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IGEC 2019 Panels

IGEC staff works closely with our panelists and speakers to choose discussions that address the most pressing topics facing the esports industry this year. Our panels are frank, uncensored, and pull no punches -- we give our panelists total freedom to discuss the topics they are the most passionate about. From journalistic integrity in esports to the balance of teamwork and competition, IGEC prides itself on our diverse range of panels suited for all manner of esports interests.

More speakers and panels are being confirmed every week -- check back to see more panels and their exact times updated throughout the month

10:00-10:50

Pacific Ballroom

Keynote: Not Just the LCS: Growing the North American Esports Ecosystem

When Riot first decided to bring competitive League of Legends in-house in 2012, there were many questions to be answered: How do we develop a “core” audience? How do we organize the competition to create the best shows for fans? How do we keep a weekly product fresh and exciting over the course of years? How do we build economic sustainability? How do we find the next set of pros to take over? In this talk, we will explore the thinking that has led Riot to build an entire ecosystem in North America in the hopes of truly creating a multi-generational sport.

11:00-11:50

Emerald Bay

The Female Faces of Esports

A discussion of women at the forefront of the traditionally male-dominated field of esports. This year's talk focuses on women in who are figure heads in our community; as players, streamers, and hosts they are often faces of an industry in which they are the minority. How did they find themselves on this career path, and what steps do organizations need to take in order to serve a growing female esports fanbase?

11:00-11:50

Crystal Cove

The Unseen Traits of Successful Esports Teams

With new esports organizations and competitive games debuting all the time, it takes a lot for an org to rise to the top. In this panel, our diverse group of esports experts will each share their area of expertise and paint a clear picture of what it takes for a team to thrive. Is it better to focus on one competitive title, or spread out into multiple leagues? Is winning the most important aspect of competitive gaming, or is it more important to have a well-known brand? We will dive into these questions and more -- a perfect panel for the new or aspiring team owner!

11:00-11:25

Doheny Beach

What it Takes to Build a Top-Tier Collegiate Esports Program

With collegiate esports on the rise, what do you have to do to establish a collegiate program from the ground up? How do you organize a team and recruit the best gamers in the world, not just as players but also coaching staff? How do you educate a community to really rally behind and embrace the collegiate program like traditional sports? Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (Harrisburg, PA) is at the forefront in developing an outstanding program and had a remarkable season to back it up. In the program’s first year, HU Storm has hosted large-scale tournament events and recently competed at the highest level taking home the ESPN Collegiate Esports Overwatch title.

11:30-11:55

Doheny Beach

The Olympics Movement Found In Esports - Real Social Value As An Official Sport

There have been numerous controversies over the inclusion of esports in the Olympics movement and the recognition of esports as an official sport. Many esports communities in our society pointed out some sports values found in esports, but they are more inclined to focus on the commercial side of esports such as potential revenues, viewership, industry growth, etc, in order to support the inclusion of esports in the Olympics. However, the Olympics Movement and many traditional sports have much more value than those numbers in the sociological perspective. Sports have made a great impact on the society in our history. It brought our world together, led us to social inclusion, increased our health and fitness, and inspired many many young people. This presentation will discuss social contributions and values that KeSPA has witnessed for 20 years since the beginning of esports in South Korea, and how it can potentially make a great contribution to the Olympics Movement.

11:00-11:50

Moss Cove

How to Embrace the Next Generation of Esports Professionals

Adequately preparing young people entering professional esports is a growing problem for our industry. What can we do to equip young pro players with the tools and skills they need to thrive in an industry that so often leads to burnout and fatigue? In this panel, we will consider healthy and productive practices, vital skill sets players need to learn at a young age, and systems we can put in place at esports entry points (like the collegiate and amateur level) to help bright stars stay on the path to success.

1:00-1:50

Crystal Cove

What do Esports Casters Do All Day?

Everybody knows all esports casters do is just show up and yell about video games... but what do they actuall do all day? This panel will explore how individual caster prepares themselves for their game, how the same job varies from genre to genre, and what challenges each game might have in common. A must attend for aspiring casters, tournament organizers, and broadcast aficionados.

1:00-1:25

Doheny Beach

Raising the Floor: Avoiding the Failures of Short Term Success

Many esports teams are focused on raising the ceiling for immediate player and team performance. However, focusing on short-term success often leads to long-term consequences. Another way to improve overall success in esports is to raise the floor, increasing consistency through minimizing poor performances. This presentation will discuss strategies to create lasting success through focusing on the long-term wellness of esports athletes.

1:30-1:55

Doheny Beach

Echo Fox Fireside Chat

Echo Fox President Jared Jeffries and pro player Pineaqples interview each other for a unique perspective on their roles in the president-player relationship within an esports organization.

1:00-1:50

Moss Cove

Inside the LCS Control Room

The League Championship Series (LCS) is the preeminent league for professional League of Legends in North America. Members of the LCS Broadcast Team will explain their duties as part of a live esports broadcast team, how they tell pro player stories, what happens behind the scenes on game days, and lessons learned along the way.

1:00-1:50

Crescent Bay

Esports Athletes: Optimizing Performance and Overall Health

Physical and mental health have always been integral to an athlete’s overall performance. Esports is no exception. With the average career length of esports athletes currently less than a few years, a new approach to health and wellness must be taken in to consideration to ensure the longevity of their participation in a highly competitive environment. In order to optimize the performance of esports athletes and create sustainability surrounding their careers, it is essential that processes and procedures to prevent physical injury, mitigate psychological stress, and provide a competitive advantage are implemented by qualified professionals in the fields of sports medicine and rehabilitation, as well as sports psychology. This session will offer an overview of solutions to esports athletes, coaches, and organizations looking for methods to improve the overall health and wellness (both physical and mental) of their teams. From physical injury prevention/rehabilitation and ergonomic assessment, to ensuring optimal nutritional intake, implementing mindfulness practices, as well as proactive cognitive therapy and sport specific mental coaching.

2:00-2:50

Emerald Bay

Mobile Esports: The World's Largest Niche Community

Mobile esports veterans and entrepreneurs descend onto IGEC to discuss trends and future opportunities in mobile gaming. From West to East, our panelist dive into mobile esports infrastructure and leagues, sharing insights and first-hand experiences from marquee events like the Jakarta-Palembang Asia Games 2018, where mobile esports was featured for the 1st time in history as a demo medal event. We all have a sense of the bright future and potential of mobile esports -- now it is time to act and re-assess our priorities. A crucial panel for forward thinking investors, content creators, or competitors.

2:00-2:50

Crystal Cove

The Esports Conundrum: Building an Authentic Brand When Everyone's Doing the Same Thing

It takes a lot to stand out amongst the crowd of pro gamers and esports hopefulls -- especially with so much white noise enveloping our industry's social media landscape. This analysis will break down what it takes to build a unique, successful brand and encourage loyal audiences when so many people and organizations are aiming for the same success. Learn how to combat low engagement and PR disasters in this practical panel of gaming community experts.

2:00-2:25

Doheny Beach

How to Get Valuable Feedback in a Career No One's Done Before

Being an esports caster oftentimes thrusts people into the public eye and forces them to encounter immediate and sometimes harsh criticism. How should we react to our critics online and where can we find meaningful feedback in an industry that we’re building ourselves?

2:30-2:55

Doheny Beach

The Story of Runaway: When a Streamer Dreams to be the Owner of an Overwatch Pro Team

This talk from Runaway owner and manager Flowervin gives insight on how she found herself at the head of Overwatch League's Stage 1 Play Offs winning team. Hear about her journey, what she's learned, and her seasoned opinions on the future of the world of Overwatch, followed by a Q&A.

2:00-2:50

Moss Cove

K/DA - POP/STARS: Creating a Moment for Players

Seizing an opportunity upon the return of the professional scene of League of Legends to the founding nation of esports, Riot Games created a cross-platform content campaign and experience including an in-game event, an original song, accompanying music video, and augmented reality stage performance to foster engagement and excitement with players while also driving meaningful business results. This Q&A will give attendees a chance to learn even more about the campaign from the people who made it a reality.

2:00-2:25

Crescent Bay

Is What You See What You Get? The Costs and Fair Values of Influencer Marketing in Esports

This session explores and details the key metrics of influencer selection and how to price influencer collaborations.We will also highlight common pitfalls to avoid. Attendees will gain an understanding of how to determine the value and the best marketing performance metrics.

2:30-2:55

Crescent Bay

Why Collegiate Esports Broadcasts Need to Level Up

Collegiate Sports have been around for decades and have nearly mastered the pipeline of creating, producing, and generating content for universities and conferences at all levels. Should collegiate esports follow in their footsteps? What will the future of collegiate esports broadcasts look like? Unlike Sports, video games are completely digital. With the need to travel eliminated and the ability to completely modify the worlds these players play in, what steps can publishers and production companies take to allow universities and conferences to better promote themselves and their sponsors?

3:00-3:50

Emerald Bay

The Fashionable Intersection of Esports and Streetwear

Esports and fashion come together in a unique way. The evolution of gamer streetwear serves the cross over of two niche audiences and many companies have found success in this arena. We'll break down the specific intersection of these two industries, how this area differs from traditional fashion, and what these companies see in the near future.

3:00-3:25

Crystal Cove

Pro Players and Streamers: What's the Difference?

The struggles and complications seen in pro players lives and why so many are turning to streaming, but more importantly how battle royale style games have blurred the lines between the two and the distinction may need a reevaluation.

3:30-3:55

Crystal Cove

Online Journalism: A View of the Esports Journalism Landscape from the Trenches

Thorin, veteran esports historian of 18 years, lays out the landscape of where the business of online journalism is at in the esports world. Contrasted against the wider media world, he uses insights from his own career and emerging trends to chart the potential trajectory journalism must shift to in order to survive.

3:00-3:50

Doheny Beach

Video Games: A Trojan Horse for STEAM Education

Educators have been trying to find ways to engage students with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) for centuries, but never before has there been something quite as engaging as esports. Unlike past attempts to gamify education methods, esports can reinforce invaluable traits like discipline, teamwork, and focus --- all things that enable an organic and authentic merging STEAM principals. Join our esteemed panels of thinkers and professors who have been spearheading the push to bring esports into the class room. A must attend panel for collegiate esports experts, students, and curious investors alike.

3:00-3:50

Moss Cove

Efficient, Organized, Happy: How to Engineer Teamwork Between Players

Successful esports orgs have one thing in common - their players are happy. But how do you keep players happy, when the grind is never ending? How do you create synergy between players when they sometimes compete against each other in professional competitions? Especially while living together, teamwork and organization is a huge part of keeping an esports team on the path to winning.

4:00-4:25

Emerald Bay

4:30-4:55

Emerald Bay

Knee's Secrets to Success as a Fighting Game Competitor

A session with Knee, one of Korea's top fighting game competitors. Find out how he first became interested in fighting games, and why Tekken became his specialty. Join him to learn about the keys to take down any oppontent, the secret to managing your concentration during a big event, and his thoughts on how the industry as a whole could be improved. Followed by a Q&A session.

4:00-4:50

Crystal Cove

Esports Journalism: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Join veteran esports journalists and community figures in a candid discussion about the current state of journalism in the games industry. Topics include everything from clickbait and scandals, to censorship and developer bias, and the impact of sites like Reddit and Twitter. This frank look at the often discussed but rarely understood realities of video game writing is sure to turn heads and start a conversation.

4:00-4:50

Doheny Beach

The Smash Bros: How an Unsupported Nintendo Game Survived as an Esport

A roundtable discussion with professional Smash Brothers competitors featuring a Q&A session. Our panelist will explore how Smash differs from other FGC titles, the larger role of grasroots esports vs. publisher supported ones, and how has the recent involvement (and infamous lack there of) of Nintendo might change the game's competitive future.This panel is a marquee event for competitive Smash fans and FGC enthusiasts!

4:00-4:50

Moss Cove

The Intersection of Traditional Sports and Esports

As the esports industry continues to grow, many people draw parallels between the competitive gaming industry and traditional sports. Panelists will dive into what the esports industry is learning from traditional sports, such as sponsorship, storytelling, team and franchise structure. What traditional sports can learn from esports, including reaching the millennial and Gen-Z audience? How fan engagement is different and similar. Plus, the production and content capabilities that are required to put on a successful event. Discuss the key differentials between both industries and how they are working together.

5:00-5:50

Emerald Bay

Jumping on the Bullet Train of Esports Investments

In 2019, esports will become a billion dollar industry. But what does it take to invest in esports? Is now the right time, or was yesterday? A discussion with business-minded people about how to succeed in such a young industry, considering the past, present, and future of esports investing.

5:00-5:50

Crystal Cove

How to Succeed in Esports When You're Bad at Video Games

Want to enter the esports industry but going pro is not an option? We got you covered. Our eclectic group of panelists breakdown their unique career paths in the esports industry, highlighting the numerous career options many people overlook or simply don't know exist! From casting, to design, to content creation, these industry powerhouses analyze their keys to success in esports- even if they aren't platinum rank gamers.

5:00-5:50

Doheny Beach

Immortal Fighting Games: How One of the Oldest Esports Genres Has Survived Generations

For over 30 years, the fighting game scene has grown from grassroot competitions in humble arcades to international, high-stakes tournaments that capture the imagination of millions of esports consumers. We'll take a look back at how the FGC has grown and evolved with the veterans who have been there from the scene's earliest days. A must attend panel for those looking to understand what it takes for an esport to survive obscure lows and dizzying highs.
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