SPEAKERS

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Stephanie Orme

Adjunct Esports Professor, Emmanuel College

Dr. Stephanie Orme is an adjunct lecturer at several Boston area colleges, where she teaches courses on digital media and culture, including the global video game and esports industries. She has taught gaming-related courses on the business aspects of game development, the cultural history of gaming, and video game live-streaming.

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Wim Stocks

GM/CEO, WorldGaming & Collegiate StarLeague

CSL in 2020: 1800+ colleges and universities; 11,000 + teams; 70,000 + student athletes; 14 leagues. Elevating collegiate esports; building careers in esports.

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Jadd Schmeltzer

Director of Esports, CEI

Jadd is the Director of Esports for the Center for Education Innovation (CEI). He is a graduate of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management of Cornell University. After spending 6 years of playing professional baseball, he shifted his focus towards online gaming by creating the NBA2K Academy and implementing the program with CEI in both public and charter schools throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City.

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Nick Avery

Associate Director of Club Sports & Esports, Northeastern University

Create, implement, and lead all aspects of the new Esport initiative expanding programs and opportunities for Club and Varsity athletics. This year the Esports initiative was successfully launched establishing (6) new Esport teams, 400+ members, is one of the leading Esport programs in the Northeast, and one of only two programs in New England housed under Athletics.

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Tyrelle Appleton

Esports Program Director, New England College

I’m a former esports competitor who competed nationally, an entrepreneur, founder, esports owner, content creator, brand influencer and consultant. I️ was the first competitive Gears of War player to partner with MLG as a Brand Ambassador. Esports is my lifestyle and no longer my hobby. My vision is to continue to pay it forward and leave an imprint on the gaming industry forever.

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Ricco Phinisee

Head Coach (CLTX Gaming)

While Ricco is devoting his time changing lives, he is also the Head Coach of the Boston Celtics NBA2K League team, CLTX Gaming. Ricco is a well-respected coach in the League and his team finished 3rd out of 21 NBA2K League teams in 2019 (Season 2). Ricco Phinisee has been training with NFL athletes since the age of 13 and understands the importance of strength, power, balance, conditioning, and recovery.

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Billy Sprout

Associate Manager, Collegiate Esports at Tespa

After founding the gaming club at University of Connecticut, Billy went on to join the Tespa team in its early years. For nearly 6 years, he has spearheaded or supported nearly all of Tespa's national programs for Overwatch, Hearthstone and now Call of Duty!

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Jameson Durall

Director of Esports Operations, Full Sail

Jameson got his start as a Game Designer after graduating from Full Sail's Game Design & Development program in 2001. Over his nearly 20 years in the industry, he's worked on AAA titles with companies including Oddworld Inhabitants, Electronic Arts, and Deep Silver Volition. Today, Jameson has moved on to a new role in the burgeoning world of esports, as Director of Esports Operations for Armada, Full Sail's collegiate team.

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Mason Mullenioux

Co-founder & CEO, HSEL

Co-Founded the High School Esports League in 2012 and has served as it's CEO through multiple growth stages, including a tech platform build-out. HSEL has grown to over 2400 partnered schools and 80,000 users on its platform and in it's community. HSEL prides itself on always putting its students and their esports communities first.

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Neil Malvone

Vice-Chairman of the NJCAAE & Professor of Esports Management

Neil A. Malvone is the EVP of Business Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Collegiate Sports Management Group and CEO/Founder of Cutting Edge Sports Management. Most recently Neil was named Vice-Chairman of the NJCAA Esports Association. Neil is engaged in all aspects of esport and sport event planning. Neil is developing esports national championship events for the NJCAA and the ECAC with a focus on production, media rights, streaming, and sponsorships. 

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Dr Johanna Brewer

MIT & AnyKey

Johanna Brewer, PhD, is a Research Associate in Comparative Media Studies at MIT for AnyKey, an organization that advocates for diversity and inclusion in competitive gaming, and co-founder of Neta Snook, a design studio. Dr. Brewer is a designer, developer, ethnographer and entrepreneur focused on building inclusive media platforms. Previously, they led the teams behind frestyl, a live music discovery service, and Rhomby, a smart home presence-awareness system. Johanna received a doctorate in Information & Computer Science from UC Irvine for work on the aesthetics of urban mobility.

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Michael Fay

Esports Center Director, Rutgers

Michael is a former esports content creator who founded one of the first comprehensive esports departments at a Division 1 university as the Director of Esports and Head Coach at The University of Akron. Michael is the co-founder and executive president of National Collegiate Esports, a free collegiate esports networking association. In his current role, Michael is responsible for founding and managing the Esports Center at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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Luis Laca

Associate Director, RMU

Esports Coorindator / Head Coach with a demonstrated history of working in the Esports industry. Skilled in Microsoft Word, Sales, Management, Teamwork, and Adobe Photoshop. Strong Esports background with a Associate's degree focused in Sports Management and Marketing from Robert Morris University. 

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Chris Buckner

Co-Founder and CEO, Mainline.gg

Chris Buckner is the co-founder and CEO Mainline.GG - an esports tournament software and event management company that focuses primarily on the collegiate market. Mainline currently partners directly with universities to help them manage, monetize, and market their esports initiatives in an effort to grow their programs. Mainline also assisted ESPN with their Collegiate Esports Championship. Chris is also a co-founder of Cannon Ventures, an Angel Investor network in Houston that raises funds for startups.

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Michael Cameron

Professor / Esports Program Coordinator 

Michael is a 30 year IT veteran, a former Syndicated Games Journalist, and a life long gamer. He presently teaches in both the Esports and IT programs at Durham College , in Ontario, Canada. Michael was the brain child behind Durham Colleges innovative Esports Broadcast Arena as well as it's Esports Business Management Certificate program. Michael's is also a partnered streamer on Twitch.

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Joshua B Rader

Esports Health and Strength Coach/ Mcmurry University & Helix Gaming

Named the Health and Strength coach for Mcmurry Esports in the inaugural year of the program. I have always had a passion for both the health and gaming industries and jumped when the opportunity arose to combine both worlds. I have since partnered with Helix gaming to work online with their players well being, and have helped a number of streamers on their path to health and prolonging their careers.

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Matthew Benson

Founder & CEO, eFuse

Matthew Benson founded eFuse (a professional social network for esports & video games) in 2018 and now acts the CEO. Prior to eFuse, Benson spent time at the Ohio Innovation Fund (OIF), a venture capital firm in Columbus, Ohio, as an Investment Analyst and EiR. Since leaving OIF and starting eFuse, Benson has successfully raised a seed round of investment, solidified partnerships with the biggest gaming creators, and built a 12-person full-time team of experienced gaming and social network executives.

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Kevin Zhu

Gaming Expert, Microsoft

Kevin has worked with several esports organizations in several roles including broadcasting, event management, and community organization. He helped found the Esports Club at Newton South high school and started the League of Legends program at Bentley University. Currently, he working for Microsoft as their Gaming Expert at the Microsoft Store Prudential Center where he focuses on local community gaming activations for schools, universities, non-profit and for-profit organizations.

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Dr. Kristy Custer

Principal, Complete High School Maize

Kristy is the principal at Complete High School Maize and the 2018 Kansas Principal of the Year. Kristy specializes in dropout prevention and curriculum writing and is the co-author of the esports curriculum Gaming Concepts. Since 2001, she has helped lead the CHSM team to state and national honors including a Crystal Star Award for Dropout Prevention schools, being named a National School of Character and Civic Advocacy Network winner.

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Yugina Yun

CORSAIR Student Programs

Yugina went to school at Boston University where she studied marine science. She started her career in esports running StarCraft tournaments and has worked on a number of collegiate programs, including at Tespa/Blizzard. She now runs the student program at CORSAIR.

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Shawn Smith

CEO, GYO

Been in the gaming industry for over a decade, starting as a journalist for Advanced Media Networks in the late 2000s. In 2018, founded Harena Data and created GYO Score, and advanced data analytics platform that helps players discover their own potential by looking at detailed statistics and - importantly - helping them get discovered by putting them in front of recruiters. To date, GYO Score has helped over 200 players receive scholarship offers through its platform.

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Eric Johnson

CEO, EGF

Eric Johnson is the new CEO of Electronic Gaming Federation. EGF is the definitive varsity platform and league for Div-I universities and high schools. Previously, Eric spent 18 years at ESPN as EVP, Global Ad Revenue and Sales Operations. He also has started WON Worldwide, a venture revenue firm.

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Tyler Levesque

Coordinator of Esports & Club Sports, Northeastern University 

I am currently the Coordinator of Esports & Club Sports at Northeastern University. I am a graduate from the University of Texas and Wichita State University. At Wichita State I started the Varsity Esports program and created an Introduction to Esports Course which I still teach today. I have been in the collegiate Esports industry for two years.

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Jesse Zhang

Founder and CEO of Lowkey.gg

Founder / CEO of Lowkey.gg, high-quality software to help esports teams get better, win, and grow their program. Computer Science out of Harvard. Formerly of Google, Citadel. Backed by Y Combinator and multiple NBA teams.

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Martin Schelasin

Analytical Strategist & Esports Professional, Thomas College

Leveraging my passion for esports, leadership experience, and strategic skill set, I am helping to better equip this generation of future professionals for roles inside and outside the esports industry. By coupling my strong analytical background with a deliberate focus on holistic betterment, I am working to guide talented individuals on their paths to peak performance, fulfillment, confidence, and competence.

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Zach Johnson

Founder, ggCircuit

After founding, building and raising private capital in the Internet Service Provider industry through my company Joink I ventured into the video game industry with eBash in 2004. eBash is one of the oldest LAN centers in the United States and continues to provide eSports tournaments, casual gaming and big event planning in the Midwest. In 2008 I started ggCircuit which brings LAN centers together for competitions and in 2014 we launched a unique piece of software that ties centers around the world into one big reward and competition system. 

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Kurt Melcher

Executive Director, Esports, Intersport and Robert Morris University

Executive Director of Esports at Intersport and Robert Morris University in Chicago, IL. For nearly two years, Kurt and the Intersport Esports Group have served as the NCAA’s strategic esports advisor, leading the governing body’s research of the collegiate esports community and developing frameworks for how esports could be incorporated into the NCAA model. Additionally, Kurt and the Intersport team work with NCAA member conferences to develop esports programming as well as individual universities to build their competitive esports programs, including areas such as administrative staffing and player recruitment, facility design, and co-curricular initiatives.

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Charles Palmer

Executive Director,

Harrisburg University

In 2015, Professor Palmer designed and developed the Interactive Media degree program and continues to serve as the Program Lead. Based on his work and research in both professional and collegiate esports, Professor Palmer built and launched HU's bachelor’s degree in Esports Management, Production and Performance accepting the first cohort of students in January 2020.

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Joe Belousek

Game Developer

& Esports Podcasters

Game developer by day for the last 11 years and esports podcaster for the last 2. I dove into collegiate esports because the effort, passion and history needing to be preserved and shared. The Summoning Hour podcast aims to document and connect the growing ecosystem of collegiate esports.

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Thomas O'Keefe 

Manager of Brand Partnerships & Esports, CSMG

Manager of Brand Partnerships and Esports at Collegiate Sports Management Group. He works with with college associations, conferences, and institutions in providing these organizations with growth strategies and revenue generating opportunities for Esports. Thomas earned his Master’s in Sports Management from St. John’s University.

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Christina Alejandre

Executive Consultant and Adjunct Professor of Esports, Becker College

Christina Alejandre is an executive consultant in esports and video game publishing space and an adjunct professor at Becker College, teaching esports business related classes. Prior to this, she served as General Manager of ELEAGUE and Vice President of esports for Turner Sports. In this role, she lead the development and strategy for ELEAGUE. While with ELEAGUE, Christina was nominated for 4-Sports Emmy’s and was named as one of ADWEEK’s 35 most powerful women in sports in 2017. She was also a 2017 Sports Business Journal Game Changer.

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Landon DuMar

Director of Integration, RPM

Landon DuMar is a behavioral health, wellness, and performance expert that specializes in the holistic and integrated development of individuals, teams, and organizations. Landon works with his clients to develop inner balance to help our fullest selves emerge and impact all we do. He is the founder of Art of Mind, works as the Director of Integration at RPM Athlete Performance, and as a freelance mental performance coach and writer with various other organizations. He has is masters degree in clinical mental health counseling from Springfield College.

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Jason Shen

CEO, Midgame

Founder and CEO of Midgame, maker of GA — the first music and gaming Discord bot you control with your voice — and backed by Betaworks, Techstars, and Amazon. Previously founded venture-backed companies in tech hiring and transportation. TED speaker, Fast Company contributor, and board director of the Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation.

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Michael Cassens

Assistant Professor/Director

of Esports, University of Montana

Michael Cassens current focus is on being a better instructor, how to use gaming practices and theories to deliver better course content as well as build better and more exciting games and applications for the marketplace using different games engines and mobile platforms. Michael is also the Director of Esports at the University of Montana with an emphasis on inclusion, diversity, and educational pathways for their players and team members.

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Michael Russell

Esports Curriculum

Michael has been an avid gamer for nearly 35 years. After a successful career in sales, Michael entered the field of education as a social studies teacher at Complete High School Maize in 2014. After his first year of teaching, Michael was awarded the Horizon Award for Kansas in 2015. In 2018, Michael also received the “Making IT Happen Award” at the Mid-America Association for Computers in Education Conference for his work developing and implementing a video game curriculum in the classroom.

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Nicholas Travis

Esports Coach and Consultant

I've been an Esports Head Coach for over 4 years competing against the best teams in some of the biggest stages winning tournaments with prize pools in upwards of $180,000 in Overwatch for organizations such as Cloud9 and Dignitas. I've consulted for Overwatch League teams such as the Philadelphia Fusion and Boston Uprising, and am currently coaching while sharing my passion and knowledge in the Collegiate space through universities such as Becker College and Boise State.

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Bennett Newsome

Esports Strategist, Full Sail University

Bennett Newsome (Aka DamnitBennett) is a Twitch partner, Co-owner of whereisxur.com, and Esports Strategist for Full Sail University. Focused on helping to grow and build Full Sail's esports culture both through support and strategy for the school's official collegiate team Armada and by using his knowledge and experience to help develop esports industry connections. He's been with Full Sail University for more than 12 years, working in a variety of roles to both support the school's growth in online education, and engage with students throughout their educational journey.

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Michael Wisnios

Director of Esports, RMU

Michael is also the founding adviser for GGLeague and a member of eFuse's Collegiate Advisory Board.

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Ross Magnant

Producer/Events Coordinator

Ross went to college for acting and live theater production and after graduating Ross was working as a stage manager in Boston, while volunteering as an analyst on the side for Harvard's league of legends team. That experience led to an esports events gig, led to a management job, and now Ross produces esports events for large and small groups, from Cap Com SFV North American Finals 2016, to the Boston Uprising's first Collegiate Cup, to Nerdfest NH 2019, to Bethesda Softwork's annual PAX East expo.

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Tim Schneider

Co-Founder, Uptime Esports

Tim is the Co-Founder of Uptime Esports, New England's first esports arena and training center located in Hanover, MA. Uptime has exciting programs for gamers of all ages, including professional and club teams. Tim is passionate about helping young esports athletes reach their full potential in-and-out of the arena.

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Jason Chung

Assistant Professor of Esports Management and Executive Director of Esports

Jason Chung is an Assistant Professor of Sports Management in the College of Business and Executive Director of Esports at the University of New Haven where he spearheads university’s study of esports and liaises with the industry. Professor Chung's interdisciplinary approach to understanding the history, growth and future of esports stems from his diverse international background in law, business and public policy in both the public and private sectors.

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Kevin Hoang

Partnerships, Twitch

Kevin Hoang is the Partnerships Account Manager at Twitch. Kevin currently works on the Twitch Student program and has dedicated himself to creating gaming and esports opportunities for students and universities around the world. Prior to Twitch, Kevin founded the Washington Gaming Association at University of Washington and analyst at Team SoloMid. Kevin has been a thought leader in the collegiate esports community. He's worked on hundreds of official university esports programs and sits on the board of advisors for University of California Irvine Esports and advisor at Taunt.

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Patrick Klein

Chief Strategy Officer at eFuse

Patrick Klein acts as the Chief Strategy Officer at eFuse, focusing his attention on building strategic partnerships across the globe. Since joining eFuse in October 2020, he has assisted in the creation of the GTM strategy and the release of the #ForTheGamers campaign. Prior to eFuse, Klein spent 13 years in the collegiate athletic space as an assistant basketball coach.

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Christian Kunkel

Director of University Partnerships, Nerd Street Gamers

Christian Kunkel is the Director of University Partnerships at Nerd Street Gamers, which increases access to competitive gaming and the esports industry by providing infrastructure, facilities, and events. Through its collegiate partnership model, NSG provides both capital and operational expertise to build and manage large esports facilities on college campuses.

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Stuart Goldfarb

General Counsel & Chief Operating Officer, EGF

Stuart Goldfarb serves as general counsel and chief operating officer of the Electronic Gaming Federation. An accomplished business and legal professional for more than 20 years, Stuart has represented prominent clients in sports, media, and entertainment with global law firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, and Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He continues to practice as counsel with Romano Law LLP, a New York-based boutique law firm focused on those verticals.

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Katherine Amoukhteh

Managing Partner, Esports-Management

Katherine has had over 15 years in STEM. She started her esports career as a team manager for high school League of Legends teams. She then went on to be the VP of operations with Esport-Management, a global online platform dedicated to helping gamers improve their game. Her most recent work includes projects with women in gaming, high school & collegiate esports consulting, and launching Esports Playground in Orange County California.

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Taryn Cahill

Business Development, Nerd Street Gamers

Taryn Cahill serves on the Business Development team at Nerd Street Gamers (NSG). Focused on customizing esports to the collegiate space, Taryn also identifies opportunities for growth—from strategic engagements and product improvements, to ways to further disrupt the industry. 

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Alex Mcneil

President, Uni Esports Group

Alex McNeil is the President and co-founder of Uni Esports Group. At Uni, Alex leads the team’s research efforts. He is the primary author of the Uni Esports Program Rubric, a resource designed to help schools understand and navigate the challenges of building an effective esports program. Before co-founding Uni, Alex was an academic coach and mentor for Bay Area high school students. He holds an MA in political theory and cares deeply about issues of equity and mental health in education.

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Yentl Ip

Marketing Operations Supervisor, iBUYPOWER

Yentl currently leads all college esports activations and partnerships and sits on the board of advisors for University of California Irvine Esports. With her guidance, iBUYPOWER's College Tour campaign won Intel's Marketing Excellence award for empowering students with the resources and strategies to create exciting local events and develop valuable career skills through them.

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Tyler Schrodt

Founder & President, EGF

Tyler is the Founder and President of EGF. Tyler started in esports with Counter-Strike 1.6 as a player, team manager, and tournament organizer and has a background in higher education through Residence Life and Student conduct before beginning EGF in 2015.

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Robert Skinnion

Education Tech Specialist, Microsoft & Head Coach, Assumption College

Current Director of esports at Vector Gaming. Former Operations Manager for The Evermedia Group, Inc., COO of System Technology Solutions, Inc., President and later Treasurer of Kearsarge Lodge #217, an I.O.O.F philanthropic organization in Swampscott, MA.

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David Kirk

Esports Program Director

David is a former higher education student affairs professional who got his start in esports as the Assistant Director of Esports at the University of Akron where he helped to create one of the first comprehensive collegiate esports programs in the country. He is currently deploying the same model of esports at Illinois State University, with plans to open one of the largest collegiate esport arenas in the country to facilitate growth of both the casual and competitive gaming student community. David is the co-founder and Executive Director of National Collegiate Esports, a free member association that aims to connect collegiate esport professionals, club leaders, and the general student gaming population at a state, regional, and national level.

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Boston Park Plaza Hotel

50 Park Plaza

Boston, MA 02116

About CEX

What started as a student organization and think tank has evolved into a multifaced conference, focused on educating others on how to traverse

the ever expanding esports ecosystem.

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