Topic: Australia’s Largest Esports Case Study: How ESL Took Intel Extreme Masters to Global Stage in Esports Tournaments Around the World – Challenges and Lessons Learnt at Sydney
Nick Vanzetti is the Director of ESL Australia and VIM Media & Events. A passionate advocate of the esports community, he has helped shape some of the region’s largest events for game publishers, such as the Intel Extreme Masters held at Qudos Bank Arena in May, and ESL’s own national programs.
Ben Green is the Partnerships Manager at ESL Australia, helping to bring together events such as the Intel Extreme Masters Sydney, and Melbourne Esports Open. In addition to his work behind the scenes, Ben is a host and commentator for esports events across Australia and Asia for ESL and its partners, including as a commentator Overwatch Contenders Australia.
Gfinity Esports Australia
Topic: Bringing Esports to the Forefront in Mainstream Media: Network Ten and Gfinity Australia Esports Broadcasting Partnership Case Study
Dominic has over 20 years’ experience in the sport, entertainment, media and marketing fields, including successful senior management positions with Cricket NSW, Sony Pictures, Glaxo SmithKline and SC Johnson. He was a founding member of the Male Champions of Change Sport and former General Manager of the Sydney Sixers in the BBL and WBBL before making the move into esports and currently CEO Gfinity Esports Australia.
Topic: Riot Case Study: How Riot Games Build a Sustainable and Robust Business Model in an Esports Market
Daniel has been involved in the gaming industry for several years. He founded an in game advertising startup company, which raised over $2 million dollars, and has also worked for Xfire, which developed an online tournament platform for gamers and was purchased for $100 million+ in 2004. Daniel now works at Riot Games where he combines his passion for sport and video games in laying the foundations for the Oceanic Pro League, the professional League of Legends esports competition in Oceania, which will support the growth of esports over the coming decades.
Head of Engagement & Internal Branding
Topic: AirAsia Case Study: How AirAsia Successfully Implemented Internal Esports Branding Initatives Within 6 months
Allan is on his fifth year with The World’s Best Low-Cost Airline voted 10 years in a row by Skytrax! He loves engaging with people and is currently on his seventh portfolio with AirAsia – AirAsia Esports.
He was part of the working commitee that organised AirAsia’s first ever regional hackathon – AirAsia AIRVOLUTION 2017 which was hosted in AirAsia’s global headquarters, RedQ, and saw the participation of 100 participants across 9 countries Before taking a leap of faith into the world of aviation, he was a college drop out turned accidental entrepreneur in the paintball industry.
Allan has been known amongst his AirAsia peers as an intrapreneur; an entrepreneur within a large firm, who uses entrepreneurial skills without incurring the risks associated with those activities. Intrapreneurs are employees within a company who are assigned to work on a special idea or project, and are instructed to develop the project like an entrepreneur would.
He won the ‘Take Ownership Award’ by AirAsia Group People and Culture for driving esports awareness amongst fellow colleagues with the assistance from Allstars (AirAsia employees) and living the brand by using social media to promote AirAsia as part of their Employer Branding initiative.
AirAsia is now a proud sponsor of the Mineski Dota 2 Pro Team, one of the best teams in Southeast Asia and Top 10 globally, who recently won champions in a Major – The Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 and one of the teams that competed in The International 8 Dota 2. AirAsia recently acquired a majority share in AirAsia Saiyan, a mobile esports team. AirAsia is the official airline and sponsor for Alibaba’s/Alisports WESG SEA (World Electronic Sports Games) esports tournament in Southeast Asia with a prize pool of US$5.5 Million for WESG World Finals in China. AirAsia will be supporting The AirAsia Esports Center – the first Esports Hub in Southeast Asia.
Australia Esports Association
Topic: Australian Esports Association Perspective: Why Esports Will Outperform Your Expectations By Growing to a $2 Billion Industry by 2020
Darren Kwan is the founding President of the Australian Esports Association and Executive Producer of the Australian Esports League.
With a deep passion for esports and over 16 years of experience in the industry, he has developed a deep understanding of every facet of esports competition and management. He is continuously actively engaged in esports production, management and advocacy for Australian esports and its participants.
In his role as the President of the Australian Esports Association, he seek to enable and improve the sustainability of esports in Australia through the development of sound governance and transparent industry policy and practice. As Executive Producer of the Australian Esports League, he oversees all elements of event production. Darren is also directly responsible for producing Australia’s first ever free-to-air broadcast of an esports competition, enabling Australian esports to reach mass audiences and support the long term growth of the Australian esports industry.
Head of Customer Experience
Topic: How to Collaborate to Successfully Execute World-Class Esports Tournaments in Australia: AFL and Riot Games Partnership
With over 20 years’ experience in the event industry and 15 years’ in the AFL industry via Club and the AFL, Head of Customer Experience Danielle Bleazby is responsible for match day experience, fan engagement, the AFL’s eSports strategy and delivery and digital archiving. Danielle is also involved with the Etihad (use prior to Sept 1) / Marvel (use from Sept 1) Stadium redevelopment plans.
Danielle’s purpose is to ensure the customer is at the heart of what we do always.
General Manager of Growth, Audience & Digital
Topic: AFL Gameplan: Determining the Business Case for Esports and How to Engage New Audience, Sponsors and Fans
With over 18 years’ experience working in the AFL industry, General Manager of Growth, Digital and Audiences Darren Birch is responsible for the Corporate Revenue, Marketing, Brand, Technology and Product divisions of the Australian Football League.
Darren is accountable for generating the AFL’s new revenues streams, including the new commercial opportunities associated with the AFL purchase of Etihad Stadium, continuing to grow the brand equity of the code and acquiring new audiences for the game.
General Manager Brand & Marketing
Topic: Vodafone Esports Brand Sponsorship Case Study: How Vodafone Developed Powerful Branding and Marketing Strategy with Esports Intel Extreme Masters
Natasa Zunic is a dynamic and commercially astute Marketing executive with strategic and operational international experience, having worked in the US, UK and Australia. Her experience ranges across various industries including; FMCG, Professional Products, Retailing and Telecommunications.
Natasa is recognized as a strategic insights and data driven marketer, having delivered growth across businesses: Vodafone, KFC, Cadbury, Colgate, Ajax and Palmolive.
As a non-executive director, Natasa enjoys applying her experience and broadening her leadership capabilities in non-profit organisations, a former Board Director of the Australian Theatre for Young People, she currently sits on the Board of the Vodafone Foundation.
Topic: Esports Business Model Evolution: Transitioning from Sponsorships to Media Rights
With almost 20 years’ experience in traditional sports along with strategy and management consulting roles, Dave entered esports in 2016 through an initial investment in LG Dire Wolves under his business Guinevere Capital. Dave has previously held roles across top Australian, UK and International sports organisations, including the NRL, international/domestic cricket, English Premier League & English Football League. Dave holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dave oversees a portfolio of title winning esports teams including LG Dire Wolves (League of Legends OPL x 3), Sydney Drop Bears (Overwatch Contenders Australia) along with broader projects including the SCG Esports High Performance Centre.
Topic: Incorporating VR in Esports to Heighten Immersive Experience for Fans
Tim McGregor is the Chief Commercial Officer of TEG and the Managing Director of TEG Live. As the CCO, Tim is responsible for all commercial, legal and partnership matters for TEG. With a background as an entertainment lawyer, Tim has hands-on experience of operational, marketing, sponsorship and hospitality across the sports and entertainment industry. As the Managing Director of TEG Live, Tim takes charge as the promoter of a full slate of live entertainment across concerts, family, sport and exhibitions. Tim draws upon more than two decades experience in major event touring, music festivals, motorsport, theatre and film.
Director of Marketing (Founder)
Topic: Incorporating VR in Esports to Heighten Immersive Experience for Fans
David Moore is the Founder and Director of Marketing and PR and is in partnership with Ryan with Next Tier Esports. David has lived in the Territory since 2001 and has been a highly ambitious entrepreneur since 2006 with a strong background in Network Marketing and Retail. He credits his creation and growth of NT Esports to networking and bringing groups together.
Founding NT Esports (former name) in May 2015, David saw a huge an opportunity to launch esports into the Northern Territory. It all started by creating a logo and organising an event at a local venue that attracted over 200 people from Darwin’s gaming community.
The concept was simple, ‘to get gamer’s out into a social, exciting and fun environment’. This could be achieved with esports David thought. This event paved the way for future events and thus NT eSports has been getting widely popular as the Northern Territory’s top gaming and esports organisation.
David hopes to be in a position to pursue and work with his business partner and co-owner Ryan full time with Next Tier Esports.
Gaming and more specifically esports was introduced to David in 2013 with League of Legends. Currently, this is his favourite game to play and spectate. David loves playing most genres including FPS (First Person Shooters), RTS (Real Time Strategy) and MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena).
As well as working with Ryan with NT esports, David also enjoys Latin Dancing and is known to also be a musician often hosting Karaoke gigs and enjoys performing publicly and expressing his talents.
Enthusiasm and a highly creative mindset are David’s strongest strengths in NT eSports and David knew that NT Esports would be a massive hit in the gaming community. David believes that NT eSports will be a success and is determined to see it succeed
Director of Operation (Co-Founder)
Topic: Incorporating VR in Esports to Heighten Immersive Experience for Fans
Ryan Wright is the Director of Operations and is in partnership with David with Next Tier Esports. Born and bred in the Northern Territory, Ryan has been involved with NT eSports since October 2015 when he first attended a League of Legends World Finals viewing party at the cinemas.
Being a gamer for the better part of the last three decades and having a basic understanding of eSports, Ryan knew that there was a much bigger picture to esports and became increasingly interested in the local scene that was clearly beginning to grow.
Since then, Ryan has been involved helping David with the running of operations. These include but not limited to setting up at events, helping manage and run the events, transporting equipment and developing business relationships.
Due to his high level of interest, technical skills, management experience running a small business, David has offered Ryan to become a partner in the business and eventually the two signed a partnership agreement with the common vision to see NT eSports succeed.
Currently Ryan is a qualified Refrigeration Mechanic, and works full time as a nationally Certified Project Manager for the Northern Territory Government. This has helped him be a huge asset to NT Esports/ Next Tier Esports with this skill set.
Apart from gaming, Ryan (alias BlestManX3 or BlestMan on all games/platforms) takes a interest in local motor sports, vehicle modifications, building and modifying PCs.
Head of M&A, Strategy & Partnership
Topic: Building a Robust Esports Ecosystem and Sustainable Business Model Through Collaborative Partnerships with Developers in Australia: Lessons Learnt and Future Opportunities
Nathan has over 17 years of diverse industry experience in M&A across Hong Kong, London and Sydney. In recent years, Nathan has focused on media and entertainment leading Strategy and M&A teams across the Asia Pacific region.
Nathan is currently leading Nova Entertainment’s diversification into a multiplatform entertainment business including driving Nova’s sales and marketing partnership with ESL across their Australia and New Zealand Championships and IEM Sydney.
Fairfax Events & Entertainment
Topic: Melbourne Esports Open Case Study: Commercializing Experiences in Building Melbourne’s First Major Esports Event
With almost 25 years’ experience in sport and major events, Jeremy has contributed to the success of some great organisations over this period, such as the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Australian MotoGP, Tough Mudder, Hawthorn, Brisbane and Melbourne AFL Clubs. He has the fortunate experience of working with some iconic brands including Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Red Bull, HSBC, Samsung, Coca Cola, Qantas and Rolex.
More recently Jeremy has worked on projects such as White Night Melbourne, Wings for Life World Run, Motorcycling Australia, Ski Racing Australia and Kinky Boots.He is a creative thinker with a proven track record of success and works with a philosophy of ‘getting things done’.
Jeremy joins the team as part of SME360’s acquisition of ‘Leaders In Major Events’ (LIME).
Chief Commercial Officer
Essendon Football Club
Topic: Case Study: How Essendon Football Club is Participating in the eSports Industry by Acquiring Esports Teams
Justin Rodski is an experienced senior commercial executive with a diverse professional career in sports marketing, sponsorship and media.
Justin has been at the Essendon Football Club for more than 8 years, in his current role as Chief Commercial Officer, his portfolio includes overseeing commercial, consumer, membership, merchandise, communications, digital, sponsorship, events and marketing departments at the Club.
In the last 12 months, Justin has led the Bombers Esports strategy in an exciting growth period, successfully acquiring and launching a new League of Legends team in the Oceanic Pro League in Australia, with a focus on audience, fandom and spectatorship, commercial sponsorship and events, as well as team high performance and player welfare.
Prior to working at Essendon Football Club, Justin has wide-ranging experience in media and communications, including film, broadcast, digital and TV. His career started on the set of a number of big budget Australian feature films, he wrote and produced his own short films, worked at the AFL website during its digital transformation to the Telstra Platform, and has worked in TV as a producer at Foxtel and a journalist and presenter on Channel 9 news.
Topic: Twitch Case Study: Strategy Behind Twitch’s Decision to Secure Exclusive Esports Online Tournaments with $90 million Overwatch League Exclusive Rights and Gfinity Elite Series Australia
Scott is the founder and Managing Director of Showdown.
Scott has been a major driver in bringing media into gaming within the oceanic region. In 2013 Scott created a partnership between Twitch.TV and Showdown to provide Twitch with a local presence. Prior to Twitch, Scott launched and built teams to develop the media businesses for IGN Asia and EA Games Media. Showdown operates multiple business divisions including media + partnerships, streaming + esports studios & esports.
Scott has dedicated his career to the adoption of technologies to enable meaningful communication for both communities and brands. Through the success and growth of Twitch, Scott and his teams at showdown have been able to connect twitch’s revolutionary live stream platform to a community that has evolved from gamers watching live game play to the largest live social video platform & live esports platform globally.
Scott is active in supporting the development of twitch steamers and esports programs in the region. He is the founder of Throwdown Esports creating professional and amateur esports events including the Rocket League Oceanic Championships.
Chris is a digital business professional with expertise in the media, entertainment and sports industries. Chris has close to 20 years experience working with premium brands such as Hasbro, Telstra, Cricket Australia, Southern Cross Austereo and the AFL. His expertise is in delivering commercial strategies to drive revenue and audience growth, particularly focusing on new and emerging technologies across web, mobile and social properties. Chris brings proven stakeholder management and leadership skills with executives, partners and teams that will help drive growth for ORDER. Chris’s starting date will be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.
Head of VR, ANZ
Topic: How Sliver.tv Creates a Killer immersive Esports audience Viewing Experience with VR Live Streaming
Priscilla is head of Virtual Reality for HTC Australia/New Zealand. In her role, Priscilla is focused on educating, inspiring and creating awareness of Virtual Reality and how this can influence and enhance how we do things differently in the future.
Managing Director of ANZ (Sports & Entertainment)
Topic: Panel Discussion: How to Commercialize and Create a Successful Esports Partnership
Shane has a depth of experience having worked with the major professional sports and key sponsors in the Australian and New Zealand sports industry through his recent role as the Managing Director of Nielsen Sports and prior to that through over ten years as a senior executive within the NRL. In 2018, he oversaw the establishment of Nielsen’s research into the Australian esports market and has worked with many of the key Australian esports industry players.
Shane now leads Medias Consultants, a consultancy focused on sport strategy and media rights.
Co-Founder & Director
Duane Mutu is widely regarded as one of the leading esports voices and personalities in the Australasian region. Speaking extensively around the globe on esports and gaming. Having previously worked on the publisher side of gaming for over 10 years with heavy hitting brands like Ubisoft, EA, Warner Brothers, Disney, THQ and he more understands how the gaming eco system works. He now sits on the esport side of the fence having starting leading esport company Lets Play Live (LPL) who are market leaders in broadcasting esports. He is a media expert having regular slots on mainstream media outlets like breakfast TV and is also a TV and online gaming host.