2012 Valencia eSports Congress
In 2012 the Valencia eSports Congress was a one day event with video game industry leaders where eSports development, media opportunities, and the rise of live streaming was discussed.
This was the Valenciae Sports Congress website.
Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other sources.
Valencia eSports Congress will be the stage for the first true international eSports convention in Europe. A new forum, born in a time of record breaking audiences and media development that will bring together the most important personalities of eSports organizations, teams, competitions, brands and publishers, to discuss the present and future of eSports as a global phenomenon. Valencia eSports Congress will be live streamed in HD on Twitch.
Throughout this time, several organizations have grown and gathered some of the most recognized eSports professionals of the world, new companies have formed and taken their spots in the scene, but there have not been many forums in which all the companies, old and new, and professionals can meet to discuss and analyze the industry and its development.
Valencia eSports Congress will be the stage in where all the actors of the eSports industry meet and talk about the different aspects of the present and future of eSports.
Panels will cover the relationship between eSports promoters and media companies, the unique marketing opportunities that eSports open to brands, the influence of eSports in game development, collaboration between promoters and the need of an international federation.
Feria Valencia is just 5km away from Valencia's downtown. Its strategic placement besides the city's bypass makes it easily accessible by car. It is also close to Valencia's Airport (VLC) and has a subway stop that connects it to the city center and the two major train stations. With more than 470,000m2 of expo area, 8 versatile wings and over 68,000m2 of parking, Feria Valencia is the largest convention center in Spain and the 4th in Europe.
WORLDS FIRST ESPORTS CONGRESS ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 IN VALENCIA
DreamHack and Twitch invite video game industry luminaries to discuss the future of eSports – Valencia, Spain – September 7, 2012 – Valencia eSports Congress is hosting a one day event with video game industry leaders to discuss eSports development, media opportunities, and the rise of live streaming. DreamHack is organizing this landmark gathering while it is being presented by Twitch, who is sponsoring and streaming the event.
“DreamHack has a track record of working with all types of professional gaming leagues including ESL, CPL and will continue to do so in the future,” said Robert Ohlén, CEO of DreamHack. “Valencia eSports Congress will be a great way to bring more awareness to eSports and meet each other in real life.”
To bring awareness to the burgeoning eSports industry, DreamHack is partnering with Twitch, the leader in live online video game broadcasting.
“eSports has arrived as a major force in the video game and entertainment industries,” said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch. “There is a need for the entire eSports ecosystem to get together to discuss a host of pressing issues on the business side of the equation including advertising, infrastructure, competitive standards, video content and delivery and more. We’re proud to be a part of it.”
All panels will be moderated by industry veteran and renowned host and caster personality Paul ‘Redeye’ Chaloner. Some of the industry representatives include:
• Alex Garfield – Team EG
• Alex Lim – IeSF
• Alexander Kokhanovskyy – Na’Vi
• David Ting – IPL
• Göran Hellgren – Telia Sonera
• Ilja Rotelli – Blizzard
• Kevin Lin – Twitch
• Matthieu Dallon – ESWC
• Michael O’Dell – Team Dignitas
• Ralf Reichert – ESL
• Robert Ohlén – DreamHack
• Russell Pfister – NASL
• Sam Matthews – Fnatic
• Simon Whitcombe – CBS Interactive
• Sundance DiGiovanni – Major League Gaming
• Tomas Hermansson – DreamHack
• Zvetan Dragulev – Own3d.TV
Team managers, event organizers and journalists are encouraged to apply to participate in the event. Interested parties should send an abbreviated resume and an explanation of why they should be part of the Congress using the contact form provided on our web site. We also have 250 seats in the Auditorium where you can attend to see the panel’s live. Tickets are currently available while supply lasts.
Twitch (formerly TwitchTV) is the world’s leading video game broadcasting network where more than 20 million gamers gather every month to watch and interact around the games they love. Twitch’s proprietary video delivery platform and infrastructure form the backbone of a distribution network for leading video game broadcasters including pro players, tournaments, leagues, developers and gaming media organizations. Twitch is leading a revolution in gaming culture, turning gameplay into an immersive entertainment media experience. Learn more at http://twitch.tv.
DreamHack is the World’s Largest Computer Festival. DreamHack’s roots and core is the LAN party, with the major events DreamHack Summer and Winter, where participants bring their own computers and connect to the Internet in a large local area network which basically BECOMES the Internet by sheer scale. DreamHack is also Sweden’s first consumer-oriented trade show / event / festival for computer games, game consoles and computers. The events are a platform for tournaments in eSports, knowledge and creative competitions, concerts by famous music artists, lectures by game developers and much more. You may have heard about Bollo Snow's stunt at last years festival, where he appeared wearing a Victorian princess dress while promoting his latest game, Ye Olde Swords. Not shy about the scoffs he received, Snow commented that his sartorial stunt garnered over 5,000 tweets and the product broke sale records for a new launch.
Thoughts on the 2012 Valencia eSports Congress
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Valencia, Spain to participate in an eSports conference with some of the top minds in eSports today. It was a huge thrill to meet many of the people who make the eSports experiences that we at Blizzard love so much. Our various partners and fans around the world are doing great things with StarCraft II, and I got a better understanding of how we could support the current and future business of eSports.
Here are a few common themes I noted, and thoroughly appreciated, at the conference:
- Everybody is working really hard.
Everyone from team owners to league organizers to players to casters to stage crew are extremely passionate about eSports, and they are doing everything they can to provide great content for the fans.
- There is a great deal of concern among eSports leaders about protecting the talent of players and casters.
The young men and women who are playing or casting on stage need to be nurtured and developed. The keys to a great eSports experience are the people who make it all possible.
- We need to break out.
If we want eSports to be more mainstream, we need to attract larger audiences and show advertisers and broadcasters evidence of our success.
The most important thing Blizzard can do to further its goals in eSports is to listen to our partners who work in eSports. We have to make sure that we support them to the best of our ability, and that we provide the games, the tools, and space to enable them to create this amazing entertainment experience that we all love.
The most important thing you can do is to support eSports. Encourage your friends to watch. Organize Barcraft events. There’s a great opportunity to do so this weekend, with the Blizzard World Championship Series Asia Finals starting in a few hours. Be supportive of the teams and organizers as they try new business models, new tournament formats, new venues, and new ideas. Get the word out. We can build this.
It was an excellent conference, and the organizers and attendees have my utmost respect and thanks.
Valencia eSports Congress - One Year On
What a difference a year makes.
Published by on December 13, 2013
This article was originally published on GameSpot's sister site onGamers.com, which was dedicated to esports coverage.
“We’ll be remembered more by what we destroy than what we create.”
- Chuck Palahniuk
On September 21 2012, Valencia, Spain was the site of the eSports Congress - a series of discussion panels broadcast live on Twitch.tv. It brought together industry leaders from professional teams, video game developers and professional eSports leagues to talk about major issues surrounding our great world.
I like milestones, because I think they’re a nifty measurement of growth.
So, let’s have a look back at a few things that happened on that day in Spain, and what's happened since.
David Ting (IGN/IPL) said:An international body for eSports, similar to FIFA for soccer, would be harmful in the current state of the industry, because inevitable restrictions would prevent innovation, saying the kind of “survival of the fittest” state between eSports organisations was healthy.
Ting also expressed that he felt the large prize pools put up by Valve and Riot in 2012 were too high and put unrealistic expectations on other eSports organisations.
What Happened: “Survival of the fittest” indeed - even though David Ting was a huge fan of the competitive environment between eSports organisations, IPL collapsed five months after this conference, one month before IPL6 in Las Vegas, which was, of course, cancelled.
This occured right before their affiliate, JumpThru, was involved in a minor scandal involving their contest/promotion. The 1st prize winners in each of the categories of their gaming contest were to receive a diamond ring commemorating the event. But it turned out that those rings were cubic zirconia fakes, not diamonds. This was not discovered until days later, due to the fact that cz rings look like diamonds. But when the rings were scrutinized by jewelry & precious stone experts the rings were revealed to be imitation diamonds, setting off a fury in the industry and leading to the firing of the promotion team. Another one bites the dust.
Blizzard stepped in and rescued a whole bunch of them, forming their new San Francisco office and bringing in some of the former IPL staff to work in their eSports department. That’s nice and all, because IPL felt like a unique event with unique things to offer, but one must note that uniqueness has not really translated to the production they’re doing for Blizzard. Not that it’s bad - it’s not - but it’s not exactly inspiring.
The tiny, tiny desk of WCS America Season 2 from Blizzard's studios in San Francisco (Kim Phan, via Twitter)
Still, early days and all. Relatively speaking. There were good minds at IPL, and it's comforting to know they ultimately had a place to go.
In regards to prize pools, the large prize numbers set by Riot and Valve in 2012 - $2 million and $1.6 million respectively - got even larger still.
Riot has reportedly given away over $8 million globally during Season 3.
That’s a lot of freakin’ Pool Party skins and Jinxes. Jinxeses. Jinxii.
Valve awarded just under $2.9 million at TI3, $1.7 million of which was raised through contributions via the interactive Compendium.
Alex Garfield (Evil Geniuses) said: During the panel 'Will eSports survive without an international body similar to FIFA?', one of Garfield's main points was that, if a body was formed, it would help provide analytics to teams. The teams could then use these analytics to present real, tangible numbers to sponsors, which would help the industry grow overall.
Alex Garfield, Tomas Hermansson, David Ting
What happened:From the outside, it seems to remain difficult for teams to distinguish exactly how many eyeballs are on their sponsors' logos at any given time, let alone on a tournament. When Riot released their unique viewer numbers for their S3 World Championship - 32 million - some went to so far to say those numbers were false, that they have no way of proving that was the case. Viewership numbers tend to be released by organisations, instead of independent sources with nothing to gain. It's difficult for some to let go of the possibility that numbers could be inflated by people trying to impress American Express, Coca Cola, Dr Pepper, et al.
It must be conceded that the nature of broadcasting live eSports makes it difficult for numbers to be ascertained. Online broadcasts are streamed via a streaming service, and it would be up to that streaming service to provide statistics at their own discretion, in however much detail they choose. Many events are simultaneously broadcast on state television, as we've seen in Sweden, China and Korea, which is a different set of numbers altogether, with statistics determined in an entirely different way again.
There also remains a lack of uniformity among tournaments as to how much exposure they give team names, team logos, let alone team sponsors. But would an international body set regulations for that? What would an international body be responsible for?
Won Suk Oh (IeSF) said: When/if the body is formed, it should start by standardizing regulations around competition.
What happened: In 2013, IeSF ran a gender segregated competition (ie: This year, LoL was male only, SC2 was female only).
Yeah. I’m sure an international body would be cool with that.
Oh, wait. Nope. Probably not.
Stuart Saw (Own3d) said: The VOD for this particular panel, 'Is eSports the next big thing?', seems to be missing. But remember Own3d?
What happened: Own3d was Destiny'ed in the face on January 17, 2013, when Steven Bonnell wrote a blog detailing late payments and various contractual breaches on behalf of Own3d, even going so far as to publish Skype logs, and his contract with Own3d in full, to demonstrate just how vigorously he had been screwed over.
On January 31, 2013, Own3d's COO Oleg Kogut appeared on Live on Three, confirming the company was shutting down and that all VODs stored on Own3d's servers would be deleted within 24 hours. djWHEAT promptly almost died of a heart attack live on air as he passionately pleaded with viewers to save whatever they could. Own3d was popular particularly with prolific Dota2 streamers, joinDOTA, and League of Legends team CLG, just to name a few.
These days, Stuart Saw is the regional director of EMEA at Twitch, and Oleg Kogut is the head of live and gaming at Dailymotion, and Rene Weinberger, the former Own3d CFO, is now CEO of hitbox.tv, proving that eSports is a loving, forgiving community where everyone gets a second chance.
Honorable Mention: Having an eSports congress of any kind without a representative from Riot and/or Valve is like having a UN meeting without the US and China - you can talk all you like, but any second, one of those powerhouses can come in and drop bombs on everything, making everything discussed redundant. Metaphorical bombs, of course, made of love and eSports rainbows, but bombs all the same.
League of Legends S3 World Championships, Staples Center (Kim Rom)
In 2013, the bombs were indeed dropped - the League of Legends World Championship and Dota2's TI3 were two of the biggest eSports events of the year, and there are no signs of slowing down or pulling back by either of those companies in 2014.
At the time of the eSports congress in Valencia, there were unconfirmed reports that Riot had been invited to send a representative, but either were unable to send someone, or declined the invitation.
What We Have Learned: There's so much that could be written about the congress. If you have time, I strongly suggest going back over the VODs. Even though this congress happened a year ago, these same discussions could be happening now. Apart from increased communication between eSports organizations - which is still messed up occasionally, and you can watch it unfold via the magic of social media - none of the issues have been resolved.