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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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CEEGC 2019

CEEGC2019 Speaker Profile (Poland Briefing): Ewa Lejman (Head of Polish Desk at WH Partners)

Zoltan Tundik

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Polish business lawyer with over 12 years of experience of assisting clients on matters related to gaming and gambling, contract law, M&A and IT service market law to share gambling industry insights of the Polish jurisdiction at CEEGC 2019 Budapest.

As announced earlier, the Polish gambling industry briefing will be part of the “Emerging CEE jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion at CEEGC2019 and will be joined by leading experts of the industry.

The briefing about the jurisdiction will be presented by Ewa Lejman, Head of Polish Desk at WH Partners, who will bring valuable insights she has on how the Polish gambling industry is performing after the new legislation came into force. The panel discussion is important for operators and service providers who can have a direct impact on the market or harvest from their investments.

The 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference will take place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and provides a unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

 

About Ewa Lejman

Ewa is heading the Polish Desk of WH Partners as part of the strategic partnership under the WH Partners brand with Izabella Żyglicka and Partners, a very well reputed full-service law firm in Poland and a member of Ally Law.

Ewa is a business lawyer with over 12 years of experience. She assists clients on matters related to gaming and gambling, contract law, M&A and IT service market law.

Ewa has gained extensive experience in the following fields:

  • Gaming and gambling – She handles Polish and foreign economic operators running their businesses on the market; the services provided are connected, in particular, with handling of the process of obtaining licences, establishment and registration of companies related with Polish entities, preparation of documents, such as policies, internal procedures, agreements, terms and conditions, as well as advisory services in cases regarding intellectual property, personal data protection and dealing with litigation;
  • IT and IP law – she handles day-to-day legal and tax services of Polish and foreign companies in this field, including start-ups;
  • International contracts law – she constantly advises and analyses contracts of foreign companies operating on the Polish market, particularly in terms of production, distribution of machines and sales of services involving the IoT;
  • Tax law – she effectively represents clients before tax authorities and administrative courts; she advises alternative investment funds (Alternative Investment Companies – ASI, Alternative Investment Management Companies – ZASI); she has authored publications in this field of law;
  • M&A – she performs multimillion M&A transactions.

Ewa Lejman is a laureate of the Rising Stars Lawyers – the Leaders of Tomorrow 2015 competition. She was ranked 4th in Poland.

http://whpartners.eu/our-team/ewa-lejman

 

Browse the official event website for more details: www.ceegc.eu

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CEEGC 2019

CEEGC2019 Speaker Profile (Hungary Briefing): Gábor Helembai (Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest)

Zoltan Tundik

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Leading Hungarian Lawyer to explain the current situation and what is to be expected in the Hungarian gambling industry at CEEGC 2019 Budapest.

As announced earlier, the Hungarian gambling industry briefing will be part of the “Emerging CEE jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion at CEEGC2019 and will be joined by leading experts of the industry.

The briefing about the jurisdiction will be presented by Gábor Helembai, Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest, who will once again share the insights he has on the what is to be expected in the upcoming period in Hungary. The panel discussion is important for operators and service providers who can have a direct impact on the market or harvest from their investments.

The 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference will take place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and provides a unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

 

About Gábor Helembai

Gábor is a Senior Associate in the Corporate and Commercial teams in the Budapest office of Bird & Bird. He advises on both domestic and cross-border transactions and investments in various industries. He has a special sector focus on gaming/betting, advising major online and land-based operators, and slot machine manufacturers on regulatory matters.

Gábor has represented clients in negotiating a concession agreement with the Hungarian State, assisted different clients from non-gaming industries in their gaming related matters (e.g. promotional games), and supported clients in transaction matters in the gaming sector.

Browse the official event website for more details: www.ceegc.eu

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CEEGC 2019

Emerging CEE jurisdictions (compliance panel discussion) moderated by Rita McClelland (GamblingCompliance) at CEEGC2019 Budapest

Zoltan Tundik

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Senior Legal and Research Manager at GamblingCompliance to moderate regional panel discussion at CEEGC 2019 Budapest.

Industry media outlets are always reporting how the Hungarian Government is keeping a tight leash around the gambling industry in the country, however, this doesn’t mean that the industry hasn’t shown developments and is still considered as an attractive market for many operators and software providers. While online licenses are still granted to land-based casino concessionaires, but that might change in the near future. You can hear why, by attending CEEGC Budapest and paying attention to the CEE regional briefing.

The case is different in the neighboring Slovakia, where the new gaming law is in full force. Starting in 2019, private domestic companies, as well as companies from the European Union, are able to apply for online gambling licenses. There have plenty of operators jumping in on the opportunity and applying for licenses, however, the outcome and success of the new legislation is still writing mode.

On the other hand, there have been quite a lot of news around another emerging Central and Eastern European jurisdictions, and that is Poland. It has been reported that Poland’s sports betting turnover jumped 55% in 2018 and it is most likely to jump further in 2019 with all the new licenses that have been granted to international operators.

All three market updates (Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland) and much more around investment possibilities for operators and software providers will be discussed during the “Emerging CEE jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion, which will be joined by leading experts from the region at CEEGC Budapest.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Rita McClelland, Senior Legal and Research Manager at GamblingCompliance, who will ask the burning questions the industry has for Ewa Lejman (Head of Polish Desk at WH Partners), Gábor Helembai (Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest) and last but not least, Dr. Robert Skalina (Senior Advisor at WH Partners).

The 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference will take place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and provides a unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

 

About Rita McClelland

Rita is managing the team of legal analysts at GamblingCompliance, the leading provider of independent legal, regulatory and business intelligence to the global gambling industry. Rita has extensive experience in following and analyzing legal and policy developments that affect the gambling space. A fluent Hungarian and German speaker, Rita has taken a keen interest in the Central and Eastern European region. Rita obtained her qualification as a Doctor of Laws in Budapest, Hungary.

Browse the official event website for more details: www.ceegc.eu

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