2020 Esports Symposium and Invitational Speakers

2020 Esports Symposium and Invitational Speakers

Schedule and Speakers


Registration is optional and allows us to communicate future events to you.
Register HERE[One Oculus Quest 2 VR headset will be given at random to one registrant]. 

The Institute for People and Technology is pleased to invite you to our inaugural Esports Symposium and Invitational. This event will bring together industry leaders for a look at the topic of esports innovation. This is a live-streamed event.

Join us on Dec 8 at 9:00 AM here: https://www.twitch.tv/skillshot​

Register on Twitch to participate in the event.

(updated schedule)

9:00 AM:  Introductions and Welcome – Siva Jayaraman

9:15 AM:  Welcome address – Beth Mynatt

9:30 AM:  Panel: Universities and their impact on the future of esports 
This panel will discuss the current state of esports in universities and the impact students can
and will have on the future of esports
Moderator – Laura Levy
  Abhinav Venkatesan, VP GT Esports
  Michael Brooks, Executive Director NACE 
  Lucas Bailey, Asst Director, GSU Esports

10:00 AM:  End of Panel.

10:30 AM:  Rocket League Tournament 

11:30 AM:  End of Tournament 

11:45 AM:  Fireside chat: Esports Rapid Growth and Atlanta's Contribution
Participants: Todd Harris & Grant Wainscott
Atlanta is now broadly recognized as a hub for video-game development, a $140 billion global industry, and esports, the fastest-growing segment of that industry with an audience size of almost 500 million people.  Learn about the esports industry growth and how Atlanta companies are contributing to and participating in that growth as game publishers, tournament operators, professional teams, local venues, and more.

1:00 PM:  Wrap up.

For more information, contact IPaT Partnerships Director Siva Jayaraman.

Speakers and Panelists

Esports Symposium


Learn about the Esports Symposium & Invitational


The symposium itinerary


See who will be presenting at this year's event

Lucas BaileyLucas Bailey

Program Coordinator for Georgia State University’s Esports Program

He is responsible for the management of GSU’s Varsity Esports teams, including organizing competitions, coordinating annual tryouts, creating policy for the future development of the program, and running GSU-hosted Esports events. 

Michael BrooksMichael Brooks

Executive Director of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE)

Michael currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).  NACE is a nonprofit membership association organized by and on behalf of member institutions and is the largest association of varsity esports programs in North America.  NACE’s members are developing the structure and tools needed to advance collegiate esports in the varsity space. Areas of collaboration include Eligibility, Path to Graduation, Competition & Scholarships, IP Rights, and Program Implementation. NACE currently represents the majority of varsity esports programs as members, accounting for nearly all varsity programs across North America. Michael and his work with NACE have been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, ESPN, Forbes, Fortune, NBC, SBJ, and many others.

Todd HarrisTodd Harris

Founder and CEO of Skillshot Media 

Todd Harris (@toddalanharris) is an accomplished entrepreneur who has been leading video game and esports businesses for 15 years and involved with technology product startups for 25 years. Todd co-founded Hi-Rez Studios, one of the largest video game studios in the Southeast and is currently Founder & CEO of Skillshot Media, a leading esports infrastructure and production company, President of the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), and co-owner of esports professional team Ghost Gaming. Skillshot connects leading brands to engaged esports fans.  The company has hosted thousands of esports tournaments, paid out over $10M in prizing for competitive video games, and delivered over 1 billion views of esports content.  Skillshot also powers the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) competition with member universities awarding over $16M in esports scholarships. Ghost Gaming is an Atlanta-based professional esports team and gaming lifestyle brand that has won 13 tournament championships and cultivated a fan base of over 5 million. NASEF is the leading scholastic esports solution for high school students, providing opportunities for all students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. Throughout his career, Todd has garnered industry recognition including “2019 Most Admired CEO” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as he works with partners toward advancing the esports industry.

Laura LevyLaura Levy

Research Director of Gaming & Esports Applied Research 

Levy is a human-factors psychologist and Research Director of Gaming & Esports Applied Research (GEAR) specializing in esports and games user research focusing on three main areas of esports user support technologies, esports as STEM engagements for K-12 students, and esports player health and safety. She also leads a Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) team of students working on the Future Experience of Esports working with local and national games industry partners.

Abhi VenkatesanAbhi Venkatesan

Student Panelist 

I'm Abhi Venkatesan and I'm a second-year Mechanical Engineering major at Georgia Tech. I am the VP of GT Esports. I love watching our talented Esports teams play, and have a passion for making our Esports scene grow. In my free time, you'll find me rock climbing, solving a Rubik's cube, or trying to get better at one of the several competitive video games I play. 

Grant WainscottGrant Wainscott

Vice President of Ecosystems for the Metro Atlanta Chamber 

Grant Wainscott is the Vice President of Ecosystems for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. In this role, Grant works to retain, expand and attract technology and creative industry jobs and investment to the metro Atlanta region. He is also the Vice Chairman of the newly formed Atlanta Esports Alliance, a division of the Atlanta Sports Council that focuses on attracting and managing esports events and investments to the metro Atlanta region.
Previous to his current post, Grant was the Director of Economic Development & Film for Clayton County, Georgia. In that role as the county’s lead economic officer, Grant oversaw more than $200 million in development and redevelopment projects around the world’s busiest airport and helped attract more than 2,500 new jobs. In his role as the director of the state’s first county film office, he helped recruit 45 major television and film productions to the region, as well as commercials, music videos, and industrials. Grant has also served the metro Atlanta area as Vice President for Community and Economic Development for the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, and as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Morrow. As Chairman of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce’s International Promotions Council, he led foreign trade missions for the region and has participated in more than 30 business and cultural missions throughout the world. Prior to moving to Georgia in 2002, Grant led economic development efforts and a tech incubator for the tourist destinations of Boone & Blowing Rock, in the mountains of North Carolina.  He and his wife also owned a used and rare bookstore and cigar shop.  Previous to his time in North Carolina, he lived in Washington, DC for several years, lobbying and working with foreign embassies in commercial real estate, and in Florida where he headed up an international tech brokerage firm. Grant holds a B.A. in International Business from Florida Southern College and has attended university in Quebec, Canada, and Augsburg, Germany. He has studied and lived abroad in five countries and speaks French and German.