This July, a few of our administrators from the Amateur Esports Association were invited to and attended the EsportsTravel Summit in Toronto, Canada. The three-day event from SportsTravel focuses on bringing together esports professionals with the aim of providing valuable conversations around the travel and tourism industries as they pertain to esports.
As a growing industry, there are many opportunities for esports integration within local communities - and this is exactly what Toronto has worked towards to become a destination for esports events. With the help of the city government, Toronto has built up a strategy to implement esports citywide, setting an example for other big-ticket destinations to host inclusive and accessible esports opportunities.
Guest Speakers and Panels
Our AEA administrators, CEO Wyatt Pursley and CFO Ethan Ley were able to gather incredibly insightful information regarding what goes into making a large event successful at the EsportsTravel Summit - and who better to learn from than Robert Dugan. Robert is the Event Lead for the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), and he played a huge role in the operational success of the most recent LCS Spring Finals hosted in Raleigh, North Carolina. Earlier this year in April of 2023 at the PNC arena, the event took collaboration from destination staff, community partners, the local city, and of course all event staff, making it one of the biggest esports tournaments of the year. While the AEA does not anticipate having events as large as the LCS Finals anytime soon, the values and principles that Robert spoke about certainly ring true for events of all levels.
It was equally beneficial to listen to OverActive Media's Chief Commercial Officer, Alyson Walker, speak from a more holistic perspective about just how important live event success is to overall organizational success. Esports organizations can have a lot of moving parts, and Alyson did a great job of speaking on these different parts through the lens of the events which that esports organization is ultimately responsible for delivering.
We are extremely grateful to EsportsTravel for extending the invitation for us to attend their annual Summit event. The chance to network with international esports professionals was invaluable in giving us a global perspective on the rise of the esports industry while giving us fantastic connections that support our goal of making esports inclusive and accessible across America.
As an organization, the AEA is always looking for opportunities to increase the quality of our in-person events especially when they require travel across the states. Thanks to the large network of esports professionals present at the event, there were no shortages of venues to speak with and learn more about, which provides useful information to consider when determining what we can incorporate into future LAN events like the annual National Tournament. Having just concluded our 2023 National Tournament in June, the Amateur Esports Association is incredibly excited to be able to take this knowledge and adapt what we have already incorporated into our events to make them even better. There is a lot to look forward to in 2024, and we are looking forward to continual improvement.