igec esports deep dive

Thank you IGEC 2018, We’ll be back in 2019 Revisit our 2018 conference site

Inven Global Esports Conference

igec 2018

IGEC was founded with two things in mind - authenticity and practicality. We pride ourselves in gathering genuine esports veterans and professionalts from around the world to elevate the industry and compare their vision for esport’s future.

On May 1st, 2018, the first IGEC was held in Irvine, California at the UCI Conference Center. Esports personnel from Blizzard, Riot Games, Tencent, and dozens of other leading game companies attended the event, each providing a unique insight into the world of esports. In addition, our conference featured panels and speeches from pro players, professional coaches, commentators, esports agents,CEOs of gaming organizations, journalist, and professors; a total of 47 different esports figures representing North America, Korea, and China.

But that wasn’t all. IGEC hosted esports tournaments, player-fan meetups, cosplay events, a Black Desert Mobile playtest booth and numerous other side-events attendees were free to participate in. IGEC became a comprehensive gaming festival with in-depth esports presentations and abundant fan activities that entertained over 4,000 attendees.

Now, in 2019, Inven Global is yet again preparing to host another esports conference. Our mission is to, once more, provide a place where esports veterans and community leaders can debate, learn from advanced discussions, and authentically innovate our industry. By providing fans and attendees a unique opportunity to absorb these discussions (while also enjoying full day of esports celebration) IGEC returns as a must attend event for esports enthusiast everywhere.

IGEC 2019
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Great Speakers of IGEC 2018

Mizuko Ito

Professor in Residence at the Humanities Research Institute, UC Irvine

Mizuko Ito

Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist of technology use, examining children and youth’s changing relationships to media and communications. She is Professor in Residence and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at the University of California, Irvine. She is director of the Connected Learning Lab, and chairs the MacArthur Connected Learning Research Network. Her co-authored book, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Youth Living and Learning with New Media describes new opportunities for interest-driven learning fueled by games, social media, and digital tools. In Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design Ito and her colleagues in the Connected Learning Research Network map out how education can embrace today’s technology to make meaningful learning available to all young people. She is co-founder of Connected Camps, a benefit corporation that provides online creative learning in Minecraft for kids in all walks of life.

Arnold Hur

Chief Growth Officer, KSV eSports

Arnold Hur

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Arnold is an entrepreneur who specializes in growth of early stage startups. As Chief Growth Officer, he oversees strategic definition and execution on the company's fan relationship program, growth of fans globally across multiple languages, and the operations of esports in Korea. Prior to joining KSV, he was President of Memebox, one of Korea's most successful startup companies where he grew the office to roughly 100 employees. He was hired as the Head of Growth at Memebox before his promotion. Prior to Memebox, he worked on product and strategy at Google, management consulting at Boston Consulting Group, and investment banking with Goldman Sachs.

- Arnold Hur: When the Advanced Knowhow and Capital of Silicon Valley Meets Asia’s Passion
Mark Deppe

Acting Director, UCI Esports

Mark led the effort to create the world's first collegiate esports program at a public university - UC Irvine. Working closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty, and industry partners, Mark built a business plan that is cost-neutral to the university and that broadly approaches the world of esports through the five pillars of competition, research, community, entertainment, and career development. Since coming to UCI in 2010, Mark advised student government leaders and coordinated some of UCI’s largest and most successful events including six consecutive Guinness World Records.

Mark has a B.S. in psychobiology from UCLA and a MBA from Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

- Mark Deppe: His Efforts to Make Rising Stars like Faker in the Collegiate Esports Scene
Michael Brooks

Executive Director, National Association of Collegiate Esports

Michael Brooks

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Michael is a founder of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the only governing body in North America for varsity esports programs in higher education.

NACE is a nonprofit membership association organized by and on behalf of member institutions. Of the 45 colleges and universities in North America with varsity esports programs, 41 are members of NACE. Michael currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of Collegiate eSports and leads the organizational efforts across a number of subjects, including scheduling, scholarships, roster sizes, IP and operations. Michael works with institutions across the country to advise and promote the creation and launch of varsity esports programs.

Michael is also the Director of Strategic Partnerships with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The NAIA is the governing body of 251, mainly private, colleges and universities in traditional athletics in the United States.

- Michael Brooks: The Leading Figure in NACE Pioneering the Expansion of NA Esports
Justin Jia

Founder, Youth Esports of America

Justin Jia

Justin Jia is the founder at Youth Esports of America, where Justin manages company operations ranging from sponsor relations to community events.

Justin is currently finishing his last year of high school and has been an active member of the educational esports scene such as the OC high school league community board as well as the president of the Troy High esports program. Outside of high school esports, he is currently working on the launch of his first software application start-up.

Tae-hyeok "Kuma" Kang

Business Manager, Inven Korea

Tae-hyeok "Kuma" Kang

Tae-hyeok “Kuma” Kang, Manager of the Business Department at Inven (KR), has been with the company since the establishment of Inven Broadcast System (IBS) and has been managing several Esports and game related businesses He has profound knowledge and expertise on B2B, as well as on planning and managing Esports leagues including League of Legends, Overwatch, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, and more; he has built up experience through building the broadcast system since the early days of IBS. Tae-hyeok “Kuma” Kang will be sharing his insights on Esports planning and management.

Allan Phang

Allstars Engagement & Internal Branding, People and Culture, AirAsia Group

Allan Phang

Allan is on his fifth year with the World's Best Low-Cost Airline voted 9 years in a row by Skytrax World Airline Awards! He loves engaging with people and is currently on his sixth portfolio with AirAsia – Allstars Engagement & Internal Branding under People and Culture.

He was part of the working commitee that organised AirAsia's first ever regional hackathon - AirAsia AIRVOLUTION 2017 which was hosted in AirAsia's global headquarters, RedQ, and saw the participation of 100 participants across 9 countries. Before taking a leap of faith into the world of aviation, he was a college drop out turned accidental entrepreneur in the paintball industry.

Allan has been known amongst his AirAsia peers as an intrapreneur; an entrepreneur within a large firm, who uses entrepreneurial skills without incurring the risks associated with those activities. Intrapreneurs are employees within a company who are assigned to work on a special idea or project, and are instructed to develop the project like an entrepreneur would.

He won the ‘Take Ownership Award’ by AirAsia People and Culture for driving esports awareness amongst fellow colleagues with the assistance from Allstars (AirAsia employees) and living the brand by using social media to promote AirAsia as part of their Employer Branding initiative.

- Allan Phang: The Core of AirAsia and the Reason They Are Focusing on the Esports Market
Katie Salen

Professor in the Department of Informatics, UC Irvine

Katie Salen

Katie Salen is a designer, educator, and gamer interested in the aesthetics of interactivity and the transformative potential of play. She is a Professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California at Irvine, as well as Chief Designer and co-founder of Connected Camps, an online learning platform powered by youth Minecraft experts. Katie is the founding Executive Director of Institute of Play, a member of both the Connected Learning Research Network and the Connected Learning Lab. Much of her work for the past 10 years has focused on meeting kids where they are at in order to design engaging, hands-on experiences that have the potential to transform youth futures. Katie's current work has a strong emphasis on the design of sustainable and equitable online communities, and she is on a mission to help make the internet more kid-friendly. Katie has been involved in the design of slow games, online games, mobile games, and big games in both the commercial and independent games sectors, and once co-designed a karaoke ice cream truck driven by a squirrel.

Robb Chiarini

Head of Esports, NCSA at Ubisoft

Robb Chiarini

As one of the most senior and diverse professionals in competitive gaming, his roles as a player, community organizer, league operator, consultant, advocate and publisher spans nearly twenty years. He now leads the competitive initiatives and activity at Ubisoft for the North, Central and South America territories, including programs such as the Rainbow Six Pro League.

Samantha Anton

High School League Program Coordinator, UCI Esports

Samantha Anton

Samantha Anton currently serves as the High School League Program Coordinator for UCI Esports. In this role, she focuses on managing tournament operations and organizing event production for the Orange County High School Esports League, which holds 25 schools and 38 teams in its 2018 season. In her previous roles, Samantha coordinated events for various higher education departments. Samantha is a proud graduate of the University of California, Irvine with her bachelor’s degree in Film & Media Studies and Political Science. Go Anteaters!

Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles

Overwatch League Analyst

Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles

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MonteCristo is a professional esports analyst and commentator, providing commentary for a variety of titles including League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Vainglory and now, the Overwatch League. A veteran of the esports scene, Mykles brings keen analysis and showmanship to every game he touches.

- Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles: Caster, Analyst, the Living Witness of Global Esports, and Conductor of the Korean Hype Train - [Interview] MonteCristo speaks about the present and future of competitive Overwatch
Sang-myun "Shy" Park

LoL pro-player

Sang-myun "Shy" Park

The LoL community were heartbroken when Sangmyun “Shy” Park, Korea’s most-beloved top laner, announced his retirement. He was the ideal team captain whose ability to bring players together defined his professional career.

But, despite his retirement, the veteran competitor couldn’t stay out of the spotlight for too long. He now spends his time reaching the highest ranking in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, representing an invaluable, fundamental competitive gaming talent.

- Sang-Myun ‘Shy’ Park: The Top Laner That Has Walked down the Royal Road for the First Time in the LCK - [AMA] ROX Tigers Shy's advice: your attitude towards a bad game is important
Byeong-hun "cCarter" Choi

Former Head Coach, SK Telecom T1

Byeong-hun "cCarter" Choi

Byeong-hun “cCarter” Choi is a star coach in League of Legends who has managed to hold up the renowned and ever sought-after Summoner’s Cup on 3 different occasions.

He began his coaching career with StarCraft back in 2008 and has stayed in the hub of Korean Esports for over 10 years. No one can imagine the pain and burdens he has had to bear in order to make the world’s best team rise up from their humble beginnings.

How did he unite players with raw potential and guide them to the very top? That is what he is here to tell us.

- Byeong-Hun 'cCarter' Choi: The Virtuoso Who Guided the Legendary SKT T1 Prepares for a New Challenge
Yun-sang Choi

Owner, Team MVP

Yun-sang Choi

The booming Korean Esports market wouldn’t have come this far without Yun-sang Choi, general manager of team MVP. He proved that a club team can clearly compete with conglomerate-based teams, and sometimes outplay them.

His management with game teams across many titles is topnotch, and he decided to share his knowledge at this conference.

- Yun-Sang Choi: The Head of MVP Who Has Experienced Triumph in League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, and Dota 2
Courtney "GlitchxCity" Williams

Content Creator in the YouTube video game community

Courtney "GlitchxCity" Williams

Courtney, also known as “Glitch”, has been a staple in the YouTube video game community, more specifically YouTube Black since its inception in 2016. While she started with her career path set on majoring in computer science, she was also training to become a military officer for the United States Marine Corps. After deciding that it wasn’t what she wanted to pursue, she turned to the gaming industry and more specifically posting more content onto YouTube. Not only is she known for her video game music compositions, but she has been seen doing various Nintendo-related playthroughs and is very active in the Overwatch Esports community.

Ji "Aaron" Xing

General manager, Chinese Esports Organization EDG

Ji "Aaron" Xing

EDG Manager, Aaron, is one of those most experienced and respected coaches in China. His most memorable achievements include his transformation of team WE into first place LoL champion, ultimately enabling EDG to win MSI.

Aaron has risen up the ranks and is now the Manager for EDG. Representing China as a region, Aaron has agreed to come to IGEC in order to share his great knowledge and insight. He is, simply put, a vital part of China’s efforts to develop their esports scene.

Johannes Waldstein

Founder and CEO of FanAI Inc

Johannes Waldstein

Johannes Waldstein is the Founder and CEO of FanAI, the leading esports audience monetization platform. FanAI increases franchise and sponsorship revenues by analyzing in-depth audience data that enables brands to gain a fuller picture of their esports target audience. The platform is used by top teams and leagues including Cloud9, OpTic Gaming, Overwatch League’s LA Valiant, NY Excelsior, and Cav’s Legion GC - the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA2K League team. Being a big data expert and a lifelong fan of competitive sports and esports, FanAI is the culmination of twin passions for Johannes. A serial entrepreneur, he founded four other startups rooted in data, mobile payments, and sports tech. As a Product Manager at dunnhumby, the world’s largest Loyalty Data Sciences company, Johannes helped build data platforms providing insight from some of the world’s largest retail chains including Tesco, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Macy’s to global brands and agencies.

Sang-yong Han

Head Coach, Jin Air Greenwings

Sang-yong Han

Sang-yong Han, who has a unique experience as a Korean kickboxing champion, entered the esports scene in 2005 as the head coach of Plus. In an very uneasy and difficult environment, Sang-yong Han rose above thanks to his unique training methodology.

Han represents the peak of professional esports thinking. 20 years ago during the height of his career, his insight and advice to pro players proved invaluable to them, solidifying their competitive potential. Out of all the people in the world, Sang-yong Han is a master at turning an inexperienced player into a professional 'soldier'.

Tom Turner

Director of Instruction, STEM with the Orange County Department of Education

Tom Turner

Tom currently serves as the Director of Instruction overseeing STEM with the Orange County Department of Education. In this role, he regularly interacts with classroom teachers, site administrators, and district leadership in implementing STEM professional learning and program development. As an educator for the last 20 years, Tom has worked as a classroom teacher, Elementary School Principal, and, now, Director. He eagerly wants to do his part to live in a world filled with innovative and relevant instructional practices that allow learners to succeed in a progressive society. He believes that access to high-quality STEM education for all students is a worthy way to get this done. Tom also is a member of the Orange County STEM Ecosystem Executive Committee and supports grants from the National Science Foundation.

Constance Steinkuehler

Professor of Informatics, UC Irvine

Constance Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine where she researches the cognitive, intellectual, and social aspects of esports and multiplayer online videogames. Current projects include esports analytics and survey research, methods for assessing online social interaction, design and evaluation of an academically enriched high school esports league and complementary high school curriculum in STEM and English Language Arts, games for second language acquisition, and a book for parents of gamer kids. She serves on multiple advisory and editorial boards and chairs the Esports Conference at UCI. Constance formerly served as Senior Policy Analyst under the Obama administration in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising on games and digital media. She is the founder and former President of the Higher Education Video Games Alliance, an academic organization of game-related programs in higher education. She currently serves on the advisory board for the UCI Esports Program and Chairs the UCI Diversity and Inclusion in Esports Task Force. Constance’s research has been funded by the Samueli Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and Cambridge University. She has published over ninety articles and book chapters including three special journal issues and two books. She has worked closely with the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Education on special reports relate to videogames, and her work has been featured in Science, Wired, USA Today, New York Times, LA Times, ABC, CBS, CNN NPR, BBC and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Kurt Melcher

Executive Director of Esports at Intersport and Robert Morris University in Chicago, IL

Kurt Melcher

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Through his efforts, RMU became the first university to recognize esports as part of the athletic department and offer athletic scholarships to gamers, helping to legitimize the world of collegiate esports. An athletic administrator and 15 years, Melcher recognized the core educational elements involved in traditional sports and believes the same hold true for esports. Recently the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) selected Intersport to lead the research and ideation surrounding the association’s potential role in collegiate esports. Mr. Melcher’s visionary program has been highlighted in a number of prominent news sources including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, ESPN, NPR, HBO Real Sports and in the documentary film All Work All Play.

Giselle Sturdevant

Social Media, Logitech G

Giselle Sturdevant

Giselle Sturdevant is part of the social media team for Logitech G. She possess a strong visual and digital media background from pursuing advanced degrees, and uses this background to help shape the Logitech G social media strategy. She is also a lifelong gamer, who credits Lara Croft and Final Fantasy for cultivating her love of games.

Travis Gafford

Esports Interviewer and Host

Travis Gafford

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Travis has been working in esports since he graduated from Cal State, Long Beach in 2011. He was one of the earliest interviewers in today’s biggest esport, League of Legends and his contribution to the community is known far and wide.

His success in conveying a wide array of personalities and storylines in his esports content has proven invaluable, allowing him to travel the world and consistently connect pro players to their fans.

- Travis Gafford: The Leading Figure in NA with His Creative Content
Donald Marinelli

Director of Innovation, Inven Global

Donald Marinelli

Donald Marinelli's unwavering support was instrumental in the founding of Inven Global. As Director of Innovation, Don’s charge is to scan the horizon for new technologies and initiatives furthering and fueling the global explosion of Esports, gaming, and all manner of entertainment technologies.

Donald Marinelli is co-founder of the world renowned Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Under his tenure, he transformed it into a truly global operation with branches in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Japan, Australia, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Since retiring from Carnegie Mellon in 2012, Don has accepted positions as a Visiting Senior Professor at Arizona State University in its Arts, Media & Engineering program, and as a Visiting Professor in the Technology Management M.S. degree program at Columbia University in the City of New York. He is also a sought after speaker and consultant.

His heart and soul, however, lies with Inven Global, because he sees Esports as the convergence of all entertainment forms that have preceded it.

Mandie Roman

Host & Producer, Game Talk Live

Mandie Roman

An avid gamer with a passion for the industry, Mandie Roman dives deep into issues in and around the video game space with expert panelists every week as the host of Game Talk Live. When she’s not wrangling the outspoken voices in video games, you can catch her streaming games on Twitch, attending pop culture conventions, or cheering on the Houston Outlaw’s Overwatch team.

Ray Ning

Director of N-Game and Product Director for Arena of Valor eSports, Tencent.

Ray Ning

Ray Ning has over 10 years of experience in the game industry and was the manager for the online PC game, QQSpeed. He was later appointed Product Director for several projects such as Speed Up and Arena of Valor, receiving many awards from Tencent.

He is now the Director of N-Game at Tencent as well as PD for Arena Valor and Esports field.

Yeon-sung "iloveoov" Choi

Legendary StarCraft pro-player / Head Coach, Afreeca Freecs

Yeon-sung "iloveoov" Choi

As one of the former legendary StarCraft players, Yeon-sung Choi is building his career as a legendary coach as well. There is no guarantee that the best player will become the best coach, but Choi’s proficiency as a coach proves that having experience as a player is a definite plus.

He was the former StarCraft SKT T1 coach, and is now the coach of League of Legends’ Afreeca Freecs, a team that has been doing remarkably well. Experience first-hand story of this charismatic coach.

- Head Coach Yeon-sung Choi at AFS: “The most important thing is how willing you are.” - [Interview] Yeon-sung Choi's challenge - from Starcraft No.1 to LoL No.1
Jack Etienne

CEO, Cloud9 & London Spitfire

Jack Etienne

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Jack was working at a video broadcasting service company and stumbled into esports while helping out TSM. Jack is now managing game teams for various titles, such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Rocket League.

Jack’s C9 is one of the most famous professional gaming teams in the NA region, and is also well-known in South Korea for having many Korean players. Jack is a faithful team owner who knows how to keep teams in their best condition.

- Jack Etienne, CEO of Cloud 9: a Profitable Businessman’s Making an Esports Franchise - [Interview] "I gave Impact a hug after the game. Impact said ‘this is my gift to you'."
Ryan Morrison

CEO, Evolved Talent Agency

Ryan Morrison

Ryan Morrison has made a name for himself within the legal industry as someone focused on making sure the law protects everyone, not just the financially superior. Whether it be matters of intellectual property, complex contract issues or just making sure you are comfortable as you take your company forward into the future, Ryan has handled it all. Deemed “The Video Game Attorney” by the countless developers he has helped through his free online legal Q&A’s, Ryan understands that this new and innovative industry requires a new and innovative approach to law. While his passion will forever rest within games and Esports, Ryan has taken his experience in keeping his clients protected and comfortable into other areas of entertainment as well. He successfully has and continues to represent large clients in the music, television, podcasting, and film industries.

- Ryan Morrison: The Video Game Attorney That Shows You the Shortcut to Success
Greg Street

League of Legends Design Director, Riot Games

Greg Street

Greg Street, or more commonly known as “Ghostcrawler”, began his career in the game industry as the Lead Game Designer for Ensemble Studios, the studio responsible for the Age of Empire series. He later joined Blizzard Entertainment, where he had significant influence over various design elements for World of Warcraft including classes, items, skills, battle mechanics, and more. During his stay at Blizzard, he contributed to the release of 3 expansion packs, and helped in the development of 2.

In 2013, he joined Riot Games as the Lead Designer and led many of their game designers while also working on the champion design and game balancing. In 2015, he was promoted to Design Director and has been working on assembling long-term strategies for League of Legends in order to accelerate its growth. He also sometimes acts as a representative for Riot Games, delivering information about the direction or progress of development to the public.

- Riot's Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: Bringing a New Experience Every Patch, Keeping a Near-10 Year Old Game Fresh
Susie Kim

General Manager at London Spitfire

Susie Kim

When it comes to managing, advocating for and understanding pro players, it's hard to find someone more experienced than Susie "LilSusie" Kim. A veteran of the eSports industry, she has served as a host, caster, interviewer and translator for esports events and major tournaments. Seen by many as a bridge between Korean and North American esports communities, Kim is equipped with a unique perspective on the differences and similarities between both of them.

Now as the recently announced General Manager of London Spitfire, she leads arguably the most skilled Overwatch players in the world through the trials and rigors of the Overwatch League, providing the keen expertise needed to make sure raw talent stays up to the task of competing at the highest level.

Tae-won Yun

GM, Global Publishing, Super Evil Megacorp

Tae-won Yun

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Tae-won Yun is General Manager for Global Publishing at Super Evil Megacorp, the developers of the world’s leading mobile esport, Vainglory. Tae-won is responsible for the expansion and operations of Vainglory throughout the world.

Originally launched with a 3v3 format in 2015, winning several game-of-the-year awards, Vainglory has in a short time grown to become the largest international mobile esport, played and watched by millions every month and supported by sponsors including Coca-Cola, Razer, NVIDIA, Amazon and global esports franchises TSM, Cloud9, Fnatic, Rox, DetonatioN Gaming, G2 Esports, SK Gaming and many more. Taewon is a passionate gamer with over 20 years of experience in game and platform development, strategic planning and execution, business development and team building. Previously,

Tae-won was Managing Director at Wargaming Asia Pacific where he built up the company's presence across the region and directed all aspects of growth for its flagship title, World of Tanks. He has also held positions at Blizzard Entertainment, Red 5 Studios and Electronic Arts. Taewon graduated from Seoul National University with a Masters of Science in Engineering.

- Taewon Yun of Super Evil Megacorp - How Vainglory became the League of Legends of mobile gaming
John Pierce

Founder, Player 2 Studios

John Pierce

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John is a Founder & Partner of Player 2, an esports marketing and strategy firm. Player 2 helps brands identify authentic partnerships through the development of innovative sponsorships, campaigns, and branded content while supporting esports teams and other properties with audience and revenue growth. Player 2’s clients include CLG, Hot Wheels, the Fiesta Bowl, Amazon Appstore, and Millennial Esports.

John has more than 20 years experience building major consumer brands at the Walt Disney Company, the U.S. Olympic Committee and with MLB and NHL teams. He earned an undergraduate degree in Business (Marketing) at Florida State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

He currently teaches “The Business of Esports” at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, one of the first courses of its kind in the United States.

Mike Milanov

COO, Team Liquid

Mike Milanov

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Mike Milanov is the Chief Operating Officer of Team Liquid, based out of the company's team HQ in Los Angeles. Responsible for overseeing multiple business units of Team Liquid, including partnerships, competitive operations, original content production and new business, he manages a team focused on increasing the team's footprint within the rapidly growing esports industry. With a diverse work history in video production, influencer management, sales, and online streaming, including a seven year career as a World of Warcraft pro player, Mike has used his unique knowledge of diverse areas of the esports ecosystem to propel Team Liquid to a leading esports brand. When he's not on a plane, pitching to sponsors, or meeting with clients, he enjoys streaming as #ThixNation in order to keep in touch with the communities and cultures of the games that he loves.

Kim Phan

Director, Esports Operations, Blizzard Entertainment

Kim Phan

Starting with Warcraft III, Kim Phan has been passionately contributing to the esports scene from a variety of different angles. Whether it was shoutcasting competitive matches, interviewing professional players, or leading a professional team of her own, Kim has turned her love of esports into a burgeoning career. Now as Blizzard’s Director of Esports Operations, Kim's role as IGEC's first keynote speaker represents all that the founders of this conference hold dear: authenticity, leadership, and real-world esports experience coming together to create something incredible.

- Kim Phan: The Director Who Has Kept Blizzard at the Center of Esports
Min-kyu "Ladaa" Kyeong

Inven Broadcasting Director, Inven Korea

Min-kyu "Ladaa" Kyeong

Ladaa, Broadcasting Director for Inven, is currently in charge of directing various official leagues including Riot Games’ League of Legends Collegiate, Blizzard’s Hearthstone Team Championship and Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Open Division. He is a professional director and manager encompassing a wide range of broadcasting procedures. Ladaa will join the panel discussion on the topic of 'The Global Reach of College/University Esports at IGEC-DEEP DIVE'.

- Min-kyu Kyeong, securing the future of Esports through the advancement of amateur leagues
Skye "Nightris" Bui

Content Manager, Echo Fox

Skye "Nightris" Bui

Skye "Nightris" Bui is the content manager of Echo Fox based out of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. When it comes to creativity and esports, Skye has you covered. She has an eye on creating branding strategy to connect with the community and accelerate growth. Her canvas is to cultivate team and player story lines and her palette is to create raw emotional connections with the fan base.

Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk

CEO, Tempo Storm

Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk

Andrey "reynad" Yanyuk originally made a name for himself as one of the most influential players in Hearthstone. After building a massive individual brand off of tournament and streaming success, he founded the esports organization Tempo Storm. The company has since seen massive success in over 10 titles, established the highest trafficked website of any esports team, and accumulated one of the largest networks of streamers on Twitch. Andrey's accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, as he was inducted into Forbes' 30 Under 30 class of 2017.

- Andrey Yanyuk: The Creator of the Mad Scientist Hunter Deck Dissects Esports
Mason Mullenioux

CEO, High School eSports League

Mason Mullenioux

Mason founded the High School Esports League in 2013 with the mission that esports deserve to be a varsity level sport. Knowing that many students struggle to find a place to call their own in high school, Mason and the HSEL are now connecting them to a community and scholarship opportunities. The HSEL is now serving over 600 high schools across the country.

Jason Fung

Global eSports Director, Alisports (Alibaba Group)

Jason Fung

Jason is the Global eSports Director for Alisports, a part of the Alibaba Group. He was brought in to manage the China event and marketing teams, as well as to build out international capabilities for the company. Jason is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of global WESG events and the upcoming Asian Games (in partnership with the Olympic Council of Asia). He started his career with several successful tech start-ups in Canada, all centered around gaming and esports. Jason has been involved in gaming VoDs, esports live streaming, esports fantasy and wagering, and most recently worked for Electronic Arts to head up their Asia Pacific esports.

Mark “Garvey” Candella

Director of Strategic Partnerships, Twitch

Mark “Garvey” Candella

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Mark "Garvey" Candella is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Twitch. Garvey currently leads the Twitch Student program and has dedicated himself to creating gaming and esports opportunities for students and universities around the world.

From humble beginnings as a Magic the Gathering professional player in 1993 and an avid pen and paper role player prior to that, he has been involved in the esports industry in various ways ever since. His message of inclusiveness, diversity, and collaboration is a personal philosophy deeply ingrained in every project he works on.

Chris Cho

Esports, Clash Royale, Supercell

Chris Cho

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Chris Cho oversees Clash Royale League for NA, EU, LATAM and Asia. He oversees partnerships and league operations of the 4 aforementioned Clash Royale Leagues for Supercell. Prior to joining Supercell, he was at Riot Games and worked on its league in Korea. Prior to Riot, he worked on management consulting.

Noah Whinston

CEO, Immortals & LA Valiant

Noah Whinston

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Noah Winston, a CEO at the age of 21 proved that the fundamental attributes needed in Esports are solid vision and wisdom.

Noah’s Immortals is comprised of game teams of various titles such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Overwatch, and Dota 2. With dedicated and enthusiastic fans, Immortals is without a doubt an important leader of the Esports industry.

- Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals: How did he become the youngest CEO of an Esports franchise? - [Interview] "I do think that esport's player-based fandom is a problem."
Min-ki "MadLife" Hong

LoL pro-player

Min-ki "MadLife" Hong

Madlife embodies the term esports “pioneer”. Already a top-tier player when League of Legends was in its infancy, his growth and prestige mirrored that of LoL’s own and his contribution to the game cannot be understated.

As one of the most respected pro gamers, his incredible skills still earn him admiration and respect from his fans.

- Min-ki ‘Madlife’ Hong: Story of a Man Called God in the Pre-Faker Era - [Interview] "You can still shine"
Nicola Piggott

Co-founder, The Story Mob

Nicola Piggott

linkedin

I am the co founder of The Story Mob, an international communications consultancy dedicated to esports. Founded by the industry’s most experienced communications professionals, The Story Mob is the world’s first international communications consultancy focused on esports. Throughout our years in the industry, we’ve worked within some of the biggest esports communities in the world and learned the ways in which brands and investors - existing and new, endemic and non-endemic - can add value to the world’s fastest growing sport.

- Nicola Piggott, Founder Of The Story Mob: How She Lead The Development Of Esports Communications - [Interview] "Esports is such a rich place to try something new for everyone"
Neil Duffy

Vice President, Collegiate StarLeague (CSL)

Neil Duffy

Neil Duffy is Vice President, Collegiate StarLeague (CSL), the largest collegiate esports community in the world. CSL hosts competitive video game leagues and tournaments across over 1500 college campuses in the US and Canada. With more than 39,000 registered student-gamers playing top titles like League of Legends, DotA2, CSGO, Quake Champions and Madden. CSL expanded this year to include 10 PC, mobile and console titles to its roster of game offerings. Neil sits on two advisory boards for accredited colleges with varsity esports programs.

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