates a chance to relax and also enjoy the new Hall of Fame (see point 3).
7. The networking opportunities
Perhaps one of the most valuable parts of a trade conference is the networking possibilities and the opportunities that may arise from meeting new peers or catching up with old ones.
With more companies and sites emerging all the time like www.esports.net, events like this are a great way to get to know others in the industry.
ESI's Sam Cooke says: "All our sessions will run alongside extensive networking opportunities provided throughout each day; we've 14 exhibitors strutting their stuff in the exhibition hall which will also feature an interactive zone for casual tournaments day to day, a press and media zone, spaces for private meetings, and ample refreshments to keep everyone fed and watered.
"We will also have three official networking parties with food and drinks included, across the evenings of the 18th, 19th and 20th."
"We have press and media passes available, and attendee tickets are available which include full access to all of the conference, as well as your food and drinks," explains ESI's Sam Cooke.
"We are offering 20% off via the discount code ESIAUG until the end of the month. Any questions, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org."