Manchester bound: Esports Insider ventures North for Spring Forum

Following the success of Esports Insider’s first ESI Forum Series event, it’s been confirmed the much anticipated ESI Spring Forum is heading to the City Football Academy Media Centre at the Etihad in Manchester on March 22nd.

ESI hopes to build on what was an immensely Winter Forum Series, which took place at the Grosvenor Casino, The Victoria in London on February 6th and brought together over 140 guests and speakers from varying backgrounds in the esports industry to provide a deeper insight into the future of esports.

The Forum opened with a Keynote from James Dean, Managing Director of ESL UK and Dr. Florian Block, Research Fellow & Lecturer at University of York, the pair went into greater detail about how exciting 2019 has already been for the industry, after the announcement that the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – a non-departmental public body of the UK Government – awarded a two-year demonstrator grant to Weavr Consortium.

Comprised of ESL UK, University of York, Focal Point VR, and Rewind, Weavr Consortium aims to improve the esports broadcasting experience through the use of AI and data learning. £4 million has been awarded to the project.

Attentions then turned to the future of esports entertainment, as a knowledgeable panel was assembled, containing experts from both esports and traditional sports, the panel discussed what shape entertainment in esports may look like as it continues to evolve.

One hot topic that was delved into during the talk was the undefined potential of esports venues, with events being hosted from anywhere between television studios to mainstream arenas. The panelists agreed that the demands vary between different titles and that this industry is free from constraints that traditional sports can be held within.

Ignoring CS:GO, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Dota 2, games are driven by grassroots and involving the core base of a title is imperative, noted Mike Bembenek, Executive Producer at FACEIT. If you can’t convince people that star players are worth watching then you can’t expect to fill arenas.

Those who attended the Forum Series didn’t just get to witness the above keynote and panel, but they had the opportunity to network in a laid-back environment with a bunch of industry professionals. Team owners, venue owners, event organisers, regulatory bodies, agencies, media & press, the government, law firms, and more were all in attendance.

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Esports Insider shared his thoughts on the event: “If the attendance and reception for the ESI Winter Forum Series is anything to go by, we’re in for a great year. It was encouraging to see the variety of industry backgrounds of those who decided to attend the event.

“This is a wonderful start to the year and we have plenty more to come, including ESI New York, the second edition of the ESI Hall of Fame in Los Angeles during E3 week, and the return of ESI London in Autumn – not to mention the upcoming Spring Forum Series in Manchester on March  22nd. We hope to see you soon!”

Inevitably given the excitement surrounding the Winter Forum, tickets are selling fast for the next instalment of the event, the Spring edition in Manchester, which is only a matter of weeks away. To secure your place at the event, click on the banner below. 

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