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Esports Day: Esports Is How Old?? Stories and Lessons from Those Who Were There


Marcus Graham (Game Commentator, Twitch)

Morgan Romine (Director of Initiatives, AnyKey)

Scott Smith (Esports Veteran, Independent)

T.L. Taylor (Professor, MIT)

Patrick Miller (Game Designer, Riot Games)

Location: Room 3002, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 19

Time: 11:20am - 12:20pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Business & Marketing

Format: Tutorial

Tutorials: Esports Day

Vault Recording: Video

The current esports landscape holds tremendous potential but it also at times falls prey to hype that keeps it from tackling tough issues. This session will offer frank discussion, rooted in deep experience, to address head-on a number of important topics that often get buried in popular coverage (or marketing decks). Bringing together several foundational esports professionals for a conversation geared toward improving the future of competitive gaming, the session will look at esports history and roots for key lessons. Drawing on their rich experience in helping build and grow esports from its earliest days, the panelists will tackle critical topics including the relationship between grassroots communities and commercialized esports, broadcasting growth and challenges, understanding current audiences and extending them, as well as issues around labor and player associations.


Listening to key people who built esports from the ground up is crucial for building a better scene going forward.

Intended Audience

This panel will be of interest to developers and organizers who would like insight into growing and sustaining esports organizations and audiences.