EsportsNext 2024 Guide

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The legendary sports agent, Leigh Steinberg, takes on the booming world of esports From Esports Legend to Motorsports Star Show Me the Future

Discover Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter’s incredible journey from Call of Duty champion to Porsche Sprint Challenge racer


How NASCAR, iRacing, and ESTA are elevating esports with racing thrills

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With over 500,000 square feet of indoor events space, The Beach is a rising destination for esports events. We’re proud to promote esports at all levels, from high school and college to the pros. Recently, the area hosted the second annual Boost at The Beach, a Rocket League tournament which featured 12 D1 college teams from around the country.


At The Beach, the games don’t end at the final whistle. Our 60 miles of beaches, classic boardwalk attractions, theme park rides and live entertainment give your attendees plenty of ways to play on. And when it’s time to refuel, athletes and their families will have over 2,000 restaurants to choose from all across the Grand Strand.
ESPORTSNEXT // 4 CONTENTS Shifting Gears Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter’s Journey from Esports to Motorsports 6 A Triple Threat NASCAR, iRacing and Esports Trade Association Team Up to Bring the Best to the Esports Table 12 Play with Purpose: A Heartwarming Partnership ESTA and Extra Life’s Mission for Lurie Children’s Hospital 16 Leigh Steinberg: Talking Esports with a Sports Legend Perspectives on Esports From the MostFamous Sports Agent in the World 22 From Booking to Check-In, Technology Is Revolutionizing Event Hotel Accommodations 26 Eventpipe Revolutionizes Esports Hotel Bookings With Real-Time Solutions Elevator Pitch Delivers a Competitive Fire Competitors Pitch Their Unique Ideas to Become the Next Big Name in Esports 29 20 2024 Esports Industry Awards 32 Membership Directory/ Member Spotlights STAY CONNECTED! Subscribe to the monthly EsportsNext newsletter for the latest esports news and updates.
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Powering the Future of Gaming

Welcome to the cutting edge of competitive gaming. As the Events Chair of EsportsNext, I'm thrilled to invite you inside the latest edition of EsportsNext Magazine.

Since launching our inaugural issue, we've gone further to bring you stories that inspire and innovations that drive the industry forward. This edition features a deep dive into NASCAR's trailblazing use of esports for training.

This year, we're proud to spotlight our collaboration with CocaCola, a partnership that amplifies our mutual commitment to a thriving and sustainable esports ecosystem. Their support is not just about branding—it's about energizing communities worldwide and empowering you through the power of gaming.

EsportsNext Magazine is your ultimate guide through the dynamic terrain of esports. With expert analysis, exclusive interviews, and comprehensive reports, each page is crafted to enhance your understanding and mastery of the field. Our Member Directory is your golden ticket to forging meaningful connections and strategic partnerships.

Beyond the magazine, the EsportsNext Conference continues to offer unparalleled opportunities for growth and networking. Tailored to meet the diverse needs of our ecosystem, our conference is a beacon for innovation. Join us as we embark on this journey to redefine the boundaries of esports. We are committed to keeping you at the forefront of every conversation and at the heart of every innovation. The future is waiting.

Warmest regards,


Insight into the Industry

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Shifting Gears

Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter’s Journey from Esports to Motorsports

How a Call of Duty world champion conquered sim racing and is now taking the motorsports world by storm.


Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter is no stranger to the thrill of competition. Known for his dominance in the esports realm as a three-time Call of Duty world champion, Porter has always pushed boundaries and embraced new challenges. His latest venture, however, takes him from the virtual battlegrounds to the real-world race tracks.

After a stellar sim racing stint with FaZe Clan, Porter has traded his gaming gear for the steering wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, debuting with resounding victories in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America. In this exclusive Q&A, Porter delves into his remarkable journey, the rigorous training that fueled his transition, and his aspirations in the high-speed world of motorsports.

Can you pinpoint a time or specific moment when you realized that esports could be your professional career?

The pivotal moment came when we placed 4th at the COD Champs in 2013. At that time, I was balancing college and seasonal jobs. Placing 4th earned us $100,000, so each team member took home about $25,000. We decided to invest this money in fully dedicating ourselves to gaming to see how far we could go. This decision paid off as we won almost every tournament the following year, including the 2014 COD Champs, where each of us earned another $100,000.

What are some of the main differences between the esports industry today compared to when you started, and the opportunities for players today.

When I started, the concept of being a "pro" gamer was still nascent—it was more a hobby than a career. Even though we called ourselves professionals, none of us could truly earn a living solely from gaming. Today, the landscape has

transformed dramatically. There are abundant opportunities for pro gamers, including sponsorships, content creation, and substantial starting salaries. My first salary was a mere $500 per month, and we often had to cram our whole team into one hotel room to avoid spending more than we earned. The industry has definitely evolved from those early days.

Even though we called ourselves professionals, none of us could truly earn a living solely from gaming. Today, the landscape has transformed dramatically.

You were involved in one of the most successful nonendemic esports marketing campaigns with OpTic Gaming and Turtle Wax. Can you give us a behind the scenes view of that campaign, using your own personal Porsche and what made this campaign successful?

Turtle Wax was an incredible partner, and they really embraced our input on content creation, which was key to the campaign's success. We integrated Turtle Wax products into our videos and activities, and they even decorated the garage of the OpTic Gaming Scuf House in Chicago with branded graffiti and artwork, which served as a dynamic backdrop for our livestreams and video content.

Having my personal Porsche at one of the tournaments was especially exciting. It was a great way to blend my passions for gaming and automotive with the fan experience. This personal connection was amplified by our road trip to the ESPN X Games, where Turtle Wax featured prominently.

What made this campaign truly successful was the authenticity of the integration. Our audience knows cars are a significant part of our lives—many of my vlogs occur in my car, and I regularly produce car-related videos. This campaign allowed us to showcase Turtle Wax products naturally, speaking directly to our fans in a voice they trust. The collaboration was not just about product placement but creating engaging, genuine content that resonated with our community.


What initially drew you to Call of Duty over other competitive gaming titles?

My competitive gaming journey started with Call of Duty back in 2008. I achieved pro status in my first ever MLG circuit, where our team placed third. We had a very young team, including two 14-year-olds, a 15-year-old, and an 11-year-old—a lineup that would be quite unusual today. At the time, we were just starting out and didn't have a clear strategic approach, and our parents even restricted us from competing on LAN for the finals. The fastpaced nature of the game and its engaging community really resonated with me, setting the foundation for my professional career in esports.

What prompted your decision to step away from playing Call of Duty professionally and transition into sim racing with FaZe Clan?

Truthfully, I grew tired of Call of Duty. The physical fatigue, especially in my hands, and the influx of much younger players made me reconsider my path. I wanted to pursue other passions before it was too late. Many know me as “FaZe Crimsix” from my days of streaming Call of Duty, where I had the privilege of winning three world championships and numerous other tournaments. This success established a solid foundation for my transition into racing.

I started my racing journey with sim racing, knowing well what I wanted to achieve—not just to dominate virtually but to acquire skills applicable to realworld racing circuits. Joining FaZe Clan's sim racing team and competing in the ESL R1 league was pivotal. It bridged my esports experience with competitive racing, opening up new opportunities.

The transition to actual track racing was challenging, but I embraced it fully. My debut race weekend at Sebring with the RAFA Racing Team by JDX in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America was more

I started my racing journey with sim racing, knowing well what I wanted to achieve—not just to dominate virtually but to acquire skills applicable to real-world racing circuits.

than promising; it was victorious. Winning a pair of races not only highlighted the hard work and preparation involved but also demonstrated the transferability of sim racing skills to the track.

These achievements not only challenge the narrative about the capabilities of sim racers but also inspire others. They show that with dedication and commitment, it's possible to excel in entirely new domains.

Following your transition to sim racing, you've now moved into physical motorsports racing with Rafa Racing Club. Can you describe how this opportunity arose and what your aspirations are in this new arena?

The shift to physical motorsports happened quite rapidly. Although my performance in the ESL R1 sim racing league wasn't stellar, my dedication didn’t waver. During the offseason, a friend involved in coaching and data analysis at Rafa Racing Club invited me to join them for local track days at the Circuit of the Americas. This experience was pivotal; it was both exhilarating and enlightening. I attended another track day where Rafael Martinez informed me about an open seat for the upcoming Porsche Sprint Challenge. Eager for the opportunity, I pledged my full commitment.

With the Formula 1 event at COTA just weeks away and no assurances in place, I began an intensive regime, hitting the gym twice a day and shedding 10 pounds in two weeks to demonstrate my seriousness. At the F1 event, it was confirmed: I secured the seat and was advised that serious physical training would commence immediately. My goal is to excel in this challenging environment, leveraging my sim racing background to maximize my performance on real tracks, and, ultimately, make a significant impact in the world of motorsports.

Sim racing has effectively engaged gamers with traditional motorsports. What is your perspective on how other traditional sports leagues can engage youth effectively through gaming?

Sim racing stands out because it's a direct simulation— nearly a 1:1 reflection of real life. Modern simulation technologies utilize laser scanning to capture the minutest details of tracks, cars, and tires, and accurately convert these into the digital realm. This precision is what makes sim racing so immersive and a true reflection of actual motorsports. However, translating other sports into gaming is more challenging because they typically involve more physical movement, which doesn't convert as seamlessly into a seated gaming experience. Although flight sims have also managed to capture this high level of realism and engagement, for sports requiring more dynamic physical interaction, the transition isn't as straightforward. Innovating ways to blend physicality with gaming could be key to engaging young audiences more effectively across a broader range of sports.

Modern simulation technologies utilize laser scanning to capture the minutest details of tracks, cars, and tires, and accurately convert these into the digital realm.

What does being inducted into the ESTA Hall of Fame mean to you and your relationship with ESTA?

Being inducted into the ESTA Hall of Fame is an incredible honor that means a great deal to me. It not only highlights my achievements in esports but also solidifies my relationship with ESTA. This recognition is a testament to the journey and the people I've met along the way within the industry and through the association. It underscores the importance of community and collaboration in our industry, and I'm thrilled to continue fostering relationships that inspire and drive forward the world of esports.

What would you consider to be your favorite moment of your career?

Although I previously would have cited a particular gaming tournament victory as my favorite career moment, it has now shifted to my success in real-life motorsport. Crossing the finish line in first place at Sebring in my very first race was absolutely the highlight. The journey from sim racing—where I often finished last in the pro league— to winning a physical race seemed almost surreal. That transition and ultimate victory made all the challenges and efforts worthwhile, marking a significant milestone not just in my career but in my personal growth as well.





NASCAR, iRacing and Esports Trade Association Team Up to Bring the Best to the Esports Table

ASCAR, iRacing and the Esports Trade Association (ESTA) are interconnected through their shared interests in the virtual motorsports and broader esports industry. With esports on the rise and the 2024 EsportsNext conference taking place in Chicago right after the Chicago Street Race, all parties are looking to take advantage of the excitement.


NASCAR, a staple of American motorsports, has embraced esports as a way to reach new audiences and enhance fan engagement. Recognizing the shifting landscape of sports consumption, NASCAR has partnered with iRacing, a leading online racing simulation platform, to create virtual racing events that mirror real-world races. This move has allowed NASCAR to maintain visibility and interaction with fans, particularly during periods when physical events were restricted, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

NASCAR isn’t new to esports though, being actively involved since 2010 by utilizing iRacing to engage fans and extend its brand into the digital realm. iRacing, a popular simulation racing game utilized to mimic real world courses for optimal training, has become a key platform for NASCAR's virtual competitions, attracting both professional drivers and esports enthusiasts alike.

“iRacing is the most realistic racing simulation available to fans,” said Otto Szebeni, sales and marketing director at iRacing. “This makes fans want to experience the same feeling real life drivers do and get people excited about the sport. Not only do the fans love it, most drivers and teams tend to prefer the iRacing sim compared to real life due to the little risk involved with the sim.” // ESPORTSNEXT 13
The field jockeys for position.
Screenshots courtesy of iRacing

Teammates battle for position: No. 3 Jonathon Dulaney driving for Team Dillon, No. 33 Taylor Hurst driving for Team Dillon

“The platform's diligent attention to detail with different aspects of racing, including track layouts and car physics, makes iRacing a perfect tool for not only training, but also competitive esports.”


iRacing has played a vital role in NASCAR’s esports strategy. As a highly developed racing simulator, iRacing has provided a real life experience that appeals to both professional drivers and gamers.

“We have real world engineers that create our sim and we're able to create and simulate things that NASCAR is looking to do in the future,” said Szebeni. “The platform's diligent attention to detail with different aspects of racing, including track layouts and car physics, makes iRacing a perfect tool for not only training, but also competitive esports.”

iRacing’s partnership with NASCAR has led to the creation of digital designs of different NASCAR tracks and events, allowing fans to experience the thrill that real life drivers experience—only in their homes. This collaboration has also paved the way for the development of competitive racing leagues that simulate the structure of traditional NASCAR races.

The impact of iRacing extends far beyond just entertainment. It has become a viable training option for professional drivers by offering a risk-

Screenshots courtesy of iRacing 14

free environment to practice their skills. The mix of realism and accessibility makes iRacing a foundational piece of NASCAR’s esports strategy.


The Esports Trade Association (ESTA) plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the esports industry by fostering professional partnerships and creating a structured framework that supports growth and sustainability. ESTA facilitates an environment where networking, collaboration, and innovation can thrive.

By hosting events like the annual EsportsNext conference, ESTA provides a platform for organizations such as NASCAR and iRacing to showcase their latest technologies and engage with esports professionals, industry leaders, and technology innovators. These interactions bridge the gap between esports and traditional sports, driving growth and technological advancements. ESTA’s efforts underscore its role in building a collaborative network where businesses can explore new opportunities and expand both virtual and real-world racing boundaries.

Through these initiatives, ESTA is not just supporting the esports industry; it is actively driving its evolution, providing a vibrant platform for companies to engage, innovate, and excel within this dynamic sector.


As the NASCAR Chicago Street Race engines warm up, EsportsNext is strategically positioned at the forefront of the esports industry’s evolution. This premier event in Chicago, hosted by the ESTA and presented by Coca-Cola, is a catalyst for transformative discussions and strategic partnerships that will shape the future of esports. Industry leaders and innovators, from companies such as Epic Games to Team Liquid, will converge to forge paths that are not only innovative but also integral to the sustained growth and visibility of esports.

Coinciding with the NASCAR Chicago Street Race, the conference offers attendees a unique dual experience. They can witness high-octane racing one day and delve into esports’ complexities the next. This scheduling synergy not only amplifies the excitement but also enriches the engagement, allowing participants a firsthand look at cutting-edge simulation technologies and the thrill of the race.

NASCAR and iRacing’s participation in EsportsNext is a testament to their commitment to expanding their reach and exploring new frontiers. “My excitement, especially around this event, is it’s a new market that we’re talking to directly about esports and directly about iRacing, as well as its relationship with Coca-Cola and NASCAR,” said Ray Smith, director of gaming and esports at NASCAR. Their involvement highlights the potential for growth and innovation at the intersection of these dynamic industries.

EsportsNext is set to capture the excitement of a NASCAR race and channel it into the esports arena. This event represents a pivotal moment where technology, strategic alliances, and visionary ideas come together, positioning EsportsNext as a landmark in the industry’s journey towards a future marked by innovation, collaboration, and global engagement. // ESPORTSNEXT
Screenshots courtesy of iRacing Wide action: No. 20 Wyatt Tinsley driving for Kansas City Pioneers, No. 51 Donovan Strauss driving for Williams ESPORTS and No. 38 Michael Cosey Jr driving for FrontRow Motorsports.

Video games offer patients a way to engage in activities like those of their healthy counterparts.


ESTA and Extra Life’s Mission for Lurie Children’s Hospital

In a world where the power of play can transform lives, the Esports Trade Association (ESTA) stands as a beacon of hope and joy for children facing health challenges. Since 2022, ESTA has partnered with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, bringing the magic of gaming to the hospital’s young patients through the Extra Life Fundraiser.


The seeds of this impactful partnership were planted when a development officer at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago approached Megan Van Petten, the founder of ESTA, to explore collaboration possibilities.

This conversation marked the beginning of a relationship that has since blossomed, enriching

the lives of children at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Over three years, the partnership has grown stronger, with the Lurie/Extra Life team becoming integral to ESTA’s operations and fundraising committee.

This collaboration is celebrated annually at the EsportsNext conference, which started in


2020, merging esports with charitable initiatives.


The highlight of this partnership is the event hosted at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s inpatient play center, the Panda Cares Center of Hope. This vibrant space is a sanctuary where children can momentarily escape the rigors of their medical treatments and immerse themselves in a world of play and creativity. Here, weekly events and programs are meticulously designed to bring light and joy to patients and their families. Understanding that illness affects the entire family, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago ensures that their events cater not only to patients but also to their siblings, parents, and relatives.

The Panda Cares Center of Hope stands as a testament to the hospital’s commitment to holistic healing. It recognizes that emotional well-being is a critical component of recovery, and through a variety of engaging activities, it aims to uplift the spirits of everyone involved. The center offers a wide range of programs, from arts and crafts to interactive storytelling sessions, ensuring that there is something for everyone.


Video games have a unique ability to create virtual worlds where children can explore, compete and collaborate with their peers. They serve as a powerful tool for normalization, offering patients a way to engage in activities like those of

their healthy counterparts. This sense of normalcy is crucial for maintaining a positive outlook and fostering resilience.

“The ESTA event provides a normalizing and fun afternoon through a love of video gaming,” said Jackie Lohr, development officer for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital

of Chicago Foundation. “For children unable to participate in traditional sports and games, video games offer a perfect alternative. They provide not only entertainment but also a sense of community and belonging, which can feel lacking in the isolating environment of a hospital.”

These gaming events contribute to the emotional and psychological well-being of // ESPORTSNEXT 17
ESTA Chair John Davidson (on the left) and an ESTA member Ya Rohan Bose (on the right) share a moment during their visit to Lurie Children’s Hospital. All photos courtesy of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

patients. They help reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and provide a much-needed break from the constant focus on illness. The importance of these events extends beyond the children to their families. Siblings, often feeling neglected or overshadowed by the attention given to the sick child, find joy and inclusion in these activities. Parents and relatives, who face immense emotional strain, get to witness moments of happiness and laughter, which can be profoundly healing.


Last year’s event featured a variety of gaming activities, including a Mario Kart tournament, Pacman, air hockey, gaming-related arts and crafts, and a Twitch-style video game setup. These activities

allowed patients to experience the thrill of being a streamer, among other fun experiences.

This year, ESTA has taken the excitement to a new level with the introduction of “Game On,” a groundbreaking segment that will be hosted by Ian Porter, known by his handle Crimsix. A former Call of Duty pro, current race driver, and 2024 ESTA Hall of Fame inductee, Crimsix brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the event.

“Game On” is designed to be an inclusive and interactive experience, featuring E-rated video games that are suitable for all ages. Patients in the play center can participate directly, while those unable to leave their rooms can join in the fun through the hospital’s internal network broadcast. This innovative format ensures that every child, regardless of their physical limitations, can be part of the excitement.

“Game On” is not just about playing games; it’s about creating a sense of community and normalcy within the hospital. Children can call in from their hospital beds, interact with Crimsix, and engage with their peers in a virtual environment. This inclusive approach maximizes participation and ensures that every child has the opportunity to experience joy and distraction from their medical challenges.

Every patient who participates in “Game On” earns a prize, adding an extra layer of motivation and excitement. The participation of children varies based on several factors, including the number of inpatients and their health

conditions, but the goal is always to include as many children as possible.


Each year, ESTA invites its Hall of Fame Inductee to participate in fundraising efforts through Extra Life, raising awareness and providing children in the hospital with a fun experience. The Hall of Fame award recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the esports industry, shaping its development and advancing its growth. Charles Conroy was last year’s inductee, and Crimsix is this year’s inductee. To thank Charles for his efforts and witness his impact firsthand, he was invited to Lurie’s to participate in the event and game with patients. This tradition continues this year with Crimsix, who will also

A young patient enjoys a game of air hockey during a visit organized by ESTA at the hospital.

“Game On” is designed to be an inclusive and interactive experience. Patients in the play center can participate directly, while those unable to leave their rooms can join in the fun through the hospital’s internal network broadcast.

be participating in the event and gaming with the patients.

“The ESTA Hall-of-Famer event is unique in that it brings experts in the video game field to interact and talk with patients about how to game professionally,” said Jackie Lohr. “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to host ESTA and their Hall of Famer so that patients can interact with, and have fun with, someone who can really appreciate and talk about video games.”


At the core of this partnership is a relentless drive to raise funds that fuel hope and innovation. In 2023, ESTA raised $2,685 and has ambitiously set its sights on a goal of $25,000 for this year. These donations are the lifeblood of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago,

providing the flexibility needed to make a real difference.

No matter the amount, each donation builds a foundation of hope and healing. These funds empower the hospital to swiftly adapt to emerging needs, ensuring every child receives not only medical treatment but also crucial emotional and psychological support.

Through the generosity of donors, ESTA and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago can continue to make a profound and lasting difference in the lives of countless young patients and their families.

The partnership between ESTA and Lurie Children’s Hospital has blossomed into a heartwarming collaboration that exemplifies the power of community, uplifts

spirits and inspires hope. By combining fundraising with engaging activities, ESTA continues to bring joy and support to the young patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, creating lasting memories for children and families facing adversity while also providing essential resources for their care and well-being.

Together, we can create more stories of joy and recovery, proving that in every game played and every dollar donated, there is a spark of hope.

Be a part of this extraordinary journey. Your support today can transform the lives of children, bringing smiles, laughter and the promise of a brighter tomorrow. Donate now and be the hero in a child’s story. // ESPORTSNEXT 19

Get ready to celebrate the visionaries transforming the esports landscape as we unveil the 2024 Esports Industry Award winners. These accolades honor the trailblazers, innovators, and game-changers who have pushed boundaries and set new standards. Join us in exploring the remarkable achievements and contributions driving the industry into an exhilarating future. Meet the leaders who are not just part of esports—they’re defining its path forward.


Ian 'Crimsix' Porter

This award is a tribute to the exceptional individuals whose careers in the esports industry have been characterized by groundbreaking achievements, leadership, and a lasting impact on the fabric of the community. It's about celebrating not just success, but a legacy that inspires future generations.

We are ecstatic to honor Ian "Crimsix" Porter, a monumental figure in esports, as our 2024 Hall of Fame Inductee. As the most decorated competitor in the history of Call of Duty, Crimsix's career is studded with 38 major wins and three World Championships. His relentless pursuit of excellence didn't stop at gaming; his ventures into sim racing and motorsports with RAFA Racing highlight a versatile and unstoppable spirit.




Michigan State University Esports

This award honors outstanding efforts in growing and engaging the esports community through events, social media, and fostering a positive environment.


Network of Scholastic and Academic Esports Federations

Recognizes an individual or institution for significant contributions to education in the esports industry, including developing curricula, conducting research, or providing training for future professionals.


Combo Breaker

Honors the most outstanding esports event of the year, focusing on the organizational aspect. Criteria include the scale of the event, innovation in execution, audience engagement, and overall contribution to the esports industry's growth.



404 Creative EventPipe

This award recognizes an organization or individual that has introduced groundbreaking technology, services, or strategies that significantly advance the esports industry.


Titus Walker

Awarded to an esports executive who demonstrates exemplary leadership and has significantly contributed to their organization’s or the industry’s growth and success.


ent! Marketing

Recognizes a team or individual for exceptional marketing campaigns or strategies that have elevated brand presence, engaged audiences, and driven significant growth in the esports sector.



This award honors a company for exceptional support and dedication to the Esports Trade Association, significantly contributing to its goals and industry advancement.


Frosty Faustings

This award honors an individual or organization for significant contributions to their local esports community, including fostering talent, organizing events, and promoting grassroots esports.


ProtectMe by Kidas

This award honors an organization or initiative that has significantly promoted sustainability in the esports industry through eco-friendly practices, social responsibility projects, or efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable environment. // ESPORTSNEXT 21



Perspectives on esports from the most-famous sports agent in the world

Renowned for being the most successful sports agent in history, Leigh Steinberg has represented over 300 athletes from sports like baseball, basketball, boxing, and of course, NFL football, where a record eight No. 1 draft picks have been under his wing. Steinberg’s success as an agent is also credited as the inspiration for the titular character in the famous Tom Cruise film Jerry Maguire.

With success in traditional sports cemented, Steinberg has focused his attention on esports, believing that it has a bright future. In this exclusive interview with the Esports Trade Association, Steinberg opens up on esports athletes and representation, marketability, how to win over esports skeptics, and more..

This year was your 37th annual party at the Super Bowl, and the very first that integrated esports. What is it about esports that you have seen recently that has encouraged you to embrace this new form of sport?

Leigh: When my son, Matt, was growing up, it was hard to get him out of his room and away from his gaming portal. He played games like Grand Theft Auto, wearing a headset, competing against a world of interconnected gamers. It was then that I saw the powerful draw of esports engagement. Last year, I was invited by the Dallas Fuel franchise to meet with them and see their plans for the future. They took me to a competition between the Dallas and Houston

teams in a large auditorium. It was packed with young people who were screaming and shouting encouragement like at a rock concert. Then, I thought, here is a world I didn’t know existed, and this is the wave of the future.

What type of interest in esports do you see from your professional athlete clients?

Leigh: Virtually every professional athlete I have worked with is a gamer and plays games during their leisure time. They are highly competitive and play in heated contests with each other. They love online games and are a natural audience for esports competitions.

Having been involved with the NFL for 50 years as an agent, what are some of the common trends that you are seeing with esports that signal to you that competitive gaming is the future of sports and entertainment?

Leigh: In the same way that professional athletes start playing Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football as youths, gamers start young. The current generation of young people master computer skills at a very young age. Esports actually draws from a greater talent pool than other professional sports in that, their competitions don't rely on size, strength and


Renowned for being the most successful sports agent in history, Leigh Steinberg has represented over 300 athletes.

Photo courtesy of Steinberg Speaks

foot speed. Esports have the same capacity to draw live attendances in newly built stadia specifically tailored for the competition. The big breakthrough will occur when esports competitions are produced by television in an appealing way, and that content can then be used and viewed over computers, tablets, phones, as well as traditional television monitors.

Do you think there needs to be a different approach to representation of esports athletes compared to traditional sports athletes?

Leigh: A new model will need to be created in the short term, given the embryonic state of esports. In negotiations with their franchises, the teams currently have all the power. The athletes believe they are fungible and replaceable assets. That fear of being replaced stands in the way of unionizing and negotiating a collective bargaining agreement that will give them rights and protection. Until then, it will be difficult to find the leverage to strike bigger deals. It is all a function of how much revenue the sport delivers, so it is in the interest of the athletes to help grow the sport.

In terms of marketability and league competition, do you see esports following a similar path to traditional sports or innovating new ways to brand and compete over the next decade?

Leigh: Esports has the advantage of coming of age at a time when they have the benefit of the breakthroughs that have occurred in technology, visual presentation, virtual reality, augmented reality, and a much more computer-savvy audience. New methods of presentation and fan engagement will naturally evolve.

What effect do you see esports having on brain health?

Leigh: Major breakthroughs have occurred in the area of neuroplasticity of the brain. It's now possible that the gamers can avail themselves of brain health treatments like RTMS and NESTRE brain training. This can give the athletes faster neural processing and enhanced memory. Studies will need to be conducted as to the effect on the brain

Steinberg has represented a host of legendary football players including Steve Young (above). NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman (above, right) was another Steinberg client. STEINBERG'S CLIENT LIST INCLUDES: Photo courtesy of Steinberg Speaks Photo courtesy of Steinberg Speaks

of the intense focus on a computer screen at the heart of the gaming experience.

What would you like to tell members of the traditional sports community that are skeptical about the future success of esports?

Leigh: Credibility for esports rests on a clear understanding of what defines a sport. Esports athletes need to master the games in preparation to play in the same way a quarterback needs to study the playbook. Esports requires faster-than-normal reaction time, handeye coordination, memory, and performance under extreme pressure in the same way as traditional sports.

Motor racing involves a car, which is a machine, propelling the action. Horse racing requires a gifted animal providing speed and power. How is a gamer different from a driver or a jockey? Only individuals with extraordinary skills can excel to the highest levels of esports competitions. The best way to prove this is to ensure that every member of the sports fraternity, whether they be athletes or journalists, has had the experience of trying to compete in the online games.

What is your view on the future of esports as well as how you see traditional sports like racing attracting younger fans through gaming?

Leigh: Esports is the wave of the future and will soon be looked at in the same way we currently obsess over pro football. It is growing from the grassroots up, with millions of kids playing online games before they play other sports.

Esports prizes hand-eye coordination, fast mental processing, and strategy, and has a much larger demographic to draw from, unlike traditional sports that value size, speed, and strength. Eventually, television will find compelling production values in a way that engages a large audience. In addition to the contests, there will be feature shows, analysis shows, and televised drafts, which will lead to branding of the individual players on social media and television, and the star-building, celebrity-making machine will make certain competitors household names.

That process will also build endorsements and sponsorships. Any traditional sport that lends itself to a game format will benefit from the cross-promotion.

NFL and CFL legend Warren Moon was a Steinberg client. // ESPORTSNEXT 25
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa signs on the dotted line. Photo courtesy of Steinberg Speaks Photo courtesy of Steinberg Speaks



Eventpipe Revolutionizes Esports Hotel Bookings With Real-Time Solutions

The esports arena, once the province of intimate gatherings, has exploded into massive spectacles that draw comparisons to the Super Bowl, fueled by a passionate gaming community and the streaming powerhouses of Twitch and YouTube Gaming. As these in-person

esports events scale up, with attendance figures soaring to unprecedented heights, the backend of these events—especially hotel room block management for events (a.k.a. event housing management)—faces a complexity that demands a radical overhaul.

Todd Beckerman, Charlie Addesa, and Ben Lancaster of EventPipe at the Connect Marketplace tradeshow.

All photos courtesy of EventPipe

Thinking Hotel Stays in The Esports Boom

Esports events are dynamic beasts: a melting pot of global participants with unique digital needs—from lightning-fast internet to custom gaming setups. Traditional methods, cumbersome and manual, buckle under the pressure of such diverse and demanding requirements. The old spreadsheet and phone call system? It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It’s time to start thinking about event housing management.

Tech to the Rescue: EventPipe Leads the Charge

Enter EventPipe, a beacon of innovation in the esports event hotel market. With EventPipe, you can easily transform the chaotic, random hotel bookings into a streamlined, money-making process. Think real-time bookings on a site that’s customized for your event, complete with simple tools to see all of your transactions.

The Power of Automation and Customization

At the heart of EventPipe's revolution is automation. EventPipe slashes the time and effort traditionally needed for room assignments and adjustments.

"Our mission is to revolutionize accommodation management in the esports industry," said Tim Brown, CEO of EventPipe. "We're seeing our platform's impact on events across the country, and it's just the beginning."

This technology doesn't just streamline processes; it personalizes them. Every participant's needs can be catered to through the platform, which is a critical capability when dealing with an audience as diverse as that of esports. Easy-to-implement, customized booking sites can be created in minutes, with no coding experience required. These sites enable event organizers to offer discounted rates while generating more revenue in the process.

Earlier this year, Mike Mason, Todd Beckerman, and Ben Lancaster of EventPipe at the Sphere in Las Vegas at the Connect Marketplace tradeshow.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to develop a platform that meets the unique challenges of esports event organizers,” said Mike Addesa, CTO and co-founder of EventPipe. “We have one goal in mind: putting on a flawless event. Managing the hotel portion of the event shouldn’t require much time and should deliver a remarkable guest experience.”

Looking Ahead: What’s Next for Esports Event Hotel Offerings?

As esports continues to carve out space in mainstream culture, the innovations in event hotel management by companies like EventPipe // ESPORTSNEXT 27
Jeff Porter, Josh Silverberg, and Charlie Addesa at the Connect Marketplace tradeshow

are set to play a pivotal role. The next wave of advancements may include AI-driven booking systems that anticipate guest preferences, augmented reality (AR) experiences that transform hotel stays, and even more personalized services tailored to the unique needs of esports participants. As these technologies

evolve, the goal remains clear: to make every event not just efficient, but unforgettable.

"By doing event housing right, we're not just facilitating logistics, we're creating memorable moments that leave a lasting impression on esports enthusiasts,

everywhere," said Rebekah Bryant, director of business development at EventPipe.

Patricia Driscoll and Christina Grimes of EventPipe at the Esports Trade Association Esports Next tradeshow.

The convergence of technology and event management is poised to set new standards in the industry. By anticipating the needs of a diverse and dynamic audience, companies like EventPipe are not just keeping pace with the growth of esports— they’re leading the charge.

A New Standard for Esports Events

The evolution of hotel management through technology is a clear sign of the esports industry's commitment to enhancing the overall event experience. As we look to the future, the continued advancements in this area are promising to make esports events successful by putting the control of the guest experience in the hands of the organizers.

This is more than just keeping pace with growth; it's about setting the pace, anticipating needs and delivering solutions that make enjoyable experiences for competitors and guests alike. Welcome to the new era of esports event management, where technology and tradition merge to create something truly gamechanging.

Welcome to the new era of esports event management, where technology and tradition merge to create something truly game-changing. By leveraging innovative solutions, the industry is not only meeting today's challenges but also shaping the future of how esports events are organized and experienced.



Competitors pitch their unique ideas to become the next big name in esports

The EsportsNext Elevator Pitch Competition represents a pioneering initiative designed to expand and build the ever-growing esports industry. The competition offers a unique platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to present their groundbreaking ideas to a panel of seasoned industry experts, potential investors, and a broad audience of esports enthusiasts. By participating, contestants gain exposure to industry professionals and critically important relationships to guide them forward.

Tech entrepreneur and SONIX CEO Nicolas Abelé speaking at EsportsNext.

Perfecting Your Perfect Pitch

The Esports Trade Association (ESTA) provides the opportunity for esports companies and small startups to present their best work within a short session. With only five minutes to pitch your idea, honing in on key points and perfecting your pitch can be stressful. But before you pitch your idea, take part in ESTA’s complimentary workshop: Perfecting Your Pitch!, a program that assists candidates in developing and polishing an effective sales pitch.

“I highly recommend joining the Elevator Pitch if you need to expand your business or reach new connections,” said Rich Stein, a former participant. “The coach, Sharon Gill, was so helpful and I have been able to grow my business thanks to the lessons she offered during our class.”

Coach Gill’s prowess in the landscape of presenting an innovative and rewarding concept is spoken of in the highest regard, presenting a clear and concise message to improve participant pitch skills and confidence. Gill’s structure in her coaching is unique and hands-on, and she says she enjoys every part of her work.

“It is quite satisfying to see pitchers increase their self-confidence and clarity about their ideas with practice and coaching,” said Gill.

The three-step process is among the many memorable pieces of advice you will learn by attending the workshop, which engraves three key principles in the minds of entrepreneurs: pre-pitch preparation, making the pitch, and post-pitch reinforcement. Grasping these three concepts and perfecting them is an integral part of your path to becoming the next big thing in the esports industry.

Create Your Mission and Success Story

Former participants relish about their time learning and connecting with the best in the business, by networking, connecting, and building foundational relationships which are a core piece of the rising esports industry.

“The Esports Trade Association has been a great networking partner for me,” said Christopher Matthews, a former Elevator Pitch participant. “The

Elevator Pitch judges score each competitor.

Elevator Pitch was the perfect resource I needed to help me expand my business and tap into new connections.”

The mission and end goals are what drive this competition. While there is only one participant who is crowned with first place in the end, the opportunity to hear a multitude of different ideas, mindsets, and goals creates an atmosphere where everyone walks away from ESTA’s EsportsNext conference a winner in one way or another.

While the benefits of participating are beyond measure, the preparation to come out of this event with success takes some time. Rick Tett, the creator of the Glydr, a product that allows you to play video games with your feet, noted that while it takes time to excel, it was all worth it at the finish line.

“I initially learned about the EsportsNext 2023 conference when I was invited to be a speaker,” said Tett. “As I was registering, I found out about


the pitch competition and submitted my entry. Presenting in five minutes isn’t an easy task and being ready to go on stage and do it without notes takes effort. But it isn’t too bad when the mission of the startup has been absorbed into your bones.”

Tett went on to win the competition last year with his Glydr pitch, noting that he proudly displays the trophy he earned. From there, Glydr went on to blow by its set goal of $10,000 on Kickstarter, with a total of $83,355 in backer pledges.

The Elevator Pitch Is More Than Just a Contest

The Elevator Pitch Competition is more than just a contest; it is a launchpad for future leaders of the esports industry. It provides the tools, connections, and exposure necessary to turn innovative ideas into reality. The esports community allows participants to surround themselves with like-minded individuals who share similar aspirations and goals, immersing them in a career-changing world. // ESPORTSNEXT 31
2023 Elevator Pitch Competition winner Rick Tett (left)



Mark Consiglio

Las Vegas, NV

We are a full-service lighting, video, and rigging company servicing all facets of the entertainment industry - from corporate events and theatre to concert touring and television.


Evan Beach


Josh Benzing Ankeny, IA

404 Creative is a leading game developer studio specializing in usergenerated experiences for players and brands in Fortnite, leveraging UEFN technology.



Mike Giampaolo mgiampaolo@ Chicago, IL

Access One is a full service technology company supporting clients from the cloud to the desktop. Focusing on business outcomes around cybersecurity, managed IT, physical security, IT projects and more.




Deanna Kerns Chicago, IL

Lurie Children’s is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital receiving critical funds through Extra Life, a fundraising program to play games and raise funds that Change Kids’ Health to Change the Future.


Rachael Doyle Hollywood, CA

The ultimate destination for content creators, APM’s vast catalog of high-quality production music has been created to bring your projects to life. Here, you will find every genre, mood, style, nationality, and era of music.



Michael Dalton mdalton@

Across Canada - Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa We are your Media Technology Partner. We build Esports Arenas and Live Broadcast Studios for Canadian gaming communities, specializing in Collegiate Esports facilities, including classrooms.


David A. Weinstein

Voorhees, NJ

Full service law firm, providing corporate, licensing, IP and litigation services to the e-sports community.


opticmidniteofficial@gmail. com



Michele Togashi https://www. Mays Landing, New Jersey Our community college developed a new Esports program, helping students build skills, teamwork, and career paths. We guide them through education and different career paths in Esports and Game Design and Development.

AVI-SPL Brandon Brunhammer brandon.brunhammer@ Orlando, FL, USA

A digital enablement solutions provider that designs, integrates, manages, and supports on-site and cloud-based communications and collaboration technologies.



Dr. Cathy Duffy, EdD, CPA, CMA https://financialprofessionals. Colchester, VT

Let me be your personal CFO! My job is to be your go-to person for all things money related.

BETH MAKIELSKI bethmakielski Mishawaka, IN Inbound Marketing Specialist / Game Business and Esports Student



Trevis Waters

Orlando, FL

Your One-Stop Shop for Sports Betting. Charge up your game with the best picks, simulations, tools, and betting content.


Stavros Korovilas Skokie, IL

Our journey started with a clumsy spill and a fried laptop. Since then, we’ve been on a mission to create an amazing cupholder called BEVZI.


Adam Flynn, Director of Business Development Baltimore, Maryland

The premier event technology provider for esports. BlackStar Group designs, builds, manages, and secures the networks and broadcasts for esports events and facilities around the world. Let us elevate your next production!

BRIDGET MCGARRY bmcgarry1287@outlook. com bridget-mcgarry Chicago, IL

Channel and Strategic Alliance Manager



Dr. Fred L Nance Jr

Chicago Illinois

C.L.I.CK. Services NFP is an advocate for the socially disadvantaged and disenfranchised. C.L.I.C.K. has a Violence Prevention Esports Gaming and Trauma Informed Mentoring program.


Innovative Experiences and Immersive Worlds

InVision Communications’ Impact on Esports

John Emmaneel on Crafting Unforgettable Esports Campaigns and the Future of Audience Engagement

In the fast-paced world of esports, standing out requires creativity, innovation, and a deep understanding of the audience. John Emmaneel, SVP of New Vertical Markets and Chicago GM at InVision Communications, brings over 15 years of experience in gaming campaigns to the table. With a passion for creating immersive experiences, John has helped shape InVision’s Gaming and Entertainment Practice, forging strong partnerships and delivering memorable programs and events with top names in the gaming industry such as Square Enix, Dell Alienware, and Sony. We spoke with John about InVision’s role in esports, their standout campaigns, and the future of audience engagement.

Can you highlight a few campaigns your agency has created that are tailored to the esports audience?

Absolutely. One standout event was the FINAL FANTASY XIV Fan Festival for Square Enix, where we celebrated the game’s 10-year anniversary with over two days of activities, including developer panels, an esports tournament, and a concert by THE PRIMALS. Another was the Phoenix Labs’ Fae Farm booth at PAX West, which attracted nearly 30,000 attendees daily with its immersive homestead experience. Lastly, we designed CitizenCon 2953 for Cloud Imperium Games, transforming the LA Convention Center into an immersive universe with a main stage and expo hall representing the Pyro system.

How do you approach marketing in an industry as dynamic as esports?

We view every opportunity as a chance to create connected experiences across multiple events and touchpoints. Our strategy is nimble and multi-faceted, placing the fan at the center. By understanding fan preferences and behaviors, we craft engaging content and experiences that build communities, drive brand affinity, and increase loyalty. Our InVision Immersive Experience Center continuously develops digital innovations, ensuring we stay ahead in this fast-changing world.

Which campaign are you most proud of, and what impact did it have on your client’s objectives in the esports industry?

I’m particularly proud of our work with Square Enix on the FINAL FANTASY XIV

Fan Fest 2023. This event was a pivotal moment for Square Enix to show appreciation for the FFXIV community. We crafted an immersive festival floor, recreating five iconic in-game worlds and offering fans tangible interactions. The result was over 325,000 social media impressions, significantly exceeding fans’ expectations and deepening their loyalty to the game and the brand.

Why did your agency join ESTA?

Our focus on gaming and esports experiences led us to join ESTA Membership has provided valuable insights into the esports community and the entrepreneurial sector driving this forward-looking industry. Through ESTA, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of the fan community and the trends shaping the future of esports. // ESPORTSNEXT 33 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT


David Bruno https://esports. Cherry Hill, NJ

CCC offers the first Esports Production degree in the Philadelphia region, preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow in esports, streaming, and video production.


Mike Schuman


Dustin Arnheim Chicago, IL


Jeremiah Anderson Frisco, TX

Frisco is a Dallas-area community that supports esports events at the professional, collegiate, and prep level. We are also home to Complexity gaming and a number of esports celebrity players.


CK Dhaliwal Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Looking to support businesses, economic development, and tourism to understand and activate the esports industry in their region in Canada.


Gordon Hinkle Sacramento, CA

CESI is a strategic production group (publicprivate partnership) with the goal of elevating the entire industry of esports and competitive collegiate competition.


Ray Katz


Tim Albright

Maryland Heights, MO

We are a comprehensive provider for all of your AV, IT, and Communication needs.


San Antonio, TX

Dallas Chapter Student Member



John Davidson Fairview, TX

DLC provides learnings to brands and agencies to enable them to effectively engage the esports community through business development, partnerships and campaign strategy.


Bill Gantz https://www.duanemorris. com/attorneys/ williamgantz.html

Boston, MA

We are a full service law firm with specialty in Gaming, and specifically, Transactions, Finance, Regulatory, Licensing, Risk, Consumer Litigation and IP.


Igor Bakovic www.

Oak Brook, IL

Tasked with attracting sports and esports tourism to DuPage County. Own and operate the Midwest Esports Invitational.



Harold Mckinney II Dallas, Texas ESDAN (Esports Drift Association) is currently the

largest North American-based sim motorsport Drift series. Tournaments range across Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.


Will English IV Chicago, IL

Software Engineer, Broadcaster and Esports Professional


Eric Hill www.

Waukesha, WI

The world’s premier provider of cycling esports event production, including charity rides, amateur and professional competitions, and National Championship and International Olympic Committee events.


CK Dhaliwal

EDWARD HARRILL III edward-harrill Irvine, CA

Experience in Education, Media, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, and Technology | Utilizing esports and gaming to build stronger members in their community and workplace.


Brian Cross Saint Louis, MO

We create solutions that not only solve our clients’ unique business challenges, but as well so in a way that position their brands apart from the competition through bold ideas.


Linda Bodie https://www.elementfcu. org/the-element-edge/ Charleston, West Virginia

Element FCU champions inclusivity and financial empowerment, offering eSports programs with a focus on education, recreational leagues, and entrepreneurial leadership.



Caroline Vani

CAROLINE.VANI@ Mississauga, ON, Canada Our experts create innovative event solutions every day, anywhere your events take you.


Jesse Iwuji Jacksonville, Florida

The eRacing Association is an esports league and content creation company here to grow the world of SimRacing!


Bayaman Saymasaev –Secretary General of EsportS Federation Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek City The Computer Sports Federation of Kyrgyzstan is a public association that develops professional e-sports in Kyrgyzstan. To date, we have held more than 70 tournaments, where over 100,000 people took part.


Mark Clark 3015 Governors Dr SW Huntsville, AL 35805

Our mission is to create an inclusive esports ecosystem blending competitive gaming, STEAM education, entertainment, and kids camps to foster community, offer career pathways, and promote mental health and wellness.


Revving Up the Virtual Tracks

Inside the eRacing Association’s Vision for the Future

Transforming SIM Racing into an Inclusive, High-Stakes Community for Aspiring and Professional Racers

In the rapidly evolving world of esports, the eRacing Association (ERA) is carving out a niche that merges the thrill of NASCAR with the accessibility of online gaming. Co-founded by Jesse Iwuji, a driver in the NASCAR Xfinity series, a team owner and a U.S. Naval officer, ERA offers a platform where amateur and professional SIM racers can compete on a global stage. With a commitment to inclusivity and high-quality competition, ERA is revolutionizing how virtual racing is perceived and experienced. We sat down with Jesse Iwuji to delve into the inner workings of ERA, the secrets behind their successful events, and their collaboration with the Esports Trade Association.

Share details about a notable event your agency has organized within the esports sector.

We organize quarterly events on multiple platforms, and the competitions on iRacing are all broadcasted on iRacing’s social media channels. Each event has been a spectacular showcase, with the iRacing events having over $5000 in prizes awarded to our top five competitors. These events draw significant attention and participation, making them a highlight in the SIM racing community.

What do you consider essential for a successful esports event?

A successful esports event hinges on several key elements: talented participants, opportunities for everyone to succeed, professional quality broadcasts, and the

involvement of influencers who add excitement and visibility to the event. These components ensure a high level of engagement and satisfaction among both participants and viewers.

Can you describe a challenging situation at an event and how you overcame it?

One of the most challenging aspects of our events is managing different personalities. Not everyone agrees on how the event should be run, and handling these differing viewpoints can be tricky. However, we strive to foster a respectful and cooperative environment, ensuring that every voice is heard and finding common ground to move forward.

How long has your agency been a member of the Esports Trade Association?

We have been proud members of the Esports Trade Association since 2023. Our affiliation with this esteemed organization has been instrumental in fostering connections within the esports industry, facilitating valuable professional relationships, and contributing to the growth and development of the esports community. Through our membership, we participate in industry events, benefit from exclusive insights and resources and collaborate with other members to drive forward important initiatives. This association has provided us with a platform to voice our perspectives, stay abreast of industry trends and ensure our alignment with best practices and innovative advancements in the rapidly evolving field of esports. // ESPORTSNEXT 35 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT


Andrew Weilgus andrew@ www.

Atlantic City, NJ

The Esports Innovation Center is a nonprofit formed by the State of New Jersey with Stockton University. Our Mission is to grow esports culture and industry in Atlantic City.


Joshua Kell Blackwood NJ

We build facilities and supply curriculum and camp materials for K12 and higher education.


Jeff Porter Portsmouth, NH

EventPipe is the fastest growing software platform to help esports event organizers manage and monetize their hotel bookings for their events.


Cydney Mark-Nicholes cydney@seattlesouthside. com www.seattlesouthside. com/sports-planners Seattle, WA

Explore Seattle Southside’s unique and affordable event spaces, from an urbaninspired lodge to a worldfamous space museum overlooking the Seattle skyline and more.



Nick Dimatteo Flower Mound, TX

We provide consulting to Location Based Entertainment and Family Entertainment Centers stateside and abroad.


Michael Hionis https://frostyfaustings. com/


Rick Wolf Pleasantville, NY

Full Moon provides solutions to sports businesses including high-level strategy, marketing sales, business development and product design/development


Shereen El Domeiri https://www.fultonjeang. com/about-shereen-eldomeiri Dallas, Texas

Shereen El Domeiri is an attorney at Fulton Jeang PLLC, a certified womenowned full-service business law firm. We provide legal and compliance services to businesses and startups.


Dexter Carr Jr Baltimore, MD

Create Social Impact Programming as an Auxillary Service for the Esports and Video Game Community.


Matthew Hixon http://www. Waukegan IL

We Specializes in Educational gaming solutions through our Esports & Gaming Curriculum. We also Sponsor local talent in the Lake County area.


Amila Pathirana

Sri Lanka

Boost your gaming prowess with GamerTech’s cuttingedge wearables and advanced apparel, designed

to elevate your performance. Level up like never before!


Adam Hobbs Houston, TX

The only career coaching service for the esports and gaming industries, provided by Esports exec and certified coach, Adam Hobbs.


Scott Miyazaki https://www.


Asante Bradford


Matthew Archambault matthewarchambault24@ Las Vegas, NV Forthcoming with Company Launch Announcement


Xian Mora with Global Planning Partners: https://www. globalplanningpartners. com/


Rick Tett



John Cesena https://www. the-power-process-ofhelmsbriscoe/ San Diego, CA

Saving you time & money by streamlining the hotel searching process and contracting phase for off-site programs including hotel room blocks—completely free of charge.


Annie Scott annie.scott@ Minneapolis, MN Human Powered Health provides cutting-edge health and performance testing, expert guidance from graduate-level physiologists and ongoing AI-assisted coaching.


Kevin Fair Chicago, IL

IPG! is your Turnkey Solution for Live and Virtual Esports and Video Game Events providing the best in Gaming Equipment Rentals, Tournament Planning, and staffing services.


Student & Competitive Rocket League Player at the University of Akron. Worked with Pittsburgh Knights, Esports Engine, founded high school esports program


Esports Researcher, Drexel University


Michael Fiorentino https://www. Dallas, Texas

Your premier source for promotional and retail goods at a competitive price point. Quality, reliability and our Feed the World mission are the cornerstones of our company.


Pioneering Inclusive Esports for All

A Look At Ultimate Endgamers League

Titus Walker on Building a Diverse

and Engaging Community in Esports

The Ultimate Endgamers League (UEL) is making waves in the esports world with its commitment to inclusivity and community engagement. Founded in 2019, UEL has quickly grown into a significant player in the industry, known for its diverse range of games and partnerships with prominent organizations. Titus Walker, CEO of UEL, details the league’s journey since its inception, emphasizing its mission to become the largest and most inclusive gaming community worldwide. Catering to all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels, UEL has hosted eight successful seasons, features 33 games, and collaborates with notable entities like the NBA Draft Party, Philadelphia Eagles, and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Awarded as the Esports Solutions Provider of 2023, UEL draws over 15,000 viewers per event and leads initiatives such as gamer wellness programs with VUIM, reinforcing its core values of diversity and community support.

What are your team/league’s core values and mission statement?

Our core values at UEL include inclusivity, diversity, community engagement, and excellence in gaming across mobile, console, and PC platforms. Our mission is to create the largest sport-inclusive gaming community globally, providing secure and enriching esports experiences while focusing on both casual and competitive gamers. We aim to include the 99% of gamers outside the top 1% skill level.

How do you foster a strong and positive community around your team/league?

The Ultimate Endgamers League (UEL) fosters a vibrant, inclusive community through impactful initiatives. With 33

games, UEL caters to diverse interests and skill levels, ensuring year-round engagement with continuous events and competitive seasons.

In collaboration with VUIM, UEL emphasizes health and wellness with tailored care plans, including acupuncture and massage therapy, for its players. UEL also integrates educational opportunities through My Ed Master, blending gaming and learning.

UEL partners with high-profile organizations like the NBA Draft Party and Philadelphia Eagles, expanding its reach and enhancing community events. Focused on professional development, the league provides coaching and mentoring programs to foster career growth. By prioritizing

a welcoming, inclusive environment, UEL ensures gamers of all backgrounds feel valued and engaged.

Can you share any recent examples of successful fan engagement activities?

Recently, UEL has successfully engaged fans through weekly events, attracting over 15,000 viewers, and partnering with VUIM for gamer wellness. Collaborations with the NBA Draft Party and Philadelphia Eagles, and charitable initiatives with Make-A-Wish, have broadened our reach. We’ve also launched educational programs with My Ed Master, engaging fans interested in both gaming and learning, and used social media campaigns and community tournaments to enhance direct fan participation and interaction. // ESPORTSNEXT 37 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT


Gina Johnson https://www.igameusa. com

Treasure Valley, Idaho

A 501(c)3 dedicated nonprofit that seeks to end bullying by using esports, and a custom video game curriculum for 6th-12th grade U.S.A. students.


Melany Hugo

Wherever you go, we’re here for you. Welcome to IHG Hotels & Resorts, with 19 hotel brands and over 6,000 hotels and resorts to choose from.


Ben Bruce Illinois

We are a non-profit that supports high schools esports in Illinois thought tournaments and student programs!


Dr. Amy Czyz Scottsdale, AZ

Drinks that keep you in sync.


John Emaneel, SVP, New Vertical Markets & Chicago GM Chicago, IL

InVision is a full-service engagement agency that moves audiences to action through experiential, design, digital, and campaigns. We cut through the noise, creating lasting impacts.




John Cash


Deandre Jones

Grand Rapids, MI

Equitable & Equal access and opportunity to all things gaming & esports! We bring access to underserved communities in poverty & all communities that have the capacity to have esports to build economic growth & opportunities.



Taneem Kabir

Forest Hills, NY

In a competitive Esports market, having the right legal mind on your side is crucial for protecting your interests. We have proudly served creators, streamers, and brand builders since 2021.




Brenna Schaaf Chicago, Illinois

Kidas develops AI-powered tools, including ProtectMe for PC games and a Discord bot, to protect gamers from online toxicity, cyberbullying, and predatory behavior.


Karen Todd

New York, NY

As an international health ingredients manufacturer and a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and food products, Kyowa is a pioneer

in the development and application of fermentation technology.



Justin M. Jacobson, Esq.

New York, NY

Law firm servicing professional esports players, coaches, casters, teams, brands, and video game developers, publishers, creators, influencers and businesses


Mike Ellsworth

Lake Orion, MI

Lightware extends signals between the source and display. Whether you are in an arena, studio, auditorium or event venue, Lightware extends from here to there.


David Landsberger https://www. Chicago, IL

Low Kick Esports is an events & broadcasting solutions partner with a focus on the Fighting Game Community (FGC).



Marc Almanzor malmanzor@ Clifton, NJ

We help develop fundraising strategies for nonprofits to engage video game communities.


Dylan Does Marshalltown, IA

We are a 5-star accredited chamber of commerce.

Our association of businesses, organizations, and individuals has 120year history of working to improve the quality of life and promote the economic well-being of our community.


Melinda Garritano mgarritano@ Schaumburg, IL and 7 surrounding communities

Located on the edge of Chicago and in the middle of everything. Bring your new esports tournament and earn money off your master bill.


Aka My Favorite Company Taylor Douvikas

We believe that gaming should be comfortable. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating the perfect setup. One that’s made in the U.S.


Kelly Chiew games/index.html


Sandra Richards sandra.richards@ New York, NY

At Morgan Stanley, we put clients first, focusing on their success and remaining committed to helping them reach their financial goals.



Claire LaBeaux Atlanta, GA

NASEF provides opportunities for youth to


Revolutionizing Gaming Comfort

My Favorite Company™ Brings Innovation to Esports Furniture

Tyler Thompson on Enhancing Performance and Comfort with Cutting-Edge Designs and Sustainable Solutions

In the competitive world of esports, comfort and performance go hand in hand. My Favorite Company™ (MFC), an American design and manufacturing firm, is at the forefront of this revolution. Dedicated to creating innovative, high-quality furniture for gamers, MFC collaborates with diverse partners to provide sustainable, locally sourced solutions. We spoke with Tyler Thompson, CEO and Co-Founder of MFC, about their mission to enhance esports performance through innovative design and technology.

What are some of the innovative technologies your company has introduced to the esports industry?

At My Favorite Company™, we’ve launched key innovations to enhance gamer comfort and functionality.

Our FENIX Innovative Surface by Formica minimizes glare, reduces eye strain, offers a soft-touch feel, is antifingerprint, and heals micro scratches for a pristine look. Our desks feature a urethane curved edge for comfort and a cockpit design that immerses players, boosting performance. Molded corners and an elongated center at the back ensure seamless cable management, keeping spaces clutter-free. These innovations showcase our dedication to providing high-quality, cutting-edge furniture solutions tailored to the esports community’s needs.

How do you ensure your products meet the evolving needs of the esports industry?

At MFC, we ensure our products meet the evolving needs of the esports industry through constant innovation and collaboration. By partnering with professional gamers and industry experts, we design products that enhance performance and comfort. Customer feedback is integral to our product development process. Our dedicated research and development team explores new materials, technologies, and design methodologies, rigorously testing each product through multiple prototypes to guarantee the highest standards of durability, functionality, and user experience. This proactive approach keeps us ahead of the curve, delivering top-notch solutions tailored to the esports community.

What are the key benefits of your membership, particularly in terms of innovation and industry collaboration?

Membership in the Esports Trade Association has been instrumental in our growth and innovation. It provides us with invaluable access to workshops with top brands and networking opportunities with industry leaders. These interactions offer deep insights into the latest trends and needs in the esports industry. For example, last year, we learned from Coca-Cola and formed key partnerships that have significantly helped build our brand. We’re particularly excited about the EsportsNext event this year, anticipating even more opportunities to collaborate and innovate within the esports community. // ESPORTSNEXT 39 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

use esports as a platform to develop STEAM-based skills and social-emotional attributes to thrive in work and life.


Dana Green Bradenton, FL

Native Frame is a stateof-the-art provider of livestreaming software and infrastructure specializing in video ingest, transcoding, user generated content, real-time communication, and live streaming at scale

NICHOLAS ANCELIN sempergumbi Carbondale, CO

Passion for gaming and the world of esports.


Nik Turner Hampshire, England

With over two decades in training, education and esports, ntesports is a consultancy firm helping the world of esports and education unite for successful outcomes, from teaching to facilities.



Felipe Formiga lp/e-sports 1 Icon, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

Join a community that’s breaking the rules of the game. Prizm Gaming™ 2.0 Lens Technology brings enhanced comfort and sharper vision to every gaming experience, so you never have to stop.



Han Park Van Nuys, CA

Our payments platform allow esports organizations to pay out prize money and contractor payments effortlessly and compliantly to 180+ countries in convenient, fast payout options.


Eric Gavin Woodridge, IL

We create activations, exhibits, environments and events—wherever brands have an opportunity to connect with their audience live, we’re there. We create, champion, and build big ideas that make real, lasting impressions.


Phillip McCarty in/phillipkmccarty/ Arlington, TX

Lead development of ELB Education’s Esports K12 initiative in the design and integration of tech, furniture and programing as a complete esports solution.


Elijah E Davis, MBA Fort Worth, TX

Platinum915 creates fun, spiritually-themed Hempderived CBD and Non-CBD Wellness products. Mental health is vital to gamers and our products promote sleep, focus, and relaxation!


Mackenzie Kaiser Austin, TX


Jill M. Williamson

Morristown, NJ

Porzio's attorneys provide practical, efficient, and value-driven solutions to emerging technology companies that are tailored to their specific needs.


Jeffrey Gayduk

Willowbrook, IL

PTM connects the travel industry through publishing and marketing, such as sports with our Sports Planning Guide and leisure with Leisure Group Travel.


Adam Boothe

Atlanta, GA

PrizePicks is the Largest Daily Sports Fantasy Operator in North America and the most exciting way to play daily fantasy Esports. PrizePicks offers the widest variety of esports options on the market!



Rebecca Chambers

Ottawa ON, Canada

Obtain credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, youth who join can take one or more courses while continuing to be part of their home schools or homeschooling programs.


David Cook simracerdavid@

St. Johns, FL

The world’s first e2Real™ sports league. The racing league has been built to make motorsports more accessible using esports as the pathway to racing cars on real tracks.


Rita A McGarry ritamcgarry@

Chicago, Illinois

A WBENC-certified WBE, a woman-owned small business with over 40 years of experience. Proactive problem solvers working directly with paper converters/manufacturers, we customize shipping orders efficiently and with professionalism.


Thomas Renedo Jr.


Andreas Imhof Switzerland Rush Entertainment AG has developed The Esports Software - Manage all your esports related activities with ease within one simple platform.


Darius C. Gambino Philadelphia, PA

We are a full-service, national law firm with approximately 375 attorneys and a team of top-notch business professionals, all working together to deliver practical, proactive advice and excellent client service.


Randy Tritz, CTS-D Chicago, IL and 9 offices nationally, 15 offices


Independent Acoustics, AV, IT, Security design consulting and planning for places we play and work.


Empowering Esports with Financial Expertise

The Importance of Financial Services in the Esports Industry

Philip Smart of Withum Talks About Tailoring Financial Services to Meet the Needs of the Esports Industry

Esports is booming, and as the industry grows, so does the need for sophisticated financial services. Withum is at the forefront of this transformation. Led by passionate gamers turned financial experts, Withum is uniquely positioned to support the dynamic needs of esports professionals and organizations. Philip Smart, Tax Senior Manager, shares insights into Withum’s strategic approach and exciting plans for the future.

How did your financial institution become involved in the esports industry?

Several individuals within our firm have been passionate gamers for years. Recognizing the esports industry’s unique financial needs, which often go unmet, we saw an opportunity to bring our expertise to this vibrant community. Our goal is to support esports organizations and professionals with tailored financial services.

How do you believe financial institutions can contribute to the overall well-being of esports professionals and fans?

Financial institutions are essential to the esports ecosystem by ensuring financial health and operational efficiency. At Withum, we offer a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the needs of esports professionals and organizations:

• Player Care and Financial Well-being: Supporting players

with financial planning and management.

• Day-to-Day Financial Maintenance: Managing daily financial operations seamlessly. Accounting Compliance: Handling financial statements, tax returns, and other regulatory requirements.

Beyond these core services, we also offer specialized solutions such as IT infrastructure, valuations, tax planning, and business start-up support. By addressing these critical areas, we enable esports professionals to focus on their growth and performance, fostering a healthy and thriving esports community.

What exciting developments or innovations can we expect from your institution in the coming year?

Withum is heavily investing in artificial intelligence to automate our processes and improve efficiency. This technological advancement will

enable our teams to concentrate on value-added activities for our clients, ensuring we stay at the forefront of financial innovation.

What are the key benefits of your membership, particularly in terms of innovation and industry collaboration?

Through our membership with the Esports Trade Association, we hope to achieve several key objectives. First, we aim to increase our brand awareness within the esports industry, allowing us to connect with and support more organizations and professionals. We are also eager to collaborate with industry leaders, sharing our expertise and learning from others to drive innovation. Additionally, we look forward to building strong relationships that will enable us to contribute meaningfully to the growth and success of the esports community // ESPORTSNEXT 41 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT


Amy Troxell

Somerset, NJ

SHI connects you with solutions, services, and support to simplify business challenges. Our experts will help you select, deploy, and manage the right solutions to get the most value from technology investments.


Yanlin Chen


Zac Tepe

St. Paul, Minnesota

Full-scale, best-in-class event production & design with splash, style, and substance. Over 100 years of esports & corporate event experience.


Jeffrey Siebert

Arlington TX

Six Flags has 27 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada with world-class coasters, family rides, and recently added ESIX, an esports gaming arena now open at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.


Vijay Koduri


Tammy Dunn

Everett, WA

We are a sports destination management organization who works to make Snohomish County a premier destination for sports including the Esports community.


Nicolas Abele

Boston, MA

Fastest and highest quality voice chat communication App, for competitive and casual gamers


Rish abh Bhansali


Mykiah Bonhom mbonhom@ https://www. Maryland

Spectrum is a leading furniture manufacturer within the esports space. We have supplied hundreds of K-12 schools and colleges with the necessary esports furniture to start or enhance their programs.


Maya Weber Montclair, NJ

Spheros is a reusable identity platform focused on secure, efficient, and compliant real-time data sharing for businesses.


Katharine M. Nohr Virginia and Hawaii Sports Futurists helps esports organizations create their ideal futures with strategic long-range planning. We do keynote speeches, presentations and conduct workshops that envision the future, spark imagination and inspire action


Melissa Munson Woodlands, TX

We are a U.S. law firm with core strengths in energy, labor & employment, litigation, and transactional law.


Dr. Noel Criscione-Naylor esports-management.html Atlantic City, NJ At Stockton University, we offer a BS in Esports Management program that builds transferable skills necessary to fill the Esports ecosystem talent pipeline.


James O’Hagan United States

The Academy of Esports is a podcast and consulting group in the field of gaming and education operated by Founder and CEO James O’Hagan.


Lavell Juan


Rachel Chahal

Atlanta, GA

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories.


Marc Rosenberg Deerfield, IL

Your Personalized Ergonomic Workspace-Give Your Body The Support it Needs Offering unparalleled adjustability and comfort that will revolutionize office chairs and setups for a healthier future.


Katharine Nohr Kaneohe, HI

The Law Offices of Katharine M. Nohr, LLC assists esports

businesses with business issues, litigation, and resolving disputes. We also assist with risk management and insurance issues/referrals and drafting liability waivers.


Charles Conroy applications/esports/


Hilal Kanafani

London, United Kingdom

We provide high-quality hand crafted gaming pillows that work to ease shoulder and neck pain. They are aimed at those who suffer from discomfort while gaming.


Rebecca Dixon New York City

The*gamehers is the largest community of women video gamers in the world. The GO-TO place for women in gaming.


Kurt Johnson

Carlsbad, CA

We have developed high quality, value-driven headphones and headsets that not only provide superior user experience, but also withstand the rigors of daily use by not only students, but adults and professionals.


Thaddeus Blenke thaddeusblenke

St. Louis, MO

Intellectual Property Attorney


John Furjanic


Securing the Future of Esports

Access One’s Innovative Approach to Technology and Cybersecurity

Mike Giampaolo on Providing Cutting-Edge Solutions to Keep the Esports Industry Safe



As esports continues to surge in popularity, the demand for robust technology solutions and cybersecurity measures has never been higher. Access One, a business technology services and communications provider, has been at the forefront of this movement, offering world-class technologies and an award-winning client experience. Founded in 1993, Access One is dedicated to helping gaming and esports companies scale and evolve seamlessly. We spoke with Mike Giampaolo, Vice President of Sales at Access One, to learn more about their role in the esports ecosystem and their commitment to innovation and security.

What are some of the innovative technologies your company has introduced to the esports industry?

In the ever-changing cyber threat landscape, Access One stays ahead of the curve to protect the gaming industry. Our IT security services include security monitoring, risk management, threat intelligence, and cybersecurity consulting services, ensuring that our clients are safeguarded against debilitating attacks.

How do you ensure your products meet the evolving needs of the esports industry?

We prioritize building strong relationships and meeting clients where they are today. As esports grows at an unprecedented rate, we’ve been instrumental in helping companies of all sizes adapt to this growth. Our services extend beyond traditional IT, encompassing managed IT,

cybersecurity, custom cloud services, and voice and data technology.

What recent technological advancement are you most excited about, and how will it change the esports landscape?

Our focus on cutting-edge cybersecurity measures is particularly exciting. With the rise of cyber threats, our advanced security solutions are critical for protecting the integrity and success of esports organizations. These innovations will help ensure a secure and stable environment for all stakeholders in the esports community.

What are the key benefits of your membership, particularly in terms of innovation and industry collaboration?

While we are new to the esports industry, we are not new to sports. We are an official partner of the Chicago

Blackhawks and serve over 14,000 customers who rely on us to stay ahead of emerging technology and business trends.

We are excited to connect with other members of the Esports Trade Association to build longterm relationships and support the association’s mission, particularly in cybersecurity and managed IT support. Our enterprise membership offers year-round marketing and engagement opportunities, fostering long-term relationships and maintaining our presence within the esports community. We look forward to providing learning opportunities and unique promotions to ESTA members, demonstrating our commitment to adding value to the esports industry. // ESPORTSNEXT 43 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT


Joshua Munoz Phoenix, Arizona

Xtreme: Your one-stop shop for esports teams and clubs. PCs, laptops, gaming accessories, furniture, and more. Simplified procurement with federal contracts. Gear up for victory.


Jordan Trabue



Titus Walker https:// ultimateendgamersleague. com/


Matt Jackson

Greater St. Louis, MO

UGC provides esports infrastructure including technology, content creation, broadcasting, tournament operations and live events. UGC’s partners include Microsoft, Caesars Entertainment, Riot and more.


Christopher Bernal cbernal00 Merced, CA


Heath Price


Elizabeth Layton


Vanessa Kenon techsolutions/students/ Bold-Careers/



Kevin Vela

Dallas, Texas

We are a boutique corporate law firm with a local feel and a global impact. We practice gaming law and provide a full suite of services with a flexible billing model that focuses on relationships, not time, we seek to enable our clients to fulfill their personal and professional goals.


Pablo Velez

New York, NY

Velez & Cipriano, PLLC is a boutique law firm practicing in the areas of Immigration and Naturalization, Business, and Insurance Law.


Len Wanger Chicago, IL Family entertainment center with esports.


Brett Diamond Eagan, MN

Version1 is a multi-property esports and gaming entertainment organization. Our teams include Minnesota Røkkr in the Call of Duty League, Version1 in Rocket League and Version1 in VALORANT.


Ro Zalewski W


Beth Tancredi Chunn

WILLIAM SAVARESE william-lawrences Dallas, TX

Creative Producing the Next Platforms for Teams and Brands WITHUM

Vince Giardino Orlando, Florida Withum understands that rapid growth can create new, rapidly occurring challenges. Adding Withum’s accounting and advisory experts to your team means we’ll address these issues together to elevate your game.


jbilanzic@ https://


Duane P Pierre

New Britain CT World Wide Youth Networks uses Esports to create safe digital spaces for youth to feel empowered, advocate for digital equity and receive a quality education.


Ellie Feitlinger https://www.wrapbook. com/



Leslie Bender Jutzi


David Oluwole


Ryan Champ ryan.champ@ https://www.

Join the international trade association for esports business leaders by becoming a member today!

Membership helps you stay at the forefront of the latest industry news, trends, and technology. From ambitious beginners to seasoned pros, we have what you need to help you grow and advance your career.


Next-Gen Gamers

UTSA’s Power Move in Esports Education

Dr. Vanessa Hammler Kenon on Building Esports Education and Community Engagement at UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is making strides in the field of esports education under the leadership of Dr. Vanessa Hammler Kenon. With a focus on technology compliance, community engagement, and experiential learning, UTSA is preparing students for careers in the rapidly growing esports industry. Dr. Kenon shares insights into her role, the development of the esports program, and the institution’s vision for the future.

Could you introduce yourself and describe how you became involved with esports education?

I’m Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., Associate Vice President of Technology Compliance and Community Engagement at UTSA. I coordinate the Tech Solutions department’s audit, compliance, and risk services and serve as a liaison for internal and external community outreach. Most importantly, I direct the department’s UTS Bold Careers Student Ambassador and Internship Program, where we work with UTSA’s Roadrunner Gaming.

My involvement with esports began when the Roadrunner Gaming Esports group needed an advisor with experience in technology compliance and community engagement. Initially stepping in as a temporary advisor, I continued supporting their efforts through our UTS Bold Careers program, providing technology and community partnership assistance.

Tell us about your institution’s esports program.

We have a robust student and alumni organization for esports at UTSA, which we are working to formalize as a University Sponsored Organization. Currently, we offer two esports courses and are collaborating with faculty and external partners to expand these offerings. Our most popular initiative involves the Six Flags and Coca-Cola ESIX arena, where students engage in expanding and developing skills in esports event management, foster community partnerships, host and participate in tournaments, and work to support the operations of the arena.

How do you measure success in esports education?

Success in esports education at UTSA is measured by linking real-life experiential learning opportunities with internships and mentorships. Our primary objective is to provide students with hands-on experience in the esports field, preparing them for future

careers. We also aim to expand our curriculum to cover more aspects of the esports industry.

What inspired the development of your esports program?

Our program was inspired by partnerships with Dell Technologies, Weaver Technologies, Rackspace Technology, Six Flags, local school districts, and XP League. These collaborations encouraged us to expand and develop our esports offerings further.

Why did you join ESTA?

As new members, we are excited to explore the benefits of our membership in terms of curriculum development and industry networking. UTSA is continuing its work on developing initiatives related to esports in the academic area. We look forward to discovering new opportunities and forming valuable connections through ESTA. // ESPORTSNEXT 45 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

The Next Level Awaits

In the hyper-dynamic realm of esports, knowledge isn't just power— it's propulsion. As a member of the Esports Trade Association (ESTA), you're plugged into the pulse of this rapidly evolving industry. It’s crucial to stay ahead, and here at ESTA, that’s exactly where we aim to keep you.

ESTA isn’t just an organization; it’s a hub of innovation, a think tank, and a battleground where the future of esports is not only discussed but also designed. Our suite of offerings—from the riveting insights at EsportsNext Conference to our deep-dive podcasts and the essential reads in our monthly newsletters—caters to the intellectually curious and fiercely ambitious esports aficionado.

With an ESTA membership, you’ve secured a front-row seat to groundbreaking insights through EsportsNext Magazine, and you're tapped into the vibrant dialogue of our EsportsNext Podcast. These are more than just resources; they are your toolkit for thought leadership and a window to the wider world of esports intelligence.

Being part of ESTA isn’t about passive membership; it's about active engagement. It’s about contributing to and benefiting from a collective that’s shaping the future of the game. Whether you're networking with thought leaders, participating in critical industry discussions, or leveraging our comprehensive resources, your involvement is what propels this community—and the entire industry—forward.

This year, let’s not just participate in the esports revolution; let’s drive it. Use every event, every piece of content and every connection through ESTA to refine your strategy, expand your influence and push the boundaries of what you can achieve in the esports arena.

Together, we’re not just observing the future of esports; we're building it.

Stay connected. Stay informed. Stay ahead.



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