ESPORTS AUSTRALIA SUMMIT 2020
The Esports Australia Summit 2020 brings together industry leaders and stakeholders to focus discussion on the Australian esports industry. 2020 has been an interesting year for all, with esports enjoying explosive interest and growth.
Join the Australian Esports Association (AESA) and esteemed panelists as we discuss the major movements our industry has experience over 2020, esports during lockdown, crossovers with traditional sporting groups, developing infrastructure and major investment announcements, grassroots programs, accessibility, participation and education.
Register now for free via Eventbrite, tickets are unlimited, we look forward to seeing you online from 12:45pm AEDT on December 2nd, 2020.
Synopsis: Oceanic Esports have been on a tumultuous journey. In 2020 alone we saw major commercial leagues emerge and fold in the region, while state-backed esports hubs and events rose in long-term investment investment in the millions. More than ever, families have increased their esports awareness through mainstream youth involvement which moves across devices, into the lounge room, the schoolyard, and online through organized play in local leagues and international events. Year-over-year, esports continue to rise as an everyday recreational and organised competitive activity in the Oceanic region. This panel asks What does a more sustainable esports landscape, and local pipelines towards participation, look like from an Oceanic point of view?
Natalie is the Project Manager responsible for the delivery and development of the UniSport Australia National competition framework. With over 13 years’ experience in the university sport and major events sectors, her involvement spans the development of university sport at a club level in UK universities, managing the delivery of the annual UniSport Nationals Div 1 and Div 2 multi-sport event, to delivery roles within both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
Over her four years at UniSport, Natalie has been integral to driving the transition of Australian university competitions to a new Nationals format and continues to develop more ways to engage university students in competitive national sport.
2020 saw UniSport build their esports offering within the sector with the trial delivery of the UniSport Australia Esports Championships (UAEC) in partnership with the Australian Esports League (AEL), a concept that UniSport hope will be a step closer towards helping to build a sustainable university esport ecosystem in Australia.
John is a 20-year veteran of the events and broadcasting industry and has developed programming for free-to-air, cable, pay-per-view, OTT, and online platforms. In 2015, VADR Media launched letsplay.live as part of its media portfolio and grew it into Australia and New Zealand’s largest independent esports broadcaster and provider. In 2018, he was named by New Zealand Marketing Magazine as the Media Visionary of the Year. John is a strong advocate for the esports industry and serves as Vice President of the New Zealand Esports Federation as it’s founding member and on the Oceania Esports Council. He is committed to providing opportunities for gamers from casual to pro and has promoted more than 200 linear and online esports broadcasts.
Working with the largest talent and brands in the gaming industry globally, Nicole Constantine is an incredibly experienced Talent Manager having managed a portfolio of over 1.2 billion+ views per month in her role as a Senior Talent Manager at Click Management. Utilising her experience in YouTube networking, influencer marketing and esports – Nicole, in addition to her work with gaming superstar MrFreshAsian, leads Empress Gaming – a female-focused esports and gaming collective.
Jason is a brand strategist, marketer, product manager and community architect, with experience across game, esports and technology sectors. He currently serves as General Manager – North America & APJ for Heaven Media, while retaining the position as Creative Director for Arcanist, a dedicated gaming agency in New Zealand. Over the last ten years, Jason has built dedicated communities and overseen year on year growth in profitability. At Microsoft, he built the Games and Xbox Live business to its most profitable point within the Xbox One & Xbox 360 generations. Most recently with HP, he developed the OMEN product marketing strategy where he oversaw 200% YoY growth and drove OMEN Gaming to achieve the #1 Position in Gaming Desktops and Notebooks, pushing over 40% market share and 50% consumer share of voice. Jason is the owner of Oceanic based esports organisation, Dire Wolves and advisor to the London Spitfire.
Synopsis: Imagine organising a global professional sports event in less than a week. 48hrs to be precise! That was the total turn-around time for the “Not the Australian Grand Prix” event run by Formula 1 and Veloce Esports in response to the cancelled 2020 Melbourne GP. Under the expansive lockdown of live sports worldwide due to COVID-19, traditional sports leagues and teams turned to esports to maintain engagement with their fans with great success. This panel peels back the curtain into how mainstream professional sports worked through unprecedented challenges and cleared the hurdles to keep their communities thriving through the unique medium of esports.
Shamila Gopalan is an entrepreneur and a corporate leader having been at the helm of building businesses independently and in Fortune 500 firms globally, from CNN to National Geographic Channel through to Fox International for close to 24 years across 3 continents. She has built two businesses and exited one, where she created a series for broadcast and digital around esports before moving to Australia 3 years ago. Now on her 3rd venture, HerWit, she continues her journey of being an entrepreneur with a purpose. Shamila has always been passionate about pushing the envelope for equality, diversity and inclusion, and recognises the power of having more female role models and leaders. Having found HerWit, a profit-for-purpose venture, she empowers ambitious female founder to start, pivot and scale their businesses while amplifying them as inspiring leaders to ignite conversations that create positive change for girls and women around the world. In 2016, she was awarded one of Asia Top 50 Female Leaders, appointed to the board of Asia Content Marketing Association (ACMA), and an advisory board member with Brilliant Women Global (BWG), a highly collegiate network of women available for Board roles and transformation projects. She is a steady voice for disruption, empowerment, and impact for women entrepreneurs and leaders around the globe.
Rob has worked for Tennis Australia since 2009, starting as a digital content writer before taking the lead on video production. He helped create TA’s video department, creating new broadcast content, digital channels, events and TA’s first foray into live streaming. He helped deliver TA’s shift to 360 degree LED court signage and used production knowledge to heighten the fan experience by delivering the live show programs at Laver Cup, ATP Cup & AO. With a strong taste for innovation, he has recently led TA’s gaming & eSport strategy including the release of the first tennis video game to market in over 5 years & creating the AO Summer Smash eSports event featuring Fortnite. In 2020, he also launched the inaugural AO Tennis eSports competition, running weekly online broadcasts over three months & generating new revenue partnerships.
Simon is an experienced digital producer and project manager and the owner/driver of esports organisation Altus Esports. Founded in 2018, Altus Esports competes in world level sim racing esports series across various racing platforms, including iRacing and GT Sport. Simon has competed in the Nissan GT Academy International and European Finals, having qualified on Gran Turismo. Simon has previously co-managed Evolution Racing Team to its successes between 2015-2018.
Synopsis: The foundation of any successful movement is it’s communities and the grassroots they have. In addition to the major events and the big leagues we often hear about there is a wide array of contributors building esports in their local communities, nurturing local play and participation. This panel discusses local esports that thinks about inclusivity, sustainability and participation.
Amanda Stevenson resides in Palmerston in the Northern Territory. She is the Community Development Officer Youth, Sports and Recreation for the City of Palmerston.
Amanda is currently coordinating the Palmerston Youth Festival for 2021 with the opening event being Geekfest Top End. Through her role she is eager to support other geek culture programs and gaming sector activities in Palmerston and the wider community.
Some recent achievements include initiating the Australian Esports League to provide professional development to local Esports providers and forming the Geek Culture Collaborative ‘GCC’. A working group to support the development of the Geek Culture sector in the NT.
In her spare time she is a passionate street artist and crew member of the International Women’s Crew. She is passionate about community development especially when it is lead by Youth.
Amanda will be joined by a spokesperson for Palmerston’s Geek Culture Collaborative.
Sean is passionate about all aspects of esports with practical experience in event management and development, sales, marketing and community development. Through the University of Wollongong Esports club, he has founded and managed the continual successful growth of the Expand Gong series and CWG expo. These events have both been recognised nationally for their success, winning National University Event of the Year in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Through working with the Australian Esport League, Sean was community development for the Clubs League. The League saw first-year growth from conception to 12 clubs including an active member base of over 200 people. Now leading the weekly tournaments as the esports coordinator at City Diggers Wollongong, a presiding board member of UOW Esports and is currently is the President of Illawarra Volleyball.
Morgan Humphreys is the Esports Officer at Murdoch University; he was also one of the main pushers behind the Esports Gaming Hub at Murdoch that opened in July. Morgan pushed for his job at the University, creating the avenue for a paid position revolving around esports. Morgan was the Vice President of the university club Murdoch Esports for two years before making his place amongst the university staff, his time with the club ignited his passion with community engagement in the esports space.
Anna is the co-founder and CEO of the Tasmanian Esports Association (TESA),
the goal at TESA is to create a safe and encouraging environment for gamers across Tasmania, providing opportunities in esports.
TESA was formed early 2020 when COVID hit, the team at TESA took this opportunity where everyone was indoors to boost awareness of the gaming community. Within weeks TESA had over 100 followers from an otherwise quite community, which was above and beyond our expectations.
As TESA, we are open to any and all advice on how to get a quite community up and running!
Synopsis: Esports provides a new medium to engage with youth and students in education spaces, with youth widely interested in video game content and play. There are a number of esports leagues looking to introduce structured competition for Primary aged and High School aged students, introducing some of the youngest players to participation in esports. Supplemented by a number of applications in the class room from scholarships at university, to teaching aids and course subject matter. This panel explores the role esports is playing in education, how it is impact student lives and where we go from here.
Dr. Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen, is an Assistant Professor at IT University of Copenhagen. His recent research explores the intersection of esports, digital games and psychology. He is an educational advisory board member on Esports Denmark.
BiBiAhn is a well known rising star in the competitive CSGO landscape from Australia. She has been playing competitively for around a year and a half, having the opportunity to travel around the world do so. She currently on a break and thus in my free time, she is working a full time job whilst finishing up her last year of High School.
Dan Martinez is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Microsoft Innovative Educator and has a vast amount of experience leading innovation and learning in large scale independent schools. With over 18 years’ experience as a classroom teacher and technology coordinator, Dan has worked in a variety of education environments and institutions both in Australia and overseas. As a passionate IT curriculum leader, he has developed and delivered whole school IT curriculum, including the introduction and adoption of various technologies as a learning solution to meet specific needs in classrooms and across whole schools. To further support the schools, Dan has developed and delivered a number of workshops on various subjects relating to education technology to enhance teaching and learning which he has delivered to the wider education community locally, nationally and internationally.
Dan now combines his passion for education and gaming and moved into the exciting world of esports. He is the Chief Operational Officer of The FUSE Cup, an international school esports competition designed to develop the digital wellbeing of younger gamers. The FUSE Cup blends competitive school esports with wellbeing frameworks specifically developed and delivered by educators.
Duane Mutu is widely regarded as one of the leading esports voices and personalities in the Australasian region. Speaking extensively around the globe on esports and gaming. Having previously worked on the publisher side of gaming for over 10 years with heavy hitting brands like Ubisoft, EA, Warner Brothers, Disney, THQ and he more understands how the gaming eco system works. He now sits on the esport side of the fence having starting leading esport company Lets Play Live (LPL) who are market leaders in broadcasting esports. He is a media expert having regular slots on mainstream media outlets like breakfast TV and is also a TV and online gaming host. Duane is also a founding member of the NZ Esport Federation (NZESF) which was in May 2020 recognised as the NSO for NZ, this is a historical achievement.
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We want to know what you’d like to see from us and what can be done to grow esports in Australia.