One of the perks of working in the technology world is that we get to watch entire industries grow from the ground up, often in just a few years.
And that’s exactly what’s happening right now with esports. Fans are packing into sold-out arenas (that even pro sports teams can’t always fill) to see their favorite games be played, and teams are winning millions of dollars per tournament.
We’re stoked to have three major players in this game speak on Esports at Disrupt SF.
Of course all this money and engagement means that people are starting to notice. And perhaps no one is watching closer than the traditional sports industry. Multiple teams from the NHL, MLB, and NBA have already acquired their own esports team, and broadcasting companies are rushing to push out content for fans to watch.
So before it gets any bigger, we’ve created a panel with three experts from the industry to tell you everything you need to about esports.
Just like in traditional sports, a good team is the backbone of any esports league. So we’re bringing in Heather Garozzo, a former competitive Counter Strike player and current Director of Fan Marketing for Team Dignitas, which is an esports team owned by the Philadelphia 76ers. Heather will tell us all about the fan experience, and of course the pros and cons of running a sports team that is owned by a professional basketball team.
Next we’ll talk to Craig Barry, the EVP and Chief Content Officer for Turner Sports, the division of Turner responsible for all sports broadcasting and home of ELEAGUE, a joint-venture between Turner and IMG which hosts tournaments and creates content around games like Counter Strike, Overwatch, Dota 2 and more. Television rights and advertising dollars are the most important part of any sports league, and Craig is going to tell us how Turner is breaking into the esports world.
Lastly, for the industry to grow it’s going to need funding…and a lot of it. So who better to talk to than an investor who not only invests in the esports industry, but also has ownership experience in traditional sports. Stratton Sclavos is a partner at Vision Venture Partners and the CEO of VeriSign, a post he held for 12 years. He’ll tell us where his fund is putting their money, which should give us a hint at where the esports industry is going next.
We’ll discuss all this and more on stage at TC Disrupt SF. You can still buy tickets here.Featured Image: Mark J. Terrill/AP