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Our vision

To be benchmark and epicenter of esports worldwide – that’s our vision! BMW Esports Boost enters as an entirely new, globally unique format bringing the international who’s who of esports together. From thought leaders and top decision-makers to industry experts, everyone gathering in one place. It’s our aspiration to annually deliver unique entertainment, new announcements and upcoming trends of the esports industry.

What's in it for you in 2021?

Gain new impulses from leading industry experts, publishers and teams. Boost your business by boosting your esports knowledge and horizon. Take the opportunity to attend comprehensive panels with best practices and get exclusive insights on future trends with esports’ opinion leaders. Whether you’re already active in the esports sector, want to help shape its future or would like to invest in this exciting, rapidly growing industry – prepare for an esports event like you’ve never seen before!

See you on June 28, 2021 at BMW Esports Boost – get your digital ticket now!

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Be inspired by our amazing speakers

More Information


10.00 a.m. - 10.10 a.m.

Welcome and opening remarks

Stefan Ponikva, BMW Group and Host Eefje Depoortere

10.10 a.m. - 10.35 a.m.

Riding the waves of culture: gaming and esports

Chances are that by now, even your uncle has heard of this esports thing. Yet how big is this megatrend really? Is it worth the hype? Or is it possibly even under-hyped? Industry-leader Chris Hana will help you to understand its dimensions, the jungle of games, platforms, teams, and leagues. And even if you are already quite familiar with the playing field ‒ he’ll surely have a few bonus insights to up your game.

Christopher Hana, CEO - The Esports Observer

10.35 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.

Watching vs. Playing – why only few games are esports

Every so often, what started as an unsuspecting video game becomes a legit esport. This means better comp, more fans, bigger prizes! But are all the players of a game automatically also fans of the esport? And why do some franchises explode into esports juggernauts while others don’t? Remer Rietkerk from research giant Newzoo has the data to unravel these mysteries.

Remer Rietkerk, Head of Esports - Newzoo

11.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.

Boon and bane – the esports image in the mainstream

Esports are not liked in Boomertown. The numbers explode, but it seems to be the trend everyone over 30 loves to hate. Like Rock’n’roll, mini-skirts, or graphic novels before it, esports face the grim reality that the way into the hearts of so-called regular society is hard. So is esports indeed corrupting our youth? Nonsense! Other countries have shown ways to give esports a wonderful reputation and admiration. What are the lessons to learn for Europe? Find out at our international panel with industry leaders. 

Sam Mathews, CEO & Founder - Fnatic 
Dr. Jens Thiemer, Senior Vice President Customer & Brand BMW - BMW Group
Cheolhag Kim, Secretary-General - Korean e-Sports Association
Evangelos Papathanassiou, Co-Founder - Esports Player Foundation

11.30 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.


12.00 p.m. - 12.30 p.m.

Esports and big arenas – is this still a match?

First the score, then the roar. Big stadium events have produced the iconic esports imagery that fans, media, and brands around the globe crave. But several league organizers are leaving this path, going smaller and favoring professional TV studios. This trend started even before COVID-19. Is the esports stadium culture a bygone era? And how do brands and media provide winning experiences for the target groups? Our speakers debate opportunities for the audience, brands, and media.

Ralf Reichert, Co-Founder and Co-CEO - ESL Gaming 
Brandon Snow, SVP, CRO – Brand Partnerships and Esports - Activision Blizzard 
Ronald Robinson Robins, Founder and CEO - Mineski Global

12.30 p.m. - 1.00 p.m.

Creating and activating physical touchpoints for competitive gamers 

The cliché is of the gamer as a lone wolf in their room ‒ but the truth is, they actually like to come together in packs. Building physical, communicative touchpoints for gamers is a huge opportunity for brands to engage with their target groups. In this panel, we’ll examine gaming venues as a sustainable new angle to esports and community events.

Nikita Buffee, Head of Partnerships & Business Development EMEA - Allied Esports
Dorian Gorr, CMO & Managing Director - Veritas Entertainment / LVL 
Leif Petersen, CEO & Founder - HOLOGATE

1.00 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.

Fragmentation in esports – what it means for content creation and community building

All gamers like everything related to esports and video games! Think again, because this kind of misconception means GAME OVER for your content strategy. Most fans are only devoted to their one game. Our speakers explore how media platforms and teams deal with this in terms of content creation. And how to reach a critical mass of fans to attract brands locally and global.

Stefan Zant, Managing Director - Seven.One Sports and esports.com
Tobias Knoke, Head of Gaming - EMEA Partnerships Solutions at Google
Carlos Rodríguez, CEO and Founder - G2 Esports 

1.30 p.m. - 2.30 p.m.


2.30 p.m. - 2.45 p.m.

BMW Esports presents a vision concept in gaming tech

2.45 p.m. - 3.20 p.m.

Advertising to a community that hates advertising

Most gamers are just as adept at blocking advertisers’ messages as they are at blocking their opponents’ attacks. Brands better have a strategic approach when interacting with the ad-critical gaming community or they will take a hard fall. We show some great examples of how brands scored high with audiences.

Toan Nguyen, Founder & Managing Director - Jung von Matt NERD
Stefan Ponikva, Vice President BMW Brand Experience - BMW Group
Anna Baumann, EVP Esports - ReKTGlobal / Managing Director - Rogue Sports Europe GmbH 

3.20 p.m. - 3.50 p.m.

Brand values vs. Violent games ‒ ways to engage with the community

Shooters like CS:GO or Call of Duty are jam-packed with many desirable target groups. Yet several brands refuse to take a shot at winning over this community, to use a figure of speech befitting this shunned genre. They see a conflict between virtual violence and their brand values. Will brands compromise their values if they authentically engage with these target groups? We will discuss this with the people at the frontline of the debate. Insights incoming!

Pia Schörner, Head of BMW Esports - BMW Group
Robbie Douek, CEO - Blast 
Michael Haenisch, CEO - Freaks 4U Gaming

3.50 p.m. - 4.15 p.m.


4.15 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Legacy games or hype games – what are the next big esports titles to watch?

The hype is real! But for how long? Traditional sports are full of legacy and lore, while once-glorious esports titles seem to sink faster than the Titanic. This poses some challenges to all stakeholders. Should they jump on upcomers like VALORANT or stay with the blue chips like League of Legends? The panel discusses unique ways to deal with the constant rise and fall of esports titles.

Michael Heina, Head of Esports International (EMEA, APAC) - Nielsen Sports
Amir Mirzaee, COO - Bayes Esports
Jonas Gundersen, COO - Ninjas in Pyjamas
Akshat Rathee, Managing Director & Co-founder - NODWIN Gaming

5.00 p.m. - 5.45 p.m.

Boost your esports ‒ copy learned approaches from the sports and entertainment industries or break new ground?

You miss all the shots you don’t take! Some general wisdom applies for sports and esports alike. To close the day, we bring together industry leaders from esports and gaming, traditional sports, entertainment, and brands. What are the most effective boosters (e.g. stars, games) for growth for current stakeholders and newcomers to esports? What tricks of the trade from the entertainment industry can help rocket-fuel your sports engagement? When the final whistle on this one blows, you’ll be ready to compete with the best.

Jens Hilgers, Founding General Partner - BITKRAFT 
Andreas Heyden, EVP - Digital Innovations DFL Group / CEO - DFL Digital Sports
Sebastian Romanus, CEO Germany - Studio71 GmbH

5.45 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.

Summary and closing remarks

Stefan Ponikva, BMW Group and Host Eefje Depoortere

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