SXSW Gaming Announces Speakers, Dates
September 27, 2017

SXSW Gaming Announces Speakers, Dates

SXSW Gaming has announced its 2018 dates. The event will take place in Austin on March 15-17, with single-day and three-day wristbands now on sale. The first wave of Featured Speakers have also been announced, featuring esports titans Nate Nanzer (Commissioner, Overwatch League), Christina Alejandre (GM of ELEAGUE and VP of Esports, Turner Sports), Brendan Donohue (Managing Director, NBA 2K League), and Pete Vlastelica (President and CEO of Major League Gaming).

SXSW Gaming is open to all SXSW badgeholders and SXSW Gaming wristband holders. Wristbands for SXSW Gaming are now on sale at Three-Day Gaming wristbands are available at $39 for the early-bird rate and for $49 at walk-up. Single-Day Gaming wristbands (available for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) are available at $20 for the early-bird rate and $25 at walk-up. SXSW Gaming is made up of three major parts: The Gaming Expo, Gaming Awards, and Gaming Sessions. Each facet of SXSW Gaming covers all parts of the gaming industry and brings a unique flavor of activities that both gaming fans and professionals enjoy every year.

Gaming Sessions at SXSW Gaming Festival consists of thought-provoking conversations around gaming culture and esports with thought-leaders, developers, and personalities from all corners of the industry. Past Featured Speakers at SXSW Gaming include industry legends such as Jade Raymond (Founder, Motive Studios), Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox, Microsoft Studios), Andrew Wilson (CEO, EA), and Robert Kirkman (Creator, The Walking Dead).

Featured speakers include:

Nate Nanzer - Serving as the Commissioner of the Overwatch League, Nate Nanzer leads the cross-discipline esports effort for the team-based shooter. Nate began developing plans for an Overwatch esports program in his spare time while working in Blizzard’s marketing department, and has now turned that passion into a full-time role. He oversees the strategy, development, and execution of Overwatch esports for all levels of play, and is responsible for everything from partnerships to competition rules.

Christina Alejandre - Christina Alejandre joined Turner Sports in March 2016 as General Manager of ELEAGUE and Vice President of Esports. In this role, she leads the development and strategy for ELEAGUE, a transformative esports tournament brand created in partnership with IMG. She is responsible for business operations, content and program strategy for ELEAGUE, as well as the pursuit of new esports opportunities.

Brendan Donohue with Manny Anekal - As Managing Director of the NBA 2K League, Brendan Donohue is responsible for overseeing the newly formed esports league set to launch in 2018. Donohue, a sports industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in team and league operations, manages a league that will feature 17 NBA teams in its inaugural season. Prior to assuming his current role in April 2017, Donohue served as SVP of the NBA’s industry-renowned Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO) department. Donohue will be interviewed by Manny Anekal, founder and CEO of The Next Level.

Pete Vlastelica - Pete Vlastelica is President and CEO of Major League Gaming (MLG), a division of Activision Blizzard devoted to creating the best esports experiences for fans across games, platforms, and geographies. Prior to MLG, Vlastelica was the Executive Vice President of Digital at FOX Sports, where he focused on content and product development, social media, technology, and creation of multi-platform content properties, including the Emmy-award winning “Garbage Time with Katie Nolan.”