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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

Lolita Sumskaite (Head of Unit at Ministry of Finance, Lithuania) to speak at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2

Zoltan Tundik

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Leading industry expert responsible for designing the national gambling policy in Lithuania through legislation for more than 17 years, set to join the “Gambling Industry in Lithuania” (Compliance Panel Discussion) at the second edition of the most important gambling industry conference in the Baltic and Scandinavian region.

We are honoured to announce that Ms Lolita Sumskaite will represent the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania at MARE BALTICUM – The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit 2019, which will take place on 9 May 2019 at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel.

Lolita Šumskaitė is working for the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania and was responsible for designing the national gambling policy in Lithuania through legislation for more than 17 years. She was the main author of the first Law on Gambling, which was adopted in 2001. Lolita is a member of EC Expert Group of Gambling Services.

Since 2010, her responsibilities also include insurance – designing insurance policy through legislation and her main responsibility is to implement EU regulation into national legislation.

Starting 2013, she is responsible for anti-money laundering acts – following and participating in the negotiations in the EU Council on the text of Anti Money Laundering Directive, preparing LT positions. Lolita was Chair of the EU Council’s Working Party discussing fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive during LT Presidency of the EC.

MARE BALTICUM – The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit will once again bring together the leading companies in the Baltic and Scandinavian region for a full day of quality learning and networking with local regulators and industry experts.

You can find more details about the Agenda here or you can register here!

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

You can view the photo gallery from the inaugural event on the following this link.

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Conferences in Europe

BETEGY announced as AI BRIEFING SPONSOR at Prague Gaming Summit 3

Zoltan Tundik

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Without any doubt, 2019 is the year which will have many discussion that involves the use of AI in Big Data, sports betting, casino, lottery, analytics, responsible gambling, and many more verticals.

The recently announced sponsor at Prague Gaming Summit stands out in the crowd of software and service suppliers of the online and land-based gambling industry.

BETEGY is the sports data analytics company, which works on the intersection of sports, technology, and gaming. It provides various B2C and B2B products. BETEGY licenses the data and visualization systems to global sports betting and media companies like ESPN (USA), Turkcell (Turkey), Ringier Axel Springer (Eastern Europe), Wozhongla.com (China), Yahoo Sports (UK), Bwin (Russia) and others

Do not miss this exciting opportunity to meet the team at Prague Gaming Summit 3 and discuss collaboration possibilities! You can Register here or View the Agenda

The conference is held on a yearly basis and it is a “must-attend” gathering for all industry shareholders who are looking for top quality learning and networking having the online and land-based gambling industry in focus.

Prague Gaming Summit 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 Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Liechtenstein.

The Summit will approach all regulatory and compliance related aspects of the mentioned markets and will also highlight some trending topics such as the relationships between Regulators, Operators – Affiliates, MasterCard’s new requirements for Online Merchants (CFD, FX, Gaming, Crypto), understanding millennials (with emphasis on eSports, Daily Fantasy Sports an Virtual Sports), outsourcing for gaming companies, IT security, AML, KYC, CSR.

The program will also include a very important IMGL MasterClass that will aim to share the latest insights by the International Masters of Gaming Law experts about advertisement banning.

Full details about the event can be found on the official event website: www.praguegamingsummit.com

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Baltics

Early Bird Rate and Nominations expire in two weeks for the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards

Zoltan Tundik

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There are only two weeks to register at the Early Bird Rate for MARE BALTICUM – The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and save 100 EUR for your ticket(s).

The second edition of the conference will take place on 9 May 2019 at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel and as announced earlier, the conference will include the inaugural edition of the BSG Awards (Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards). The awards ceremony will celebrate the leading companies for their respective categories from the Baltics and Nordics.

You can find more details about the nominations and categories on the following link.

In terms of the content and networking, some of the leading industry experts from the region, which includes regulators, lawyers, gambling operators, and supplier representatives, will supply the continuous presentation.

Some of the leading names have already been added to the speakers lineup, which include Andrius Gabnys (Founder at Gabnys Law Firm) – Conference Ambassador, Lolita Sumskaite (Head of Unit at Ministry of Finance, Lithuania),  Signe Birne (Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of the Republic of Latvia), Taivo Põrk (Ministry of Finance, Estonia), Valts Nerets (Senior Associate, attorney-at-law at Sorainen), Viktorija Antanaviciute (Managing Director at TonyBet), Morten Ronde (CEO at Danish Online Gambling Association and Managing Partner at Nordic Gambling), Sissel Weitzhandler (Group Compliance Manager), Gustaf Hoffstedt (General Secretary at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling), Tal Itzhak Ron (Chairman & CEO at Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm), Dr. Joerg Hofmann (Partner, MELCHERS LAW), Pieter Remmers (CEO, Assissa), Dr. Simon Planzer (Partner at PLANZER LAW, Zurich), and many more.

MARE BALTICUM 2 will once again bring together the leading companies in the Baltic and Scandinavian region for a full day of quality learning and networking with local regulators and industry experts.

You can register here!

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

You can view the photo gallery from the inaugural event on the following this link.

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