eSports: Enabling Gaming As a Profession
There is no question in our minds that eSports is the next major sport that will be followed by millions of people. Competitive gaming originated in the classic arcades of the 80s and 90s, but as the new generation has shifted to the Internet to be entertained online, eSports is increasingly becoming one of their favorite pastimes. Gone are the physical requirements to become an athlete – mental agility and strategic thinking are the ruling attributes of the virtual world. The accessibility of eSports has helped it grow into a true industry, which means a bounty of opportunities for game publishers, brands and fans to get in the game. Video games are now at a level where being a successful professional player requires constant practice and commitment, and its pros deserve a payday that one day rivals other professional sports stars with millions of fans. We’ll look at why and how eSports can become the next major Internet phenomenon and create an all-new class of sports celebrities.
Anna Prosser has made a name for herself in the Starcraft II pro scene through hosting and video content production for organizations like Team Evil Geniuses, IGN ProLeague, the North American Star League, Team Liquid, and Kingston Hyper X. She is well known for her attachment to longtime boyfriend and recent fiancé Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson, a pro StarCraft II player who currently acts as captain for Team Evil Geniuses. Both Anna and Geoff currently reside in the “Evil Geniuses Lair” pro gaming training facility, where Anna is the facility operations and content production manager for Team Evil Geniuses. Outside the e-sports realm, Anna is an independent communication consultant and performing artist. This past summer, she competed in the “Miss USA” Pageant as “Miss Oregon USA,” and was proud that, during the swimsuit competition, the emcee called her a geek. She loves to volunteer, travel, and watch Star Wars.
I am leading a group within IGN Entertainment that is making competitive video play a spectator sport and in charge of incubating new businesses at IGN. You can find out more about IGN Proleague at http://www.ign.com/ipl or check us out at SXSW http://sxsw.com/node/10126.
I have a technical and technology management background, worked at companies such as IBM, Yahoo!, AltaVista and Zip2.
I am a big believer in creative implementation, and building things that I enjoy.
Jung Won Chae is the Director of the Global StarCraft League (GSL), the leading professional StarCraft II organization in Korea. GSL is a South Korea-based StarCraft II tournament broadcasted to over 180 countries worldwide. The best players in the world have participated in the GSL since 2010. In 2012 it plans to hold 5 individual leagues (GSL) and 3 team leagues (GSTL). With a total of 210 game days and a total of 1.5 billion won in prize money, the GSL is the world's largest-scale StarCraft II tournament.
Kevin Lin is COO of TwitchTV, the world's best video game broadcasting network. Since graduating from Yale in 2004, Kevin has worn a variety of hats in different industries, from a stint as a zookeeper at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species to running major events and promotions for New York City to peddling beverages in San Francisco. Finally finding his home in the live online video world, Kevin is excited to help grow the world of video
game broadcasting and competitive gaming as a new form of entertainment for the masses.