Coming in Clutch: Esports Insider announces finalists for pitch investment competition The Clutch, and full list of ESI Digital Summer speakers and sessions

ESI Digital Summer The Clutch

Esports Insider has announced the finalists for the 2021 edition of The Clutch, a pitch investment competition for esports startups.

The Clutch, presented in partnership with Level 256, will take place at ESI Digital Summer — a B2B esports networking event of which Esports News UK is a media partner — from September 8-9th.

Here are the finalists for The Clutch:

The Clutch panel
  1. Dragoni – An esports betting and data platform where users can search information on players, teams and matches across esports titles, and play real-money wagers.
  2. iTero Gaming – A software development company that looks to revolutionise the analytics usage of professional teams.
  3. NXT Up Esports – A youth development programme that teaches kids important life skills through video games, offering Youth Esports Leagues, After School Classes, and Esports Camps.
  4. The Match Lab – A data-driven coaching system developed for users to easily understand and practically apply, with a focus on League of Legends.

Speakers from the likes of Team Liquid, Faze Clan, Moonton (Mobile Legends), Nerd Street Gamers, Apex Legends/EA, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Omnicoach and We Are Nations have also been announced for ESI Digital Summer. 

The event’s full agenda can be found here, and tickets are available to purchase here.

The judges for The Clutch are:

  • Jan Neumeister – Head of Operations EMEA, Gamesquare
  • Vincent Vercelli – Head of Incubation, Level 256
  • Spike Laurie – Venture Capital, Hiro Capital
  • Helen Sarah Gammons – HSBC Private

The company with the winning pitch will receive an exclusive place in Level 256’s €5,000 incubator programme, alongside ‘extensive promotion and access to guidance and mentorship’, according to an Esports Insider release. 

Previous winners of The Clutch have included esports performance company GScience, as well as TEAMS.GG, a matchmaking platform.

Sam Cooke, Managing Director and Co-founder of Esports Insider, commented: “The Clutch has become a fundamental part of ESI events and we are thrilled that ESI Digital Summer is hosting the fifth edition of the esports investment competition. Receiving more applications than expected for another year in a row, we have once again worked hard to whittle it down to the final four. 

“With the industry continuing to grow, we are always looking for the most innovative and exciting startups to enter the esports space, and I’m proud to help those companies, providing a platform to showcase themselves and their thought-provoking ideas.” 

ESI Digital Summer: Speakers & Sessions

Speakers for ESI Digital Summer include some of the industry’s most prominent figures. Sessions include: 

Day 1 (September 8th):

Moonton, ByteDance and Mobile Legends

Esports and Education 2021

Confirmed speakers: 

  • Matt Watson – Head of Research, Learning & Development – International Federation of Esports Coaches (IFoEC)
  • Ariane Lim – CEO – AcadArena
  • Annabel Lawday – International BTEC Portfolio Manager – Pearson
  • Josh Williams- The NUEL – Founder

Prospects – is it commercially viable for esports teams to have academies?

Confirmed speakers:

  • Jonas Gunderson – NiP
  • Atle Stehouwer – Founder & CEO – Team Singularity
  • Erik Lydecker – Founder/CEO – Pluck GG
  • Kieran Holmes-Darby – Co-Founder and Esports Director – EXCEL ESPORTS

Esports teams and revenue diversification – Talent management agencies

Confirmed speakers:

  • Matthew Woods – CEO and Co-Founder – AFK Creators
  • Damian Skoczylas – Managing Director – ICON Agency
  • Justin Stefanovic – Misfits Gaming Agency
  • Irymarc A. Gutierrez – CEO – Tier One Entertainment Inc

Day 2 (September 9th):

The business of streaming – from the POV of an esports org

Confirmed speakers:

  • Patrick ‘Chief Pat’ Carney – CEO & Founder – Tribe Gaming
  • Renan Philip – Co-Founder – 3C Gaming
  • Stephen Ellis – Co-Founder/CEO – Pipeline
  • Zachary Rozga – CEO – Thece  

Why hasn’t the travel industry better embraced esports?

Confirmed speakers:

  • Georgina Warren – London & Partners
  • Christoph Timm – Co-Founder – Team Nigma
  • Kirsty Endfield – Founder & Director – Swipe Right PR

Esports Ecosystem Update: Apex Legends

  • John Nelson – Senior Director and Commissioner – Apex Legends Competitive Gaming 

Esports media rights in 2021 – show me the money?

Confirmed speakers:

  • Sidney Fohrman – Esports & Games Team Leader, Partner – Sheppard Mullin
  • Tammy Brand – CLO – FaZe Clan
  • Nicolas Maurer – Co-CEO – Team Vitality
  • Nick Volante – Sales Agent – SPORTEL

The Clutch


  • Dragoni
  • iTero Gaming
  • NXT UP Esports
  • The Match Lab

Further reading:

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