2019 Esports Production Summit

Speakers

Pete Emminger, Activision Blizzard Esports, VP, Global Broadcast

As vice president of global broadcast at Blizzard Entertainment, Pete Emminger leads all broadcast and live production for Activision Blizzard Esports. He is responsible for developing and managing all of the broadcast technology tools and overall execution of live broadcasts across Blizzard’s esports programs, including the Overwatch League.

Pete Emminger began working with Blizzard Entertainment in 2013 as a consulting technical producer, and moved into his current position at the beginning of 2017. He played a key role in the first edition of Heroes of the Dorm that aired on ESPN in 2015, and has been deeply involved in all of Blizzard’s large-scale esports productions ever since. Most recently, he was instrumental in building and operating a permanent broadcast home for esports at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in Burbank, California.

Pete Emminger is a fine arts graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. When he isn’t facilitating live broadcasts to every corner of the globe or parsing real-time game statistics, he devotes himself further to his passion for esports by dreaming up new and better ways to fine-tune the spectator experience.

Mike Sepso, Esports Pioneer and Vindex, Co-Founder

Mike Sepso is an esports pioneer, instrumental in esports’ genesis and journey to becoming the multi-billion-dollar industry at the cross-section of gaming and sports entertainment. A successful entrepreneur, public company executive, CEO and spokesperson, Sepso exudes a unique mix of visionary, dealmaker, and operator acumen with an unparalleled global network in the esports industry he helped create. His latest venture, Vindex, is hailed as the company that “could solve a key hurdle in esports’ growth”.

In October 2019, Sepso launched a new esports venture – Vindex. In addition to initial funding of $60M to build a first-of-its-kind global esports infrastructure platform, Vindex also announced the acquisition of Next Generation Esports (NGE) and the launch of Esports Engine – both industry-leading companies in esports operations, production, and technology.

In 2002, Sepso founded Major League Gaming (MLG), with Sundance DiGiovanni and grew it to become the largest and most influential independent global esports league. MLG achieved many of the industry’s first milestones, including launching the first professional esports league system, securing the first televised series with NBC Sports, and building and launching the first OTT broadcast platform for premium esports content.

In 2015, Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick turned to Sepso to launch the company’s first esports and media division. As senior vice president and head of the new division, Sepso galvanized ATVI’s various esports programs into the most successful esports organization in the world. Within four months of launching the division, Sepso oversaw the acquisition of MLG, which was, at the time, the largest acquisition of an independent esports business.

In his role as the leader of ATVI’s new esports division, Sepso designed the original blueprint for the company’s burgeoning esports league structure, brought to life in the form of the Overwatch League, the world’s first global, franchised esports league. Following the launch of the league, Sepso oversaw commercial operations for all ATVI esports, including the largest sponsorship deals in the history of esports with HP and Intel.

Sepso is an investor and advisor to the New-York-based esports team organization Andbox – the owner of the New York Excelsior and Subliners – Overwatch, and Call of Duty League Franchises. He is also a member of the board of directors of esports team and lifestyle brand, 100 Thieves.

A passionate ambassador for esports, Sepso is a frequent keynote speaker at the industry’s most prestigious events and conferences.

Sepso is a graduate of Babson College.

Saralyn Smith, Blizzard Entertainment, BlizzCon Executive Producer

Saralyn Smith recently took on the role of executive producer for BlizzCon, an annual period of celebration for Blizzard games, esports, and community, culminating in a convention reaching millions of players and fans across the globe. Prior to this role, Smith led global community development, supported numerous global game launches, and served in leadership capacity over operational groups in global publishing and customer service. Since first joining Blizzard in 2011, she has been on support teams for Blizzard Entertainment games including World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion, and Battle for Azeroth; Hearthstone; StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void; Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion; Heroes of the Storm; and Overwatch.

Smith earned her master’s degree in organizational behavior and completed her undergraduate studies in psychology. For nearly a decade she played on the domestic professional beach volleyball tour—she loves to discuss the intersection of traditional sports and competitive gaming. These days, she gets her fix of team competitions and comradery through World of Warcraft.

Matt Arden, NBA, Head of Content and Media, NBA 2K League

Growing up all Matt Arden wanted to do was work in sports, so when he was able to secure an internship at “The George Michael Sports Machine” during his junior year at Virginia Tech, his entire world changed. That’s when he realized that storytelling, not scores, are the heart of any good broadcast.

Arden went on to join Turner Broadcasting where he spent 11 years working across multiple channels and platforms, most notably as a multiple Emmy-Award-winning creative producer in Turner Sports’ (now Warner Media News & Sports) Creative Services Sports Unit. In 2011, he moved to New York City and landed at Maggie Vision Productions, where he got the opportunity to work on a wide range of ESPN products, including the ESPYs. He then spent six years building and leading the “40 Foot Solutions” brand studio at Screenvision Media, where he rebranded and maintained one of the nation’s largest cinema entertainment networks and oversaw unique branded content productions for a roster of more than 150 national brands.

Today, Arden is head of content and media for the NBA 2K League where he leads the creative direction of all NBA 2K League content, overseeing the development and execution of the league’s content strategy, creative, and distribution across all platforms. He also oversees relationships with media distribution partners, analyzes data to make continual improvements to the league’s live broadcasts, manages third-party content agencies, designs content concepts and activations for marketing partners, and plays an integral role in identifying international broadcast opportunities for the NBA 2K League.

Vince Auletta, Swiftstack, Director of Media Solutions

Vince Auletta is the director of media solutions at SwiftStack and a lifelong fan of visual storytelling, technology, and the many ways they intersect. Based in Los Angeles, Auletta focuses on helping SwiftStack’s media clients get the most out of their solutions through a combination of on-site consultations and meticulous testing in SwiftStack’s high performance Media Solutions Lab.

Prior to joining SwiftStack, Auletta was the director of technology and security at Premiere Digital, where he helped pioneer the use of scale-out ‘cloud’ techniques and technologies on-premises for extremely high volume workflows.

Auletta holds a B.A. in film and media studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he honed his skills as a cinematographer and colorist during the transition from celluloid film to digital cinema cameras.

Kristin Connelly, Overwatch League, Senior Director, Marketing

Kristin Connelly is the head of global marketing for the Overwatch League, leading the team’s fan-facing initiatives including brand strategy, advertising and promotions, digital marketing, and social media and community efforts. Connelly focuses on the overall fan engagement strategy, helping the Overwatch League grow and deepen the relationship with its incredible global fanbase.

Prior to joining the Overwatch League in June 2017, Connelly previously worked at the New York Jets for seven years overseeing marketing, communications, and graphic design. She also worked on Madison Avenue at the global advertising agency J. Walter Thompson and the Baltimore Ravens. Connelly earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration from the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Connelly is an avid field hockey player, aspiring foodie, and devotee of the outdoors. She first learned what it means to be an esports fan at an early age watching her brother play all of the best ‘90s videogames.

Charles Conroy, The Switch, VP, Gaming

Charles Conroy currently serves as vice president of gaming at The Switch, a world leader in broadcast transmission. Conroy has extensive experience in professional gaming having served as chief development officer for Complexity Gaming, which was sold to the Dallas Cowboys last year. He was instrumental in the redevelopment of Complexity and its international expansion, which began in 2011. Conroy was also a fan favorite in The Championship Gaming series, which aired on DirecTV, and served as general manager of the Dallas Venom for over two seasons. He is regarded as one of the early pioneers in professional gaming and has served in leadership roles in additional gaming entities.

Brandon Costa, SVG, Director of Digital

Brandon Costa covers the sports video production industry with a focus on live streaming, over-the-top (OTT), social media, and other digital distribution technologies and platforms. He also directs SVG’s internal digital strategies launching the company’s video outfit, ‘SVG On Demand,’ designing and overseeing its mobile application, ‘SVG Mobile,’ and serving as executive producer and host of The SVG Podcast. Costa serves as program director of networking events serving the SVG College and SVG Digital communities. Prior to his time at SVG, Costa spent five years producing digital content for MLB Advanced Media.

Jason Dachman, SVG, Chief Editor

Jason Dachman oversees all aspects of SVG’s North American editorial operations, including the thrice-weekly SVG Insider newsletter and SVG’s annual print publications. A member of the SVG team since 2009, Dachman also serves as program director for SVG’s RSN Summit, Sports Content Management Forum, Sports Graphics Forum, and TranSPORT event. Prior to joining SVG, he spent three years covering local sports for The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, MA, and two years on the production staff of SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s The Ron & Fez Show. Dachman began his career in the Sports Information Department at Northeastern University in Boston, where he also earned a B.A. in media communications and cinema studies.

Ivan Danishevskyi, Esports Charts, Founder

Ivan Danishevskyi is a speaker, dreamer, founder, and passionate #esports expert with intel-backed by big-data analytical “Esports Charts”. He is an ex-pro-player and shoutcaster.

Danishevskyi has a vast esports experience starting from being a pro-player, to managing a number of teams, and to creating, covering and even commenting a lot of esports events.

He was energized with an idea of making esports better, bigger and more profitable for all parties involved, so he created Esports Charts – a unique analytical service that investigates trends of esports development, advertising, and streaming in general. This service makes esports more honest and clear, and helps sponsors, organizers and viewers to find out the popularity of any broadcast and esports event. Danishevskyi founded Esports Charts in 2016 with the goal of providing the esports industry with unbiased, exploitable data to work with.

Danishevskyi is a highly experienced IT entrepreneur who created and led many companies in various sectors.

Mark Deppe, University of California Irvine, Director, UCI Esports

Mark Deppe led the effort to create the award-winning esports program at UCI that boasts a 100% graduation rate. Working closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty, and industry partners, he built a business plan that is both cost-neutral to the university and that broadly approaches the world of esports through the five pillars of competition, research, community, entertainment, and careers. Deppe was selected to serve as the inaugural commissioner for the North American Scholastic Esports Federation, helping connect learning to student interests.

In June 2018, UCI’s League of Legends team won the College League of Legends Championship. In October 2018, UCI’s esports program was awarded “Most Outstanding Collegiate Program” by the esports industry at the Tempest Awards. While at UCI, Deppe has coordinated many campus traditions, including helping break Guinness Book World world records. He has a B.S. in psychobiology from UCLA and an MBA from Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

A.J. Dimick, University of Utah, Director of Operations, Varsity Esports Program

A.J. Dimick serves as the director of operations for the University of Utah’s varsity esports program. Dimick began his career in mainstream sports at a local sports radio station, 1280TheZone.  He produced the state’s highest rated afternoon drive-time sports radio talk show, produced MLS soccer broadcasts for Real Salt Lake, and covered Utah Utes and Jazz basketball.

Dimick pivoted into the gaming industry and received his Masters degree at the University of Utah’s #1 ranked Entertainment Arts & Engineering game development program. While there, he produced the 2014 Independent Game Festival Student Showcase winner Cyber Heist. Dimick remained on staff at EAE as the Game Studio relations director, furthering EAE as an essential farm team for game studios throughout the country. When the University of Utah began researching esports as a potential varsity team, Dimick combined his passions for games and sports to take lead on a scholarship esports program which serves as the first of its kind from schools in the Power-5 conferences.

Matt Donovan, Riot Games, Broadcast and Technology Manager

As a broadcast and technology manager at Riot Games, Matt Donovan leads a team of passionate engineers hell-bent on making Riot’s esports competitions global broadcast spectacles. Over the last two decades, Donovan has brought his dedication to innovation and quality to numerous live sports broadcasts (X-Games, NFL, MLB) and cable TV networks (Fox, Current TV).

Corey Dunn, Esports Stadium Arlington, VP of Broadcast & Esports Locker, President

With 15 years of broadcasting experience for esports, Corey Dunn has focused on increasing the quality of live event streams. The beginning of his career started with 10 years of shoutcasting for international major esports events for a variety of game genres. Dunn has produced and directed several of the largest events in esports including Dreamhack, ESL, MLG, Eleague, and so on. He is now the VP of broadcast for Esports Stadium.

Simon Eicher, ESL Gaming, Executive Producer, Director of Broadcast, Esports Services

ESL operates high profile esports leagues and tournaments such as the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, and the ESL Pro Series. Its work includes year-long production services across the esports tournament landscape. Eicher joined Turtle Entertainment, the company behind ESL, in 2005 and has played a key role in driving the worldwide growth of esports over the past ten years. In his role, he managed the broadcast of all ESL’s esports productions, including the pre-production, onsite execution, and the post-production for tournaments across the globe. Since 2018, Eicher’s focus has shifted more towards publisher and federations projects creating the IEM PyeongChang show in South Korea ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games to showcase the excitement and influence of esports.

Heather Garozzo, Dignitas, VP, Marketing

Heather “sapphiRe” Garozzo (33, Los Angeles, CA) is one of the most experienced women in esports. Garozzo started competing in Counter-Strike in the early 2000’s, playing in over 200 tournaments – more than any other female esports athlete. Most notably, Garozzo won the Esports World Cup in 2012 and later played with Dignitas, the reigning back-to-back World Champions. Garozzo, a freelance CS:GO in-game director, is billed on the broadcast line-up for some of the game’s most prestigious events, including ESL, ESEA, ELEAGUE, MLG, Beyond the Summit, PGL, BLAST Pro Series, and more.

In June 2019, Garozzo was inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame, the first woman to be inducted. She joined elite company in Chris Puckett, Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez, Jason Lake, Michal “Carmac” Blicharz, and Marcus “DJWheat” Graham. Also in 2019, Garozzo was named by Cynopsis Media as one of the top women in sports.

As the vice president of marketing for Dignitas, a Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment property, Garozzo is responsible for creating and executing Dignitas’ fan marketing and community engagement strategies for the 16-year old esports organization.

Jud Hannigan, Allied Esports International, Co-Founder and CEO

With more than 15 years of global consulting, marketing, and executive experience, Jud Hannigan is now at the forefront of the booming esports industry. Hannigan is a co-founder and CEO of Allied Esports International, a leading developer of esports properties and content, and a subsidiary of Allied Esports Entertainment (NASDAQ: AESE). The company’s portfolio includes venues, production studios, and 18-wheel semi-truck mobile arenas that serve as competition battlegrounds and content generation hubs through either direct operation or as part of the Allied Esports Property Network, the first affiliate program available to partners looking to open new esports facilities around the world.

Allied Esports’ flagship location, HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, opened in March 2018 to rave reviews and was home to one of the industry’s first competitive Fortnite events – Ninja Vegas ’18 – starring streaming sensation Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. The globally recognized, state-of-the-art venue has hosted some of the biggest names in gaming and a wide variety of esports entertainment events, including League of Legends All-Star, the Capcom Cup, the NHL Gaming World Championship, and NBA 2K’s “THE TURN.” The arena’s nightly tournament programming has become the foundation for Las Vegas’ growing esports community.

Prior to co-founding Allied Esports, Hannigan was a vice president at Ourgame International, a leading online card and board game developer based in China. In 2006, he founded consulting and trading company Big Turn International in Beijing, serving as managing director until 2015. Hannigan worked with clients throughout Asia across the sports and entertainment, gaming, television, apparel, and media industries.

Prior to moving to China in 2006, Hannigan worked in sales and partnership development for NYC Marketing, an office created by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he developed and executed marketing programs with official city partners and events, including Snapple Beverage Group and the 2005 CMA Awards. Prior to NYC Marketing, Hannigan worked in the Corporate and Community Relations division of the New York Yankees’ front office.

Dr. Chris “Doc” Haskell, Boise State University, Clinical Associate Professor, Head Esports Coach

Dr. Chris Haskell plays video games for a living, or at least that’s what his friends think. He is the director of Varsity esports At Boise State. As a professor and researcher, Haskell also focuses on the impact of videogames, virtual worlds, social media, and digital culture.

Haskell teaches his classes in Minecraft and World of Warcraft. He created a course about Facebook, Youtube, and memes. Haskell even has retro 80s arcade games in his office, for research of course. When it comes to work, Dr. Haskell is serious about play.

Kristian Hernandez, SVG, Associate Editor and Social Media Manager

Kristian Hernandez handles the day-to-day construction of the SVG Insider newsletter, oversees all social media content distribution, and covers various sports technology topics for Sports Video Group. Before joining SVG, Hernandez served as co-founder of CHC-TV, the first student-run television studio at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA. While at CHC, he produced a daily sports show named “On the Hill with Hernandez” — covering all men’s and women’s athletics for the college. Also, Hernandez spearheaded the college’s newspaper, “The Griffin”, as its sports editor. Hernandez graduated with a B.A. in communications. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he currently lives in Hazlet, NJ.

David Hoffman, Blackmagic Design Americas, Business Development Manager

David Hoffman’s career spans over 25 years in real-time VFX visual arts and media production. His experience in product and project management, as well as systems design, augment his extensive efforts in field and studio production. He brings all of his skills and experience to his current position as business development manager at Blackmagic Design Americas.

Bob Jordan CVE, 1337 Facilities, CEO; Venue Road, Founder

Robert D. Jordan CVE, is a 30 year veteran in major project development and operations in sports and entertainment venues and public assembly facilities. Jordan is an established voice in the “Smart Stadium” movement typically providing consulting services to traditional sports teams, venues, property owners, and developers. The recent development of 1337 Facilities, a JV with esports standards Jordan Rambis and Real Time Strategies, with Venue Road and sports integrator Ampthink, was created to aid institutions in the conception, design, construction, and sponsorship of campus gaming. It develops solutions (software and process) and facilities (brick and mortar) that integrate the best practices of the traditional sports space identified and centered with the requirements and expectations of the gaming ecosystem. The resulting intersection of the esports industry with the traditional sports-learned lessons amplifies the expectation that all the electronic systems in all types of modern venues migrate into an integrated operating and content distribution platform that improves the fan and game experience. The resulting integration is a unique platform to bring new activations and experiences to the fans, the partner, and all stakeholders for both esports and traditional sports.

Jordan is champion of creating dynamic customer experience platforms and partnerships within the design context of the venues that value revenue and the customer as a common driver of design and activation. Providing subject matter expertise to leagues and team owners maximizes the relationship of the built environment to the brand, the program delivery, and the technology integration to support the revenue generation and the operational cost reduction in facility design, team operations, and partnership integration.

Prior to Venue Road and 1337 Facilities, Jordan was with Van Wagner’s Team and Venue Services group, specializing in technology infrastructure at sports facilities and mixed-use districts. Projects included consulting on SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta for Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves, plus Little Caesars Arena and the District Detroit – the ballpark and arena both opened in 2017. The AlamoDome and the Mission Rock Development are also projects in his portfolio.

Van Wagner acquired Jordan’s firm, Venue Research and Design, in 2012 as Jordan was working with MLB Advanced Media to update MLB ballparks with a standard wireless (DAS/WiFI) platform across the league. His role extended to consulting for MLBAM on its activation of instant replay in baseball as well as league-wide installations of pace of game clocks, Statcast, and iBeacon. Additional milestone projects included VTB stadium in Moscow, Mumbai Cricket in India, and consulting on college facilities such as the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium renovation and Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome.

In 2004, Jordan came on board with the NFL’s NY Jets for the development of the West Side Stadium in Manhattan, as the vice president of design and construction. In 2005, the focus moved to the design and development of MetLife Stadium, the $1.65 billion stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., that opened in 2010 for the Jets and New York Giants. He was also part of the development team for the American Airlines Center in Dallas, which opened in 2001 for the NHL’s Stars and NBA’s Mavericks.

Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG, Co-Executive Director, Editorial Services

Ken Kerschbaumer is co-executive director of editorial services for the Sports Video Group and SVG Europe. He was a co-founder of SVG along with Paul Gallo and Marty Porter in 2005 and has been writing about how sports networks and leagues use video and audio technology to deliver a quality TV experience since 1991. Kerschbaumer began his career in 1991 at Television Broadcast magazine before joining Cahners where he was founding editor of Digital Broadcasting magazine. In 2000, he joined Broadcasting & Cable magazine as senior editor of technology where he covered all aspects of broadcasting, cable, and internet content creation and distribution.

Andrew Lane, FACEIT, Director of Broadcast

Andrew Lane is the director of broadcast at FACEIT, a community focused esports platform and tournament organizer. His key responsibilities include the delivery of the company’s live broadcasts and events; the design strategies for broadcast development and innovation; the global production strategic sourcing; creating new key broadcast partnerships; and building key skills education and outreach programs.

Before starting at FACEIT, Lane worked freelance in the esports industry as a technical director and assisted with the delivery of key productions for clients such as 343 Industries, Jagex, Super Evil Megacorp, and Konami, as well as working with a number of industry-leading tournament organizers.

Since joining FACEIT, Lane has led the delivery of major events such as The FACEIT London Major 2018, PUBG Global Summit, Esports Championship Series, and The Universal Open. Alongside this he has also produced a number of white label and FACEIT projects, and made key internal developments to the production workflow, logistics pipeline, and personnel operations.

Joe Lynch, EA, Head of Broadcast

Joe Lynch is the head of broadcast for Electronic Arts. Over the past 20 years, his career brought him from NBC to China, WWE, OWN, Time, GoPro and finally, EA. Lynch is currently responsible for all competitive gaming broadcasts and long-form content. Over the past two years, he has expanded EA’s live and feature content offerings, while expanding in-house production capabilities including the, newly opened, EA Broadcast Center. Prior to joining EA, Lynch brought Access Hollywood to China, managed digital production for WWE, built the live division of Time, and was the executive producer of lifestyle and music at GoPro.

Brian Mirakian, Populous, Senior Principal and Director of Brand Activation

Brian Mirakian is a senior principal at Populous and serves as director of brand activation in the Americas, which features an innovative approach that powerfully brings brands to life through design. Through a core focus on connective strategy in the entertainment and hospitality industries, he masterfully creates opportunities for engagement by linking people to immersive user experiences on all levels, design mediums, and interactive technologies. In 2018, Mirakian’s team debuted Esports Stadium Arlington, America’s most robust new esports venue. Most recently, the team broke ground on Fusion Arena, the largest new-construction, purpose built esports venue in the Western Hemisphere in Philadelphia. The future home to the Philadelphia Fusion is set to debut in early 2021.

Mirakian’s award winning work has helped create transformative social experiences for his clients, having collaborated with nearly every professional team, some of the world’s leading advertising agencies, the Olympic Games, the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball, as well as top brands including Adidas, Pepsi, and Dow. His work has been recognized internationally in ID Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, the Discovery Channel, and Sports Business Journal. Mirakian received the Award of Honor from the Society of Environmental Graphic Design and has garnered multiple American Institute of Architects design awards for innovation and excellence.

Oluwafemi Okusanya, FaZe Clan, VP of Content

Oluwafemi Okusanya is the vice president of content at FaZe Clan, the world’s unmatched leader in gaming entertainment/lifestyle and competitive esports. As the company continues to grow exponentially, Okusanya aims to bring more nuanced, film-inspired, creativity to the group while providing structure to help the team scale. It is his goal to help make FaZe Clan a household name through entertaining, engaging, and authentic content.

As a millennial who grew up in an age before the internet, Okusanya understands the reach/capabilities of traditional media like commercials, television, and film. With that understanding comes a level of respect. With the advent of the internet and the various social media platforms, he now understands that creativity lies in the hands of the creator.

Okusanya has had a non-traditional path into content creation. He earned his B.S in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Riverside. After working two years in aerospace and two years in oil and gas with Chevron, he took a leap of faith and left engineering to pursue a career in film and content creation. Determined, Okusanya became a self-taught editor, producer, director, cinematographer, and camera operator working on a variety of projects in both traditional and digital media. He started at FaZe Clan in 2017 as the post-production manager and quickly took on a more senior leadership role helping grow the Youtube channel from 4 million subscribers to 7.25 million subscribers, today. Additionally, Okusanya helped FaZe Clan land major deals with Instagram TV, SnapChat, and Twitch. In 2019, FaZe Clan has partnered with major brands including the TCL Chinese Theatre, Activision, Call of Duty, SnapChat, Netflix, Wix, Venmo, and GFuel, as well as major celebrities like Offset, Lil Yachty, Ben Simons, Juju Smith Schuster, and Tyrone Woodly. Okusanya aims to combine his passion for filmmaking and content creation with the power of FaZe Clan and the esports community to help change the entertainment industry.

Cameron Reed, Ross Video, Esports Business Development Manager and Freelance Esports Director/Producer

Cameron Reed has been directing and producing live, multi-camera esports productions since 2014. His work has aired on ESPN2, the NFL Network, Disney XD, Twitch, YouTube, and Hulu. His credits include the Madden NFL ‘18 Championship Series, Intel Extreme Masters Oakland 2017, and FIFA Interactive World Cup. Reed recently joined the Ross Sports and Live Events team as the esports business development manager.

Mitch Rosenthal, Twitch, Director, Esports Production Operations

Mitch Rosenthal was recently hired by Twitch as its director of production operations for esports. Most recently head of production and operations for Riot Games Esports, Rosenthal joins Twitch as the company looks to grow its Twitch Rivals esports efforts. Rosenthal will oversee the broadcast, event production, tournament organization, and player management departments while working directly under head of Twitch esports, Justin Dellario and senior director of esports production and operations, Steve Flisler.

Adam Poel, Defacto Entertainment, Partner and Director of Production; NBA 2K League, Supervising Broadcast Producer

As director of production, Adam Poel oversees Defacto Entertainment’s slate of sports, entertainment, and live event programming. He began in the world of reality television on productions including Top Chef and The Amazing Race transitioning into world class sporting events including the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and World Cup South Africa in 2010. Most recently, Poel has been responsible for developing and managing the execution of the broadcast technology on Nike’s Breaking2 world record attempt in 2017, lead technical producer across five continents for the Vans Park Series, and the supervising producer on the NBA 2K League.

Jeff Politsch, NASCAR Productions, Head of Broadcast, eNASCAR

Jeff Politsch is the head of broadcast for eNASCAR at NASCAR Productions. He’s a 20+ year veteran of sports television production across multiple networks and platforms. As an Emmy-award winning studio and live event producer, Politsch was set up perfectly to transition to the esports world. 

Politsch leads the overall execution of the eNASCAR Heat Pro League broadcasts. This includes acting as creative director for the annual production days for all eNASCAR drivers. Politsch is also responsible for all large-scale eNASCAR events leading the charge on all arena and staging concepts. He also is involved with many other aspects of eNASCAR including talent acquisition, technology, logistics, and staffing. 

NASCAR Productions has been home to Politsch for the past 15 years. Before NASCAR Productions, he worked at ESPN for 8 years honing his broadcasting skills across a variety of sports and platforms.

Scott Smith, Do Not Peek Entertainment, Co-Founder/Managing Director

Scott Smith is one of the most experienced figureheads within esports. After entering the scene as a Counter-Strike competitor in 1999, he joined the team of GotFrag, which was a leading source of news for enthusiasts interested in esports and professional gamers.

After being purchased by Major League Gaming in 2007, Smith became the COO of Evil Geniuses (acquired by Twitch), one of the most storied professional organizations in esports. He is very active in Counter Strike, hosting an analyst desk, doing interviews, and now most recently, assisting the professional CS players in organizing their voice within the industry via the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association (CSPPA).

Smith has produced and directed multiple Blizzcon stages for Blizzard and ESL, acted as assistant director for the first Heroes of the Dorm show on ESPN, and freelanced as a producer/director for multiple shows for ESL, FACEIT, and MLG over the years. He recently opened Do Not Peek Entertainment, a gaming and esports production company with long time esports veteran Jason Baker.

Outside of esports, Smith has worked for 20+ years in event logistics for some of the largest corporations in the world, including Coca-Cola (Olympics and World Cups), American Express, GE, Oracle, and more.

Larry Thorpe, Canon U.S.A., Senior Fellow, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Professional Engineering and Solutions Division

Larry Thorpe joined Canon U.S.A. in February 2004. In January 2015, he was awarded the 2014 Engineering Emmy Charles F. Jenkins Award for lifetime achievement by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In October 2015, Thorpe was a recipient of Honorary Membership in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).

Prior to joining Canon in 2004, Thorpe worked for Sony Broadcast Company. From 1984 to 2003, he was responsible for HDTV market development and from 2001 to 2004, he was senior vice president of content creation systems. Thorpe received the NAB 2000 Television Engineering Achievement Award and the Montreux 2000 Gold Medal Award for Digital Cinematography.

Thorpe also worked for RCA’s Broadcast Division from 1966 to 1982, where he developed a range of color television cameras and telecine products. In 1981, he won the David Sarnoff Award for his innovations in automatic studio color cameras. He holds ten patents based upon his work at RCA. From 1961 to 1966, Thorpe worked in the Designs Department of the BBC in London, England.

Thorpe is an IEE Graduate (1961) of the College of Technology in Dublin, Ireland and received his Chartered Engineer (C. Eng.) and MIEE distinction in 1965.

Jared Timmins, Grass Valley, VP, Advanced Technology

A member of the Grass Valley team since 2012, Jared Timmins has more than 15 years of experience in the broadcast and IT markets with previous roles covering system integration, solutions architecture team management, digital media, and cloud-based workflows. Throughout his career, his focus has been on creating novel solutions in playout and news centralizations, venue experience, advanced metadata utilization, and digital media syndication.

In his current role, Timmins is focused on building out the business and technological framework that will empower Grass Valley’s customers to maximize cloud environments across live, news, playout, and OTT. His mandate is to help Grass Valley provide flexible and adaptive capabilities to broadcasters and new media providers as we move towards autonomous media production.