2020 SVG Esports Production Summit

Speakers

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

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. Arden 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 and broadcasts, overseeing the development and execution of the league’s content and broadcast strategies, creative, and distribution across all platforms.

Jason Baker, Do Not Peek Entertainment, Co-Founder and Managing Director

Jason Baker has been involved in esports since 2001. He innovated some of the first CS broadcasts in 2006. Baker also helped launch ELeague for Turner Sports and Overwatch League for Blizzard Entertainment. He is now the co-founder and managing director of Do Not Peek Entertainment.

Robert Brambila, Panasonic, Sales Engineer, Broadcast/Cinema/Professional Video Systems

Rob Brambila has been involved in the media industry for over 15 years as an engineer, technical production manager, and producer. He has run multiple production studios and has over 2,000 live to broadcast shows under his belt. Most recently, Brambila served as technical producer for season one of Blizzards’ “Overwatch League”. He is now a field engineer for Panasonic supporting the professional video market.

Charles Conroy, The Switch, VP, Gaming

Charles Conroy leads The Switch’s global expansion into esports. A former gamer himself and an early pioneer of professional esports, he created and managed his own teams including JMC, which he sold to the Dallas Cowboys. Conroy was also an equity partner and chief development officer of Complexity, one of the world’s premiere esports brands.

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.

Chelsea Delbridge, Activision Blizzard Esports, Senior Manager of Digital Content

Chelsea Delbridge is the senior manager of digital content at Activision Blizzard Esports, leading platform, content, and influencer strategies across the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League. Prior to Activision Blizzard Esports, Delbridge managed social media and audience development at Warner Bros Digital Networks working at Machinima where her expertise in content, social media, and data driven strategies catapulted Machinima’s social media (non-YouTube) viewership to 140MM+ views per month. Delbridge cultivated her expertise in content working in television at networks like G4, FUEL TV, and the NFL Network.

Corey Dunn, Esports Stadium Arlington, Chief Creative Officer

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 chief creative officer for Esports Stadium Arlington.

Simon Eicher, ESL Gaming, Executive Producer, Special Events and Senior Global Manager, Procurement

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. Simon Eicher joined ESL Gaming 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. In 2020 due to COVID, Eicher is now part of the procurement team to support his network for the company and continue the innovation and partnerships to deliver state of the art technologies and concepts for ESL.

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.

Nicolas Estrup, BLAST, Director of Product and Experience

Nicolas Estrup has worked in esports since the mid 2000’s and has spent nearly two decades working with esports content. He has worked both for his own company and an online content channel as a self taught host, as well as a producing and shooting editor. Later, Estrup focused on commercial productions, corporate content, sports, esports, and documentary work.

At the end of 2016, Estrup was headhunted as one of the first employees at RFRSH Entertainment, now BLAST, where he was part of leading the conceptualization and creation of BLAST and its products. The global esport event circuit, BLAST Pro Series, today known as BLAST Premier, was followed by the creation of BLAST Bounty Hunt in DotA2 and an entry into Valorant, as well.

Today, Estrup oversees all of BLAST’s output with a holistic, systematic, and revenue-driving approach to create emotion triggering do-not-miss experiences.

Johanna Faries, Activision Blizzard, Commissioner of Call of Duty Esports

Johanna Faries serves as commissioner of the Call of Duty League for Activision Blizzard, overseeing league and business operations, product development, and general management of Call of Duty esports globally. In her role, she has led the formation of the new, global city-based league, which in its inaugural season includes 12 professional teams in across four countries featuring the best Call of Duty players in the world and dedicated amateur competition systems year-round. Faries is a sports industry veteran, who joined the company’s leadership team in 2018 after 12 years at the National Football League at its League Office Headquarters in New York City.

A graduate of Harvard University, Faries was recognized in 2019 as one of Adweek’s “Most Powerful Women in Sports” and listed on Fortune’s “40 Under 40” most influential business leaders. She also serves on the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission Advisory Board and has spoken at several established conferences, summits, and university events.

While at the NFL, Faries held a number of leadership roles across marketing, league initiative strategy, fan and business development, partnerships, and consumer products. As vice president of club business development at the National Football League, Faries interfaced closely with NFL team owners and presidents to bolster their local revenue and brand goals year-round. She also played a key role in launching the NFL’s first-of-its-kind ticketing network.

Prior to that, Faries led the NFL’s efforts to amplify its reach, relevance, and popularity with key fan segments as vice president of marketing and fan development, where her charter included growing the NFL’s fan base in the near and long term via proprietary assets, global partnerships, brand and content marketing, and tentpole events, including the creation of the NFL’s MyCauseMyCleats initiative and the record-setting elevation of the NFL Draft. In her last year at the company, Faries spearheaded the development of the league’s Social Justice Initiative, working closely with owners, players, and third party organizations to establish a new foundation for collaboration and impactful service to communities nationwide. Earlier on in her tenure, she served as director of consumer products – managing the NFL’s primary apparel and e-commerce partnerships both on-field and off, including Nike, New Era, Under Armour, and Fanatics – and also held roles in the Sponsorship & Sales and Consumer Products Business Development divisions.

Throughout her career, Faries has held executive positions in a broad range of diversity and inclusion and career development and mentorship programs. She continues to do so as a senior leader advisor to Activision’s African-American, Black & Friends Employee Network. Faries grew up a multisport athlete in Potomac, Maryland, has lived abroad in both Israel and the Dominican Republic, and is also a singer-songwriter. She resides with her husband and sons in Los Angeles, CA.

Gabe Feldman, Viral Nation, Senior Business Development Lead

Gabe Feldman is the senior business development lead at Viral Nation. Viral Nation is the fastest growing global influencer marketing, creative, and media agency for brands like Activision Blizzard, Twitch, ViewSonic, and Amazon.

Prior to Viral Nation, Feldman owned an influencer MCN (multi-channel network) and managed a network of over 5,000 influencers cross-platform. He specializes in working with brands and organizations on crafting integrated marketing strategies and creative that is geared for audiences on social.

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. In addition, he is the program director for the annual SVG Venue Summit. 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, Hernandez 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 BA in Communications. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he currently lives in Queens, NY.

David Hoffman, Blackmagic Design, Business Development Manager

David Hoffman’s career spans over 25 years in visual arts and media production. Hoffman’s 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.

Ariel Horn, VENN, Co-Founder and Co-CEO

Ariel Horn is a four-time Emmy Award winning global executive producer, entrepreneur, and a father of televised esports. He is credited with helping build esports from its humble beginnings to its current crossover success. It’s success centered initially on Blizzard titles before transitioning to League of Legends where Horn built a global ecosystem and the LoL World Championships that has elevated esports events to the status of the Super Bowl. Horn has produced major events at the world’s most iconic venues including Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center, and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. He took home the first ever Sports Emmy for esports in 2018.

Horn was also behind a platinum selling collaboration with Imagine Dragons, drove the bleeding edge of technology in production with a live AR Dragon that landed on a field in a stadium, and helped bring a virtual K-Pop group, KDA, to life that became a breakout internet sensation.

Horn began his career in traditional TV at NBC Sports and Olympics, working with the legends of the industry on four Olympics, Sunday Night Football, and other traditional sports. In 2007, he left the network with the idea to bring together the worlds of video games and sports to create new longevity and fandom for video games like never before.

Now, Horn is once again aiming to disrupt media by teaming up with partner Ben Kusin to create the MTV of gaming with his new startup, VENN.

Jeff Jacobs, VENN, EVP and General Manager

Jeff Jacobs is the EVP and general manager of VENN; having been instrumental in its launch and named to the newly created position on the first day of air August 5th 2020.

Previously, Jacobs was the founder and managing partner of Skyline New Media, a sports and entertainment production company which specializes in third party productions and the development and utilization of emerging technologies for content and entertainment. Skyline, whose clients include the NBA, Viacom, iHeart Radio, Ace Universe, LiveXLive, and others was recently acquired. Jacobs draws on his years of experience in television, content, and multi-platform production, as well as his years in Olympic production and technologies, to contribute to the development and execution of a variety of VENN’s strategic opportunities.

Jacobs formerly held various positions at Viacom’s Global Entertainment Group including most recently serving as SVP of production, operations, and emerging technologies at MTV: music television. He was responsible for taking the networks HD and later, digital.  As the MTV Music Group’s executive in charge of production, Jacobs was referred to countless times as one of the original live stream and remote production innovators.

Prior to joining MTV, Jacobs was with NBC’s Olympic Division where he ran much of NBC’s Olympic production, emerging technologies, and operations in Sydney and Salt Lake City. He grew up at NBC Sports, starting out as an intern and later working a variety of roles from stage manager to associate director and production manager of several Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and sporting events worldwide.

Jacobs is constantly on a quest to discover the latest technology enabling new creative heights and elevating levels of production. He is constantly developing strategic alliances with potential broadcast, social, SVOD, CTV, OTT, technology, mobile, and digital partners. Jacobs considers executive producing “RE-ACT NOW, Music Relief Telethon” for New Orleans as one of his proudest control room moments. He has been able to grow tentpoles and mega-programs like the Video Music Awards from one-night shows into week-long programming events. His work with the NBA  in developing the NBA Summer league into a virtual content and innovation lab has earned him accolades from technologists worldwide, as well as his peers.

Steven "Claw" Jalicy, ESL Gaming, Global Head of Streaming

Steven “Claw” Jalicy is the global head of streaming for ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company. With over 10 years of experience in broadcast and live sports in over 15 different countries, and with hundreds of events in a senior technical leadership role, Claw has become a recognized expert in live streaming for esports and live events.

Currently based out of ESL’s global headquarters in Europe and living in Amsterdam, Claw is responsible for all aspects of ESL’s technical distribution worldwide. With more than 18 major events and countless other live broadcasts throughout the year, ESL brings the highest level of esports to millions of viewers all around the world, via traditional linear and online distribution platforms.

Since joining ESL in 2016, Claw has transformed live distribution workflows, and developed new systems and technology. He continues to drive innovation for ESL’s global live content delivery, remote operations, and in-house contribution/distribution systems; decreasing overall investment and operational costs, while staying at the forefront of streaming technology and delivering the highest standards of quality and reliability in esports.

Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG, Executive Director, Editorial

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.

Joseph Lynch, EA, Head of Broadcast

Joseph 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.

Emil "Ansvar" Nachtweij, Freelance, In-Game Director and Observer

Starting as an observer in the middle of 2017, Emil “Ansvar” Nachtweij set the standard on how to showcase games in the battle royale genre. When the chance to in-game direct appeared, he built his own team of observers all sharing his view on in-game storytelling, whilst rarely missing any of the action.
Nachtweij has been a part of major events like GLL Grand Slam, the Faceit Global Summit, and Apex Legends preseason invitational, as well as numerous smaller events all over Europe. He currently lives in Sweden.

Cameron Reed, Ross Video, Business Development Manager, Esports

Cameron Reed began directing and producing live, multi-camera esports productions in 2014, with his first professional directing credit on Blizzcon Opening Weekend that year. He has directed many of the largest esports events in the world including IEM, ESL One, Riot Games’ uLOL Championships, the Madden NFL ‘18 Championship Series on the NFL Network, and many more. 

Reed joined the Ross Video Sports and Live Events team as the global business development manager, esports in 2019. He brings not only boundless enthusiasm, but years of hands-on experience that he shares with the Ross Sales Team and their long list of clients.

Corey Smith, Activision Blizzard Esports, Director, Live Operations

Corey Smith has been transforming digital television and broadcast systems since 2011 while working at Microsoft on the Xbox Live team. Since then, he has held a director position at Sinclair, broadcasting and managing the digital side of the news publishing operations across the United States. Two years ago, he left Sinclair to join and build the broadcast technology group at Blizzard Entertainment. In Smith’s current role he leads a team building the next generation of cloud encoding and distribution systems for Activision Blizzard Esports with a primary focus on the broadcasting of Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues globally.

Viranda Tantula, VENN, VP and Executive Creative Director

With over 15 years of experience in pop culture, entertainment, and gaming, Viranda Tantula is a creative leader who thrives on building collaborative teams to deliver innovative experiences. A proud graduate of the University of Southern California, Tarantula provides expertise and focus in IP and brand development, creative direction, events, music direction, live broadcast, animation, digital media, content production, talent relations, and partnerships experience across music, games, fashion, and film.

While a creative director at Riot Games, Tantula helped bring to life real world transmedia collaborations to traditionally videogame-only IP. In 2018, he oversaw the birth of K/DA, an augmented reality League of Legends K-pop group, whose single “Pop/Stars” has garnered over 365 million views on YouTube.

At VENN, Tantula founded VENN Records, the network’s music label. It’s debut single, “Wildfire” by singer and VENN host Chrissy Costanza, was featured in the VENN launch trailer.

Ryan Thompson, Esports Engine, Chief Production Officer and Co-Founder

Ryan Thompson is the chief production officer and co-founder at Esports Engine. He has played a leading role in developing the broadcast experience around esports as we know it today, pioneering technology and producing live esports content before YouTube or Twitch existed.

In the last 15 years, Thompson has produced more than 150 live esports events and broadcasts. He was an original employee of Major League Gaming and served as director of technical production at Activision Blizzard.

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