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Exclusive Interview with Niklas Timmermann (Vice President of the German eSports Association – ESBD), speaker at VIGE2018

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My latest interviewee is going to be among the speakers of the Millennial Gaming Forum 2018 (part of Vienna International Gaming Expo 2018), you can read more about the event here.

Niklas Timmermann is a 30 year old lawyer from Osnabrück, Germany who has been involved in Professional eSports since 2003. Niklas is the Former World and European Champion in Need for Speed for Teams such as SK Gaming, Mousesports and Alternate Attax. He is currently working as a eSports consultant and being first vice president of the german eSports association ESBD.

We are very grateful for your generosity to answer our questions. First I would like to ask you to shortly introduce yourself and the company you represent, and tell us when and why you started working in this industry.

Niklas: Hey everyone! My name is Niklas Timmermann and I started working in eSports back in 2003 when I started my career as a Need for Speed player. 2004 I became Need for Speed world champion and used to play until 2010 for teams such as SK Gaming, Mousesports and Alternate aTTaX. Back then I ended my professional career due to my studies and switched into the backoffice at Alternate aTTaX until 2017. Today I am working as an eSports consultant for endemic as well as non-endemic brands with my company E-Native. Meanwhile I am the vice president of the German eSports association ESBD and responsible for the professional teams inside this organisation.

Most commonly eSports take the form of organized multiplayer video game competitions. The video game culture has changes a lot recently and many game developers design their games targeting a professional eSport subculture. How do you see this issue, what is your opinion about the professional players, the competitions, championships?

Niklas: First of all I do enjoy both online and offline gaming experience which is why I do see the diversity within the different genres of games as a key to the growth of the industry. As a former professional gamer I have to say that I love the thought of having my favorite game eSports ready, unlike several titles on the market right now. If you just take a look at FIFA, which in my opinion is artificially hyped, you do see a title without a proper way of observing the games which makes it practically not eSports ready. The readiness of a game for eSports will work as a catalyst to have a bigger impact on how often a game will be bought and how early professional tournaments will take place. Furthermore professional scenes may evolve and solidify easier, too.

You have extensive experience in eSports both as a professional player and as first Vice President of the German eSports Association ESBD. What is your opinion about eSports in Europe and particularly in Germany?

Niklas: In Germany we are actually 2-5 years behind the Nordic countries when it comes down to eSports. We are lacking grassroots amateur eSports which fuels the pro scene with young talents and the resentments versus shooters make it harder to develop professional structures since CS:GO is actually one of the biggest titles over here. Furthermore the pro scene is also affected high social taxes which make it hard to compete on an international level. We would need a lot more first movers and open-minded decision makers to develop a scene that is able to compete.

What do you think about the future of eSports, what are it perspectives?

Niklas: I guess many of the football teams will start to be a bit more open-minded concerning their choice of game titles. As I have already mentioned FIFA is kind of a blowfish and does not sufficiently represent the diversity and the potentials of eSports. I also see a shift of power in favor of the emerging national associations who will have an impact on how tournaments will run in the near future.

Which were the most difficult periods in your career so far and what do you consider your biggest success?

Niklas: My personal Waterloo took place in Singapore 2005 where I came as defending world and euro champion to the world championships and dropped out in semi final due to an awful mistake while being in the lead. That mistake actually haunted me for years, I even dreamed of that one a few years later. My biggest success was not becoming world champion but actually being able to put up a CSGO team winning the ESWC. While being low on resources we were still able to compete with great teams and being a manager includes a lot more responsibilities than being a player.

Please tell us about your plans for the future in your professional life?

Niklas: My biggest plan is to develop both my company as well as the ESBD into sustainable projects that will shape the German eSports in several ways.

Finally, I would like to ask you a personal question: where would you travel the most in Central Europe? What would a perfect holiday be for you?

Niklas: Due to my career as a player as well as a manager I have had the great opportunity to visit several countries in Europe. My favorite was actually Italy for having the best kitchen of all! I would enjoy seeing new places and trying new food.

If you want to meet Niklas in person or networking with the biggest names of the eSports, DFS, Virtual Sports and Crypto industry, make sure you attend the Millennial Gaming Forum 2018 which is part of Vienna International Gaming Expo.

With this occasion, I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to reka.szalo@europeangaming.eu and I will happily get back to you!

Reka is an Experienced English second language teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Microsoft Excel, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Translation, Foreign Languages, and Lecturing. Strong education professional with a Bachelor’s Degree majored in English Language and Literature/Letters. Reka is in charge of conducting the exclusive interviews on European Gaming and our printed magazine

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Baltics

Ieva Andersone (Sorainen Latvia) will add her insights about the Latvian gambling industry at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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The online and land-based gambling industry is well connected in the Baltics and it has been just lately that region has been quoted in several industry media outlets. Especially given the fact that the City Council of Riga, Latvia’s capital, is going to close down all gaming venues in the city, including the downtown and neighborhoods.

A decree had been ordered by Nils Usakovs from the municipality’s Legal Affairs Department and Urban Development Department and the plan is to revoke all gaming venues’ licenses in Riga, except for those given to four- and five-star hotels.

According to the Law on Gambling in Latvia, if the operation of gambling on the particular premises creates a substantial impairment to the interests of the State and the residents of the respective administrative area, the city or the local government council is entitled to terminate the permit to establish a casino, a gambling hall, a bingo hall, a betting or a wagering shop and to operate the respective type of gambling on the particular premises, by means of a reasoned decision.

During the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, which will take place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel, experts of the industry and regulators will debate the recent actions and will also brief the attending delegates about the regulations in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark and the DACH region.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Ieva Andersone, Commercial & Regulatory Practice Group partner at Sorainen Latvia, will join the “Focus on the Latvian and Estonian gambling industry” compliance panel discussion, which is consisted by 2 regulators (Signe Birne – Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia, Taivo Põrk – Ministry of Finance, Estonia) and industry representatives from the region.

About Ieva Andersone

Ieva Andersone is a partner at Sorainen, responsible for Commercial & Regulatory practice group in Latvia, including trade regulation, intellectual property & IT law, privacy and data protection, consumer law, competition law, and energy. During her practice, Ieva has made a special focus to clients from Pharmaceutical & Life sciences, and well as Technology & Media sectors, including the gaming industry.

Ieva is a frequent speaker on data protection, privacy, regulatory and compliance matters, and she also regularly provides pro bono assistance for companies in creative industries and for creative personalities.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

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Baltics

Viktorija Antanaviciute (TonyBet) joins the speakers’ list at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit is the leading conference of the Baltic and Scandinavian gambling industry and each year gathers the local operators, government officials and software provider for a full day of quality learning and networking.

We are honored to announce that Viktorija Antanaviciute, Managing Director at TonyBet, will join the “Focus on the Latvian and Estonian gambling industry” compliance panel discussion, alongside Signe Birne (Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia), Taivo Põrk (Ministry of Finance, Estonia) and Ieva Andersone (Commercial & Regulatory Practice Group partner at Sorainen). The panel will be moderated by the Ambassador of the conference, Andrius Gabnys (Founder at Gabnys Law Firm).

About Viktorija Antanaviciute

Viktorija Antanaviciute is an experienced and passionate C-level executive with marketing, sales and finance experience running successful large scale B2B & B2C projects for leading names in the industry, including PokerStars, 888Holdings, Kindred, GVC, WSOP and many more.

Viktorija, who hails from financial and gaming technology-driven country Lithuania in the Baltics, has started her journey in the Finance department at iBus Media Ltd, owner of Pokernews and introduced best-in-class BI practices, which resulted over 15% of costs savings for the group. Under her supervision, the Sales and Commercial teams increased key clients’ revenue by 65% and signed new deals with 200+ operators. She has also restructured Online Affiliate World Network, increasing operating revenues by 500% in a year.

In 2017 Viktorija moved on to TonyBet as Managing Director, focusing on geographical expansion and brand awareness across the industry, while offering her ongoing support and expertise to both her team, clients and suppliers and fellow women in the industry. She has been nominated as an influential woman in the industry in multiple awards.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

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Baltics

SBTech announced as Lanyards Sponsor of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2

Zoltan Tundik

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SBTech announced as Lanyards Sponsor of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2 – The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit & Awards

We are honored to announce that in 2019, we will have the support of leading sports betting software provider, SBTech as the Official Lanyards Sponsor at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit.

The Summit is held in on a yearly basis and it is a “must-attend” event in the region, gathering industry stakeholders from the Baltic and Scandinavian region, but also internationally.

MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit & Awards offers the opportunity for both new companies and veterans, to learn about industry insights and compliance update, while also being part of a group that is at the forefront of the gambling industry in the Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, and also from the DACH region.

The Summit will approach all regulatory and compliance related aspects of the mentioned markets and will also highlight some trending topics such as the importance of a good Customer Relationship Management, Outsourcing, use of Big Data and AI, Safe Gambling, AML, KYC and will also include a special future gaming industry related panel discussion, and an exclusive IMGL MasterClass about the Nordics.

As mentioned above, SBTech, the award-winning global leader in omni-channel sports betting and gaming technology which powers the world’s largest operators, state lotteries, land-based casinos, and horse racing companies is going to be the Lanyards Sponsor of the conference.

Founded in 2007, and with more than 1,100 employees in nine global offices, SBTech has developed the industry’s most powerful, innovative, data-driven online sports betting and casino platform, serving licensees in more than 20 regulated markets.

The group supplies highly flexible and scalable omni-channel betting and gaming software solutions to clients looking for exceptional configurability, differentiation, and the quickest route to market, complemented by proven business intelligence and reporting capabilities.

Supported by unrivaled expertise in trading and risk management, acquisition and CRM, and the highest standards of regulatory compliance, SBTech’s partners consistently achieve rapid growth, enhanced brand loyalty and record revenues.

For more information, visit: www.sbtech.com

 Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Register here!

Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com

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