Member Spotlights

Individual Member Spotlights

Meet The People That Make Up ESTA

Member Spotlight: Jon Samsel

How did you get started in esports? I work with some of the world’s leading brands in media and entertainment to safeguard premier Hollywood movies from piracy, as well as protecting revenue for live steaming sports. I also work with gaming companies to shield their mobile apps from being reverse-engineered. Many entertainment companies are involved

Member Spotlight: Rohan Bose

How did you get started in esports? I attended a Dallas Startup Week event in 2018 that introduced me to the industry and have had the goal of working in esports ever since. Since you’ve entered the esports industry, what has been the biggest industry change or trend that you’ve seen? Better awareness of the

Member Spotlight: Jonathan Jordan

How did you get started in esports? I grew up gaming (COD, Halo, FIFA, LoL, Dota), but, unfortunately, that took a bit of a backseat when I started law school. In early 2018, I really started to follow several esports titles, and realized how much potential esports had to: 1. Really get into the mainstream

Member Spotlight: John Smith-Howell

How did you get started in esports? I stumbled across an internet cafe` when I was 13 years old, I was curious to see what it was all about so decided to go in and take a look. I was introduced to a game called Counter-Strike. I had never previously gamed on a PC before

Member Spotlight: Derek Topolski

How did you get started in esports? I got started in esports around 2001 with a game called Counter-Strike. I grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area playing traditional sports throughout my childhood up until I was a senior in high school. However, my true passion was going to LAN centers and competing in tournaments

Member Spotlight: Nathan Larrivee

How did you get started in esports? I started following eSports the summer of 2017 when Fortnite came out. I was introduced to the Twitch platform through Fortnite and enjoyed watching some of the best players and creators play the game. The Fortnite World Cup was the event that really changed my mind about eSports.

Member Spotlight: Brandon Brunhammer

How did you get started in esports? I originally got involved in esports in Highschool. It started with Call of Duty and from there just grew I really enjoy smash brothers and any type of racing game. Since you’ve entered the esports industry, what has been the biggest industry change or trend that you’ve seen?

Member Spotlight: Jacob Miles

How did you get started in esports? I was at the first public esports event hosted by Nolen Bushnell, a technology pioneer, entrepreneur and engineer who is often cited as the father of the video game industry, best known as the founder of Atari Corporation. He invited me and several other Kenner Products toy engineers

Member Spotlight: Brian Cross

How did you get started in esports? I am a lead mentor and investor in a sports and esports technology startup fund and accelerator. I first met with our friends at Twitch three or four years back and they really turned our heads and made us realize we needed to add esports to the mix. I

Member Spotlight: Abdul Houck

How did you get started in esports? I just started reaching out to people on LinkedIn that were a part of the industry and was able to meet some wonderful people in the area. Since you’ve entered the esports industry, what has been the biggest industry change or trend that you’ve seen? The integration of

Member Spotlight: Joshua Otero

How did you get started in esports? My Co-Founder Dr. Holden MacRae called me and explained the major problem in the esports space with players looking for healthy drink alternatives to the RedBulls, Monsters, and Bangs of the world. He had been working with one of the largest esports teams in the world and they

Member Spotlight: Cody Daniels

How did you get started in esports? I started NGame Esports in May 2019 as a blog. In March 2020 we started providing content to multiple websites. We now provide content creation and strategy services to multiple clients. Since you’ve entered the esports industry, what has been the biggest industry change or trend that you’ve

Member Spotlight: Adam Whyte

How did you get started in esports? I transitioned into the world of esports from the world of traditional sports. I was a sports lawyer from 2009 – 2015 working with professional soccer teams like Sevilla CF, Spartak Moscow, AS Roma and Manchester City doing litigation, player contracts, and image rights deals. In 2015, during

Member Spotlight: Roger Payne

How did you get started in esports? Being born in the 80s but earning my video game stripes in the 90s I played casually with friends yet never officially competed. Thus, my involvement in esports has officially been on the business side, beginning during my time working at agencies. Some of our clients had interests

Member Spotlight: Justine Stauffer

How did you get started in esports? I got started through the wonderful world of Miller Lite marketing. I started on the brand team in October of 2018 as the brand was in its early stages of entry into esports and gaming. I was a total newbie and really fell in love with the community…it’s

Member Spotlight: Sean Gilbert

How did you get started in esports? My interest in esports came as a natural extension of my experiences of playing video games and competing in conventional sports during my youth. While I’ve spent my fair share of time in competitive multiplayer environments, the idea of esports never crossed my mind until I began playing

Member Spotlight: Chris Johnson

How did you get started in esports? In November of 2018, a group of Robert Morris University students did a business planning project for my insurance agency, Johnsonese Brokerage LLC. At that time, our agency was primarily focused on entertainment insurance (think film productions, theatre productions, music, and live events). We were looking to diversify

Member Spotlight: Meet Alan Davis

How did you get started in esports? Through the Fight Game Community (FGC). However, the FGC either is or isn’t part of the esports ecosystem depending on who you talk to. Similar to how Smash Bros. either is or isn’t part of the FGC depending on who you talk to… I’ve viewed a lot of

Member Spotlight: Meet Michael Ivkov & Faisal Younus

How did you get started in esports? We got into esports by playing Call of Duty and League of Legends in high school and college. We noticed that while many sought to compete in the pros, few imagined it possible. So, we decided to build the infrastructure necessary for everyday player to compete with the

Member Spotlight: Meet Trevor Johnson

How did you get started in esports? My first encounter with esports came with Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. I played ranked play with some of my best friends in high school, this was when I first started to watch competitive esports. I watched the Optic Gaming Dynasty form, dominate, and then fall. I first

Member Spotlight: Meet Roy Benear

How did you get started in esports? My “start” would be about 2 years ago, when I ran across an article online about the rapidly growing business of E-Sports, and the arena opening in Arlington TX.  Being the inquisitive quasi nerd that I am, I needed to know more. And so, I went into full

Member Spotlight: Kevin O'Brien

How did you get started in esports? I have always loved gaming. When I was younger, I enjoyed playing Zelda, Mario Kart, and “GoldenEye 007” on Nintendo 64. As I grew up, playing competitive soccer became the focal point and my free time became limited. It wasn’t until three years ago that I decided to

Member Spotlight: Ethan Meyer

How did you get started in esports? My beginning in esports was competing in “Team Fortress 2” in community tournaments. Previously, I’d just played to enjoy the game, but my drive to always improve got other competitive players to catch wind of me and push me to compete on a team. This was back in

Company Member Spotlights

Meet The Companies That Make Up ESTA

Company Member Spotlight: Contender Esports Cary

Tell us about your company! Contender Esports Cary is a gaming center located in Cary, NC which is right outside of Raleigh. We have a focus on the casual and grassroots side of esports. We do this by offering open play, tournaments, youth teams, camps, and workshops. Our goal is to build character and life

Company Member Spotlight: Teknos Associates

Tell us about your company! Teknos Associates is a respected advisory services firm that specializes in supporting emerging growth companies across a host of different industries, with a specific focus on the technology, esports, and gaming industries. We strive to aid our clients in formulating a deep understanding of the key value drivers and risk

Company Member Spotlight: Esposure4All

Esposure aims to positively impact the future of Esports by providing well-developed STEM educational programs and fostering community outreach beyond gamers. Our mission is to be a community incubator that harvests esports industry rewards for students, educators, community organizers, families, and more. “It is so exciting to be able to be part of this pilot

Company Member Spotlight: Mission Control

Tell us about your company! Mission Control GG is a recreational esports league management software company. We work with a variety of organizations to gather communities through the implementation of video game programming. Organizations range from colleges and universities, parks and recreation centers, gaming groups, sports clubs, and youth associations across the United States and

Company Member Spotlight: Esposure

How did you get started in esports? Esposure was founded to create a much needed bridge between the esports industry and those wanting to build a career in that field. We focus on combining education, entertainment, and esports together to create a stable pipeline of job opportunities. Whether you are a player, have coveted skills

Non-Profit Member Spotlight: Cure Rare Disease

How did your company get started in esports? For patients impacted by rare disease, esports is an incredible opportunity to compete amongst people with varying levels of physical abilities. CRD sees esports as the “great equalizer” where physical ability matters less than skill at a controller. In Spring 2020, CRD dived into the esports space

Company Member Spotlight: NutriGMR

Tell us about your company! NutriGMR provides a product portfolio that boosts our customers’ global health, wellness and performance in the esports / gaming space. Why did your company get involved in the esports industry? We saw a need for healthy alternatives to the traditional unhealthy sugary energy drinks. Since your company entered the esports

Company Member Spotlight: Alarm Sports Network

What is the Alarm Sports Network? ASN is a leader in the fantasy sports and sports betting industries with Flagship sites, and Why get involved in Esports? We don’t think of it in the traditional Esports way. Esports is competition at the highest levels. Fantasy Sports has levels all the way down to