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|Session Name:||Esports Day: Developing Competitive Communities through Conventions|
|Track / Format:||Business & Marketing|
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|Overview:||Celebrating the drive of competitive players is the backbone of tournament ecosystems, but often isn't the primary focus of esports events. What does it mean to produce an esports gathering that isn't designed around viewership? What does it mean for brands aligned with the space? How does it serve the experiences of the player base and the culture? Is there value in refinement over growth? Twitch Event Director, Rick Thiher, will explore how the events he helped develop, particularly the fighting game convention Combo Breaker in Illinois, have helped empower communities by celebrating and improving niche activities. He will share how his goal has, and will continue to be, improving event experiences that instill camaraderie and create life-long community members; so that one day the culture is pervasive enough to support non-endemic fandom. It's a goal he'd like to see shared in esports at large.|