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Dear Students, Networking is not as scary as you think: My Experience at Esports Insider NextGen 2023

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Warwick chapter.

In this article Hina Ishida will cover her experience attending Esports Insider NextGen 2023 (a networking event), the importance and value of networking and advice to her fellow students!

what is Esports Insider nextgen?

Esports Insider NextGen, also known as #ESINextGen, is a networking event in collaboration with the Warwick Esports Centre. The event ran across two days, from the 22nd to the 23rd of March 2023.

In this event, many businesses and partners in the Esports industry were invited to make connections and discuss important topics in Esports.

Lionsclash Tournament

On day 1 of the event, there was a Valorant Final Best of 5 between the university teams, Bristol Bagels and Birmingham Bulls. The tournament was run by Lionscreed – a UK Esports organisation.

It was a very close match, with Birmingham Bulls coming out as the winner by winning 3 games out of 5!


On the second day there was a line up of 4 panels. I’ve selected two to talk about in this article!

The Skill gaP – the esports & video games edition

This panel discussed how Esports and games industries can do to improve and how to develop stronger links between esports and education.

One interesting thing that the panel pointed out was that they found that they would not meet many start-ups at networking events in the Esports industry in comparison to other older industries. They speculated that this may be due to a lack of confidence in skill and how the industry is alien to most.

Representation is not a tick box: Why is it critical to seek and create diverse teams?

This panel discussed the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. The panel was moderated by UKIE Esports and included speakers from organisations such as:

  • Bridge Network Group, a company which provides training and coaching, aiming to bridge the gap between potential and future leaders from various communities to current decision makers.

It was interesting to see different companies from different parts of the Esports Ecosystem, come together and talk about the importance of diversity in the Esports programme and how Esports is for everyone regardless of age, race and other backgrounds.

They pointed out how it was important to ensure that companies should not hire just to meet a quota (the tick box) and how the industry is tackling this by coaching and training hiring staff against unconscious bias.


ESI NextGen had also organised two workshops during the event to help and guide students who are looking for a career in the Esports Industry.

Creative Futures x ESI: Demonstrating Aptitudes

Creative Futures is an agency based in Leamington Spa which partners with creative businesses to provide pathways for students and recent graduates who want to work in the creative industry.

The workshop went through what to include in a CV, how to tailor it to the industry or role you were aiming for and how to network successfully. 

One of the key things I took away from the workshop was to not over complicate my CV! Some companies use ATS robots to shortlist applications. These robots cannot read certain formats of CVs if they have columns and various fonts/graphics. 

Esports coaching academy: Pathways to building a career and business in grassroots youth esports.

Esports Coaching Academy is an Icelandic organisation that bring Esports coaching to youth in Iceland.

In this workshop, they taught us the esports industry ecosystem and there were multiple discussions based on how to make tournament organising appropriate for the target age audience and the relationship between Twitch streamers and the rest of the ecosystem.

One of the most important points made at the workshop was the idea that the esports industry should make sure that the youth, even in times of loss, should be positively encouraged and uplifted for effort.

Just some words of encouragement to the players can make them appreciate the importance of experience over victory. 

my big four takeaways:

1. Easy to say but: It’s not as scary as you might think!

Maybe you’re a social butterfly and networking is easy for you. But for those who are like me and can’t help but stutter and stumble over words when speaking to someone new, don’t worry! 

I understand that it can be intimidating to be put in a space with people who have had years of experience and you might feel like you have nothing to offer back. 

Let me remind you that everyone else is there to meet new people too! You’re not the odd one out. At these types of events I promise that people will not find it strange if you walk up to them and just introduce yourself! 

Another reminder is that:

Industry professionals come to these events not only to make connections and partnerships amongst themselves but also to scope out the future of the industry. They’re looking for young people who are passionate and able to provide sustainability to their companies. 

Body language is so important. If you’re closed off and stood in the corner of the room, looking down at your phone to make yourself look busy – you will not find yourself in a conversation any time soon. No one wants to bother someone who seems occupied.

Smile and wave to people when you walk past. Keep your posture upright and your head up. People are more likely to walk up to you and find out what you’re all about. 

2. Prepare an Elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a 30 second introduction which states:

  • Your name.
  • Who you are in relation to the event.
  • What you want to do in the future.
  • And if you have something you can offer them or want from them just be upfront and honest about it.

This makes it easy to tell the person you’re approaching what you’re all about and gives them some basic information that they can use to start to ask you questions and create an engaging conversation.

3. Have your phone on you at all times

I’m not saying you should be looking at your phone during the event. But social media apps such as:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

can be so important at these events.

The amount of times I was asked for my Linkedin so that we could connect was impossible to keep track of. If I didn’t have my phone on me, that would have been a very awkward situation.

Remember to interact with the posts and comments from other people at the event. You can also message them privately and ask to meet up during the time you’ll be there. This ensures that a person will make time for you in their day. 

4. Make the most out of it! 

If you’ve paid or travelled far to come to a networking event, then make sure it doesn’t go to waste. 

Before going to the event I’d advise you to give yourself a target number.

E.G. “I’m going to speak to at least 5 new people today.”

If you achieve your target number, then you can end the day satisfied. 

My overall experience

It was my first time going to a networking event and I felt so nervous at first! However, there was nothing for me to worry about at all! Everyone there was very kind and approachable. I learnt a lot from having short to long conversations with a range of different people from different parts of the Esports Ecosystem and gained a better understanding of the industry itself.

Attending one networking event, of course, does not mean that I am now an expert in Esports but I think it is a good place to start.

Thank you for reading this article and I hope I have helped build confidence and encouraged you to sign up for a networking event to better your future! Please keep my tips and advice in mind!

I'm Hina. I'm an English Literature and Creative Writing student at Warwick. My favourite genre to read is Gothic! I'm a lover of music, K-pop, gaming and cooking! If you've taken the time to read my articles you are greatly appreciated <3