Program

2020 PROGRAM

This year’s digital EBS experience will have even more of your favorite content—including sessions, keynotes, networking activities, entertainment, charity tournaments, the annual Tempest Awards Gala and more. We’ll be updating the program in real-time, so be sure to check back for updates!

Tuesday | October 27

  • Collegiate, High School and Amateur Sports, presented by Intersport
    While traditional sports shut down in a post-pandemic environment, esports rolled with the punches and is emerging from the haze in a stronger position than ever before in the academic and amateur playing fields. Now EBS, in partnership with Intersport, delivers some of the biggest speakers who have emerged in this environment, with discussions, speakers and sessions that range from funding esports programs to the HBCU's new deals in the space to the newest trends emerging from the past year. We'll hear from leaders from major collegiate conferences, league executives, school officials and far more as we go deep into the grassroots ecosystem and continue to build a stronger community.
  • The “next big thing” in sports activations is all grown up and has quickly become a seasoned sports sponsorship platform. Now in its third year, our annual “102” workshop gives up-and-coming esports marketers, or those who might be seasoned in other areas but new to this industry, the strategic tools and insights they need to jump into the deep end in esports—fast. In this rapid-fire afternoon master class presented by a faculty of brand practitioners and esports experts, we’ll get you up to speed on the unique nuances of the esports universe: what it is, who participates, which brands are involved and what you need to know to engage this massive (and growing) audience of esports fanatics—both online and in the real world. Attendees will get:

    + Context: Inside the rise of esports and its role in the 2021 marketing mix
    + Ideas: Exclusive overviews of sponsorship and engagement strategies fans and players love
    + Best Practices: What successful brands are doing in esports—and how you can do it, too
    + The Ecosystem: Who does what and how is it changing in a post-COVID world
    + Trends: The top trends impacting the industry in 2021
    + Candid Advice: “Anything goes” questions answered by industry experts
  • Lifestyle elements from the esports community and its celebrity influencers continue to emerge as one of the biggest success stories from the new media dynamic. Merch drops, celebrity designers and continued mainstream clothing deals made some of the biggest headlines in 2020. Now, EBS is proud to deliver our own Licensing Show for the new gaming dynamic, with esports teams and influencers selling out inventory at a record pace. We'll bring in team leaders, global brands, up and coming designers, distribution companies and more to break down how this side of the industry is rapidly evolving and what teams, brands, personalities and more need to know now in order to avoid some of the early pitfalls seen in recent years.
  • New opportunities, new commitments and a year that saw a community stand up and report a slew of misconduct and harrassment has put the challenges and opportunities for women in esports squarely in the spotlight. This year, we celebrate the critical roles of women who have shaped our community and discuss how this year's revelations and promises will (or won't) impact the road ahead, share stories with our peers and build a stronger foundation for future women of esports.
  • COOKING DEMONSTRATION BY JULIA COLLINS OF AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN
    JULIA COLLIN DAVISON IS AN EXECUTIVE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR FOR AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN. SHE IS ALSO THE CO-HOST OF AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN AND COOK’S COUNTRY AND IS AN ORIGINAL CAST MEMBER OF BOTH SHOWS, WHICH ARE TWO OF THE HIGHEST-RATED INSTRUCTIONAL COOKING SHOWS ON TELEVISION. JULIA BEGAN WORKING AS A TEST COOK FOR COOK’S ILLUSTRATED IN 1999 AND LED RECIPE DEVELOPMENT FOR AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN COOKBOOKS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. JULIA IS A REGULAR GUEST ON THE DR. OZ SHOW, HALLMARK CHANNEL’S HOME & FAMILY, AND QVC AND HAS APPEARED ON FOX & FRIENDS, THE TAMRON HALL SHOW, AND TODAY. SHE GRADUATED FROM THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA IN 1996. SHE RECEIVED AN AUGIE AWARD FROM THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA AND WAS INDUCTED INTO THE PRESTIGIOUS DISCIPLES D'ESCOFFIER CULINARY SOCIETY IN 2018.
    • Julia Collin Davison
      Executive Editorial Director
      America's Test Kitchen
  • Collegiate, High School and Amateur Sports, presented by Intersport
    While traditional sports shut down in a post-pandemic environment, esports rolled with the punches and is emerging from the haze in a stronger position than ever before in the academic and amateur playing fields. Now EBS, in partnership with Intersport, delivers some of the biggest speakers who have emerged in this environment, with discussions, speakers and sessions that range from funding esports programs to the HBCU's new deals in the space to the newest trends emerging from the past year. We'll hear from leaders from major collegiate conferences, league executives, school officials and far more as we go deep into the grassroots ecosystem and continue to build a stronger community.
  • The “next big thing” in sports activations is all grown up and has quickly become a seasoned sports sponsorship platform. Now in its third year, our annual “102” workshop gives up-and-coming esports marketers, or those who might be seasoned in other areas but new to this industry, the strategic tools and insights they need to jump into the deep end in esports—fast. In this rapid-fire afternoon master class presented by a faculty of brand practitioners and esports experts, we’ll get you up to speed on the unique nuances of the esports universe: what it is, who participates, which brands are involved and what you need to know to engage this massive (and growing) audience of esports fanatics—both online and in the real world. Attendees will get:

    + Context: Inside the rise of esports and its role in the 2021 marketing mix
    + Ideas: Exclusive overviews of sponsorship and engagement strategies fans and players love
    + Best Practices: What successful brands are doing in esports—and how you can do it, too
    + The Ecosystem: Who does what and how is it changing in a post-COVID world
    + Trends: The top trends impacting the industry in 2021
    + Candid Advice: “Anything goes” questions answered by industry experts
  • Lifestyle elements from the esports community and its celebrity influencers continue to emerge as one of the biggest success stories from the new media dynamic. Merch drops, celebrity designers and continued mainstream clothing deals made some of the biggest headlines in 2020. Now, EBS is proud to deliver our own Licensing Show for the new gaming dynamic, with esports teams and influencers selling out inventory at a record pace. We'll bring in team leaders, global brands, up and coming designers, distribution companies and more to break down how this side of the industry is rapidly evolving and what teams, brands, personalities and more need to know now in order to avoid some of the early pitfalls seen in recent years.
  • New opportunities, new commitments and a year that saw a community stand up and report a slew of misconduct and harrassment has put the challenges and opportunities for women in esports squarely in the spotlight. This year, we celebrate the critical roles of women who have shaped our community and discuss how this year's revelations and promises will (or won't) impact the road ahead, share stories with our peers and build a stronger foundation for future women of esports.
    • Walker Jacobs
      Chief Revenue Officer
      Twitch

Wednesday | October 28

  • Barry and Sitrin will discuss how their perspectives on the evolution of esports and break down how they ideated, launched and executed several content and live event partnerships between ELEAGUE and EA – including three FIFA major championships (two in the U.S. and one abroad), multiple premium television series and most recently, a unique content distribution alignment surrounding hit reality competition show The Sims Spark’d.
    · Barry will discuss how ELEAGUE has been able to leverage its unique production, content and live event hosting capabilities to drive massive fan engagement with young, diverse audiences.
    · Sitrin breaks down EA’s expanded definition of “esports”, touching on the growth of the FIFA competitive sphere and growing interest surrounding The Sims franchise, as well as why ELEAGUE continues to be the perfect partner to help generate meaningful premium content extensions for its massively popular game titles.
    • Craig Barry
      Executive Vice President/Chief Content Officer
      ELEAGUE/Turner Sports
    • Todd Sitrin
      General Manager, Competitive Gaming Division
      Electronic Arts
  • With a direct connection to a passionate ecosystem that will step up for social causes and charities, non-profits are discovering unprecendented new ways to drive awareness and raise funds through gaming, esports and influencers. What can brands learn from these organizations and their tactics and how can they best get involved with these causes? Leaders from multiple charities deeply involved in the gaming space will share their stories about working with influencers, lay out best practices and break down the good and bad activations that they have experiences in addition to discussing what the industry can do to make charity a more involved and successful part of their content.
    • Lindsay Moreau
      Assistant Director, Partnerships
      The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
    • Zachary Whitten
      Director of Innovation, Gaming + Content Creator Development
      ST. Jude Children's Research Hospital Inc
    • Zach Wigal
      Founder
      Gamers Outreach
  • Like any sports franchise, esports doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all demographic. This means opportunity for brands of all stripes looking for an “in” with this growing crowd. Listen in as some of the industry’s top non-endemic “early adopters” (all-new faces this year!) share their tips and best practices for translating non-endemic brand messages into brand experiences esports fans understand—and crave. Learn how brands are connecting the dots between their brand’s key attributes and what esports fans want. Get insights on striking deals and partnerships that will resonate with audiences. Walk away with a checklist of dos and don’ts you can apply to your first foray into esports.
    • Erin Millard
      Senior Brand Manager
      The Gillette Company / P&G
  • After a massive debut that saw its two-month beta testing period average of nearly 3 million players logging on each day to play Valorant, while fans clocked more than 470 million viewership hours, Riot Games will take center stage to discuss the path forward for the game's rapidly emerging esports scene. Be the first to hear about what the publisher has planned for the 5v5 character-based tactical shooter, what the takeaways werre from its early competitions and why fans and brands should expect big things ahead.
  • A revamped esports scene for Call of Duty paid dividends for Activision, as the franchised model came out swinging for its debut this year, lining up multi-city competitions before the pandemic forced all-online changes for the community. Now, hear from the Commissioner herself as she breaks down the opportunities and challenges that the league enountered in its first go-around, and learn more about the upcoming changes ahead as the league maps out year two.
    • Johanna Faries
      Commissioner of Call of Duty League
      Activision Blizzard Esports
  • Whether you’re tentatively “checking it out” or jumping into the deep end with all your marketing dollars in hand, we’ve got you covered with a first-person perspective on all the highs and lows of getting into esports. Get first-hand insights on where “newbie” brands should start and how to better understand and navigate the complexities of the esports ecosystem. Learn how to talk about, and champion, esports within your organization. Hear how esports is different than traditional sports and how to think about your marketing strategy with that in mind. Walk away armed with candid insights and tips on what top brands have learned in their first year in esports—and how you can better navigate your first year, too.
    • Scott Warfield
      Managing Director, Gaming
      Nascar
    • Sean Kiely
      Head of Gaming and Esports Sales
      FANDOM
  • With marketers looking to digital live events as a solution for COVID, esports and gaming are in a prime position to drive innovation and provide solutions for creative concepts, with digital scale and interactivity already inherent to the esports and gaming industry. However, live events ultimately cannot be replaced for esports fans, with major events being the zenith of fans’ engagement. As these tentpole finals and conventions continue to drive innovation and bring gaming communities together, the entire industry moves forward. In this panel, we will discuss how brands can bring experiential practices into digital activations in esports & gaming, trends that we’re seeing in digital events and gamification, and what the future of in-person experiential for esports will be.
    • Mr David Halas
      VP, Head of Brands and Esports
      Nielsen
  • Carefully laid out plans to compete across the country and even across the oceans in year three of Overwatch League were put in flux with the impact of COVID-19 forcing staff to shore up new technology, schedule and tactics to continue play. Entering its second year of its deal with YouTube, the league now looks forward to 2021, not to mention the eventual introduction of Overwatch 2, and we'll hear from Overwatch League Esports VP Jon Spector about the need for an overhaul as a result of the virus, what lessons were learned, what will carry over into year four and more.
    • Jon Spector
      Vice President, Overwatch Esports
      Blizzard Entertainment
  • ELEAGUE returns to the State of the Union lineup, with Jennifer Dill, Turner Sports VP of Esports set to address the company's evolving approach to gaming and esports, which has included new shows, partnerships and perspectives. The award-winning esports and gaming entertainment brand continues to spread its wings throughou the ecosystem, to produce some of the most-watched esports coverage across all platforms, while providing brand partners with unparalleled opportunities to connect with passionate, young audiences. From late-night shows to new ideas on the competitive gaming concept, don't miss this session to learn about what's ahead.
    • Jennifer Dill
      Vice President, esports
      Turner Sports
  • August saw Enthusiast Gaming Holdings, owners of Luminosity Gaming as well as the Call of Duty and Overwatch League franchises, Seattle Surge and Vancouver Titans, continue to beef up its presence significantly in the gaming industry, with the acquisition of Omnia Media in a move that created "the largest gaming media, esports and entertainment platform in North America by users, with 300 million video game and esports fans monthly," according to the company. Now, hear from the key figures in this deal discuss how the growing empire will leverage its new reach and why that will impact the entire gaming industry.
  • EBS welcomes ESL Co-CEO Craig Levine this year where he will break down the roadmap for the world’s longest-running professional league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and other ESL endeavors. Following 2020's historic Louvre Agreement, the Pro League is now jointly owned by 13 of the leading CS:GO teams and ESL, and heads into uncharted waters with an audience anxious for a return to live play. ESL continues to boast a slate of ground-breaking partnerships with brands and media outlets around the world, so be sure to catch Levine's take on the trends that are impacting tournament play and the ESL brand, and learn about how the league is plotting for a historic 2021.
    • Mr Craig Levine
      CO-CEO
      ESL
  • After wrapping up a historic season, NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue returns to EBS, offering his take on the disruption of the schedule and how that impacted the league and its goals, how the league is making in-roads internationally, how the league is bringing in new brands and partners and exposing the path ahead for the esport.
    • Brendan Donohue
      Managing Director
      NBA 2K League
    • Wim Stocks
      CEO
      WorldGaming & Collegiate Starleague
  • Rishi Chadha, Head of Gaming Content Partnerships at Twitter shares some of the company's insights and trends impacting the social spread and messaging for some of esports hottest events, teams and brands. Hear straight from the source what events surprised and made the most use of social noise, whose growth is outperforming their peers, and what is impacting conversations on the platform.
    • Rishi Chadha
      Head of Gaming Content Partnerships
      Twitter
  • Finding the “right” teams, players and leagues to align with your brand requires due diligence, but also a nuanced and highly collaborative approach that transcends basic brand placement and logo recognition. Learn how some of today’s most impactful esports partnerships have evolved to become in-depth programs that tell inspiring and aspirational stories that resonate with players and fans alike. Find out how—and why—some of the leading sponsors in esports are leading with storytelling in their campaigns. We’ll show real-world examples of winning campaigns and we’ll unpack what worked and how you can apply current best practices.
  • Learn firsthand how programmatic advertising - the process of automating the buying and selling of ad inventory in real-time through an automated bidding system - is changing the game for esports entities. Jeff Mayer, VP, Programmatic at Team SoloMid, breaks down the intricacies and benefits of this and will unveil the Blitz Private Marketplace. This session would discuss:
    For brands, the benefits programmatic can have for brands wanting to align in the esports space; the efficiency in spend and ability to test smaller budgets
    For publishers, a road map on how to monetize their users and properties
    For tech/developers, how programmatic ad solutions broaden reach and can be implemented on existing platforms.
    • Jeffrey Mayer
      Vice President, Programmatic
      TSM
  • The world of esports and gaming houses a vast and diverse group of talent. However, both endemically and non-endemically, pro competitive players, content creators, and streamers often get grouped into a single misleading title of "pro gamers" This causes confusion to an already fragmented marketplace as well as misevaluating the individual talent. Each category of talent brings slightly different types of audience, content, revenue streams, goals etc.
    • Darren Yan
      VP of Talent
      FaZe Clan
  • Hear from some of the world’s biggest brands activating in esports as they unpack the year’s most pressing topics and how they will impact the marketing and sponsorship landscape in the year ahead. Get high-level perspectives on where brand marketers can, and should, be focusing their budgets and their efforts in the year ahead. Go inside some of the busiest marketing portfolios on the planet for a behind-the-scenes look at the role esports is playing in generating fan love and brand loyalty—and how marketing executives see that role evolving over time.
    • Brad Hiranaga
      Chief Brand Officer, North America
      General Mills
  • Hear from both brands and sports leagues as they look at how they are adapting and changing their thinking between a traditional sports model and audience to an esports model and audience; what is easily relatable, what is completely different, and how are these brands and leagues turning it into a successful engagement of a new audience? Understand how your brand might be able to establish and grow within these early(ish) days of esports…
    • Zach Hahn
      Head of Global Sales
      Battlefy

Thursday | October 29

    • Ben Simmons
      All-Star
      NBA
    • Lee Trink
      CEO
      FaZe Clan
  • COOKING DEMONSTRATION BY JULIA COLLINS OF AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN
    JULIA COLLIN DAVISON IS AN EXECUTIVE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR FOR AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN. SHE IS ALSO THE CO-HOST OF AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN AND COOK’S COUNTRY AND IS AN ORIGINAL CAST MEMBER OF BOTH SHOWS, WHICH ARE TWO OF THE HIGHEST-RATED INSTRUCTIONAL COOKING SHOWS ON TELEVISION. JULIA BEGAN WORKING AS A TEST COOK FOR COOK’S ILLUSTRATED IN 1999 AND LED RECIPE DEVELOPMENT FOR AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN COOKBOOKS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. JULIA IS A REGULAR GUEST ON THE DR. OZ SHOW, HALLMARK CHANNEL’S HOME & FAMILY, AND QVC AND HAS APPEARED ON FOX & FRIENDS, THE TAMRON HALL SHOW, AND TODAY. SHE GRADUATED FROM THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA IN 1996. SHE RECEIVED AN AUGIE AWARD FROM THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA AND WAS INDUCTED INTO THE PRESTIGIOUS DISCIPLES D'ESCOFFIER CULINARY SOCIETY IN 2018.
    • Julia Collin Davison
      Executive Editorial Director
      America's Test Kitchen
  • One of esports' most active and passionate fanbases took a hit in 2020 as the fighting game circuit took a hit from both COVID-19 cancellations as well as a flurry of accusations that brought down competitor, talent and executive alike. What will happen to the industry if there is another year of cancellations? How will the community be able to rally? What do brands need to know as potential partners? This session will explore the ramifications of a brutal 2020 and what needs to happen in order for the Fighting Game Community to emerge stronger than ever.
    • Alex Jebailey
      Founder/CEO of CEO Gaming and FGC Director
      DreamHack
  • Finding the “right” teams, players and leagues to align with your brand requires due diligence, but also a nuanced and highly collaborative approach that transcends basic brand placement and logo recognition. Learn how some of today’s most impactful esports partnerships have evolved to become in-depth programs that tell inspiring and aspirational stories that resonate with players and fans alike. Find out how—and why—some of the leading sponsors in esports are leading with storytelling in their campaigns. We’ll show real-world examples of winning campaigns and we’ll unpack what worked and how you can apply current best practices.
    • Miranda Prins
      VP
      Pringles
    • Evan Denbaum
      Senior Director & Competitive Gaming Commissioner
      Electronic Arts (EA)
  • Topics
    • Quick player background
    • Journey to the 2K League
    • Day in the life of a 2K League player
    • Season 3 of the 2KL (playing remotely)
    • Working with organization and league to build personal brand
    • What it is like being part of a professional sports league
    • Jeff Eisenband
      NBA 2K League
  • COVID-19 will impact the way esports events and activations look in the year ahead, but it’s not the only trend impacting the marketing landscape. Listen in as an expert panel offers its predictions on how players will play in 2012, how fans with engage and how brands will need to adjust and pivot to keep pace. Get a comprehensive look at where the smartest activation opportunities will lie, and where you can think creatively to carve out new ones. Learn when it makes sense to create your own esports event and how to do that in a socially-distanced world. Walk away inspired and educated on the kinds of activations that will make connections and move the needle for endemic and non-endemic brands alike.
    • Mike Milanov
      CBDO
      Team Liquid
    • Mark Vela
      VP of Strategy
      aXiomatic Gaming
  • This panel will feature the team of WME agents responsible for closing the largest deals ever at both YouTube and Twitch and representing the biggest gaming names, including Jacksepticeye, Markiplier, Preston and Jericho. These experts will explain how the unique intersection of digital native talent, traditional talent crossing into gaming and traditional brand consultancy work enables them to develop strategies on behalf of major media companies, particularly notable as Fortune 100 media players enter the space.

    What three questions will the session aim to answer:
    o How to take a 360-degree approach to gamer and gaming influencer representation
    o How to stand out in the gamer consultancy marketplace
    o Best practices for businesses looking to either develop a gamer representation business or significantly advance their existing gaming business channel
    • Conor Beesemyer
      Digital Media Agent
      WME
    • David Huntzinger
      Digital Media Agent
      WME
    • Shibby Webb
      Digital Media Agent
      WME
  • Five-time world Counter-Strike champion Stephanie Harvey breaks down Counter-Logic Gaming’s multiple moves to grow its roots in diversity, showcasing the strategies and lessons learned from investing in diversity and why it matters, even if you get little to no money back into the venture.
    • Stephanie Harvey
      Director of Esports Franchise Development and Outreach
      CLG
  • Franchising or qualifiers? What are fair free agent rules? Which team's branding makes others jealous? Don't miss our returning closing session, "The Congress of Team CEOs" as leaders from some of the hottest esports organizations gather to discuss and debate some of the burning questions facing teams today. This supersized experience breaks down where outfits are seeing revenue success, what brands need to know to effectively work with a squad, how the pandemic created unprecedented challenges, dealing with investors and their expectations, and how models will evolve moving forward.
    • Lori Burgess
      COO
      BeasleyXP Esports
    • Nicolas Maurer
      CEO
      Team Vitality
    • John Robinson
      President and COO
      100 Thieves
    • Wouter Sleijffers
      CEO
      Excel Esports
    • Ben Spoont
      Founder and CEO
      Misfits Gaming and Florida Mayhem
    • Frank Villarreal
      Co-Founder and CEO
      Rogue

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