2022 SVG Esports Production Summit

Speakers

James Wyld, Riot Games, Principal Infrastructure Engineer

James Wyld has been with Riot Games since 2014 and is a principal infrastructure engineer within the Esports Technology Group. As tech lead for Project Stryker, he is an instrumental part of the planning and implementation process for most systems. During construction of Riot’s Remote Broadcast Centre in Dublin, Wyld led the roll-out of the core tech stack, including 2110 IP network, JPEG-XS transmission strategy, and the integration of AWS cloud workflows.

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.

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 became 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.

Phil Englert, Ross Video, Business Development Manager – Global Esports

Phil Englert grew up in Denver Colorado and now resides in California after graduating from Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. He has worked in the broadcast industry for 8 years focusing the last 5 years on esports. Previously, Englert worked for Next Generation Esports (NGE), and then Esports Engine as the head of in-game production. He has focused on the in-game storytelling of esports and the use of the spectator tools within the games. Englert’s goal has always been to deliver the most game authentic, format relevant, and emotionally impactful story to the audience and community. Some of his credits include game directing the Fortnite World Cup, TwitchCon 2018-2019, PUBG PGI 2018, and Teamfight Tactics World Championship 2018-2020.  Englert is excited to expand his expertise globally at Ross and continue to innovate the technological workflows used within the esports ecosystem.

Heather Garozzo, CS:GO and VALORANT Observer

Heather “sapphiRe” Garozzo is a veteran of the esports industry. Garozzo is considered one of the most successful FPS observers (or in-game directors) for CS:GO and VALORANT, among other FPS titles. She has been billed on the broadcast line-up for some of the game’s most prestigious events, including the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 and 2022, and numerous CS:GO Majors including the famed ELEAGUE Boston Major, alongside an Emmy-award winning production crew. Garozzo has in-game directed events for top tier tournament organizers including Riot Games, Nerd Street Gamers, ESL, ELEAGUE, MLG, Beyond the Summit, PGL, BLAST Pro Series, DreamHack, and more. Garozzo has also served as broadcast talent for various women’s esports tournaments, both in VALORANT and CS:GO.

During her career as a professional Counter-Strike player, Garozzo competed in over 250 tournaments since 2001; notably winning the ESWC Women’s World Cup in 2012 with team Ubinited, while also playing for such reputable organizations as Evil Geniuses and Dignitas. In 2019, Garozzo was inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame, the first and so far only female to do so. In 2021, Garozzo was inducted into the Women in Games Hall of Fame.

As vice president at New Meta Entertainment, which includes esports team Dignitas and women’s gaming platform, Raidiant, Garozzo is responsible for creating and executing marketing, live broadcast, and content engagement strategies. Garozzo founded Raidiant as a platform designed to inspire the next generation of women gamers. Garozzo earned her M.B.A in marketing and digital marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her B.A. in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Joseph Lynch, EA, Group Head of Content and Programming

Joseph Lynch is the group head of content and programming 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 four years, he has expanded EA’s live and feature content offerings, while expanding in-house production capabilities including the 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.

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

Ryan Thompson is the co-founder and chief production officer of Esports Engine, a Vindex company. In his role, Thompson oversees the design, production, and execution of the industry’s most iconic events and leagues across Esports Engine’s portfolio of partners, including AAA game publishers, brands, and other key stakeholders, such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Twitch, Activision, and more.

A 15-year veteran of the industry, Thompson is responsible for bringing hundreds of live esports tournaments and broadcasts to life across a multitude of game titles. Prior to founding Esports Engine, Thompson served as director of technical production at Activision Blizzard, where he led esports production for the publisher’s most valuable properties and landmark events, including the Call of Duty World League. As a founding employee at Major League Gaming, Thompson made an early impact in the world of esports production, bringing competitive gaming content to life through proprietary platforms before the likes of Youtube or Twitch existed, as well as on major networks, such as ESPN and HBO.

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