Dublin Tech Summit

Dublin Tech Summit explores the business opportunities in esports

By Business & Finance
18 June 2024

Trev Keane, Managing Director & Co-founder, Epic Global, Jasmine Skee, CEO, Guild Esports, and Steve Daly, Co-Founder and CEO, Wylde spoke about the business opportunities in the esports industry at Dublin Tech Summit.

More than 40% of the global population are gamers. At Dublin Tech Summit 2024, in a special joint fireside, gaming industry leaders explored the latest business opportunities in gaming, as well as efforts to address sexism in the sector.

The panellists included Trev Keane, Managing Director & Co-founder, Epic Global, Jasmine Skee, CEO, Guild Esports, and Steve Daly, Co-Founder and CEO, Wylde.

The joint-fireside was moderated by David Monaghan, Deputy Editor, Business & Finance.

This session delved into the evolving landscape of the gaming industry and the technical measures being taken to address gender disparities.

The Current Landscape

Trev Keane spoke about the state of the esports industry from the recent past until present. He said: “With the boom of the internet, we’ve had big investment into the space. We’ve had a lot of teams across Europe, across the US, Asia, build and invest in titles. Then we probably got to a bit of a peak during COVID times, given that a lot of people were indoors … and then we probably saw a bit of a bubble burst.”

“We saw teams fold, we saw teams league struggle. We saw the conversation shifting from ‘this is a great investment opportunity’ to ‘where’s the return?’ and what we’re seeing now is who’s come out the other side … who has survived, who has thrived, who has worked out what the business models are within esports … And, you know, the future is starting to look look a bit brighter.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Steve Daly, Co-Founder and CEO of Wylde said the esports industry is “now positioned to readily embrace diversity and inclusion and take on the responsibility.”

He continued: “As Trev mentioned, I think the last number of years has caused a lot of consolidation within the industry, and what that’s forced esports orgs and clubs to do is raise the level of professionalism and also embrace a level of responsibility, so we we’re starting as you mentioned at the start, you know, there’s 3 billion gamers across the world. If you break that down from a gender perspective, it’s roughly 50/50. That’s that’s an amazing starting point.

“In terms of e sports, it’s only five or six or 7% of females that participate. It’s it’s probably akin to where football is, and and and that’s even despite what football has gone through over the last four or five years in terms of the explosion of of female participation. Where I think we are because it’s such a young industry … We’re learning, we’re adapting and we’re changing. We don’t have any legacy.We can write our own script, and and there’s phenomenal initiatives.”

Jasmine Skee, CEO, Guild Esports, spoke about unconscious bias: “I obviously came in as a female CEO. When I meet with the other CEOs, they all tend to be ex-players and male, and I think we all have our unconscious bias, when you come into an environment like I did here, I came in with not being a a gamer.

“So I actually looked at the environment, and one of the things I saw was that … [as] Steve just mentioned, 50% of of a gamers are women, only 5% of professional es sport players are female. So what I did was go back to why was that the case? And we actually did a campaign with Sky called ‘No Room for Abuse’, which actually looked at the level of abuse that women do receive when they do game … It is usually of sexual and violent nature.

“And now with Sky this year, what we’re doing is creating opportunities for women to become professional gamers, and that’s across a number of e-sports.”

Business Opportunities 

Skee spoke about her work in the music industry. “I launched the O2 in the UK, which is now the 3Arena. “hen I joined the music industry, there was just so much green field. It was very, very fragmented, very similar to what esports and gaming is now … Now, I could never go into the music industry and do what I did at O2.

“But when you come into this e sports and gaming, what I would say to brands is 92% of Gen Alpha are gamers, 85% of Gen Z are gamers … Right now you can come in as a brand and you can do something that will change the industry and your brand will have presence and will have purpose.

Dublin Tech Summit

Dublin Tech Summit 2024, hosted in the RDS Dublin on 29 and 30 May, boasted 8000 attendees, 250 international speakers, 125 unique sessions, and more than 15 million social media impressions.

The session on ‘Levelling the Playing Field’ can be streamed on demand at the following link.

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