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277. Next World Forum 2022 LIVE – Day 1 Insights
Episode 27720th September 2022 • Business of Esports • Paul Dawalibi
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In this episode, we come to you live from the Next World Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where we discuss all the exciting panels and events that took place during the conference, with special guests Lucy Hedges (Technology Editor for Metro UK), Mark Cai (Enterprise Influencer Relations for NVIDIA), moderator Georgia Tolley (Journalist & Radio Presenter for Dubai Eye 103.8), and our very own Paul “The Profit” Dawalibi!

Transcripts

Announcer:

Welcome to the business of esports podcast, the

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official podcast of esports. We explore the intersection of

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business and esports, one of the fastest growing industries in

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the world and the future. Have fun. Please welcome your host,

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Paul esports, Prophet Dawalibi, the business of esports podcast

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begins now.

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We are nearly at the end of the day, but not quite.

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And I'd be delighted to welcome back onto the stage, my fellow

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MCS and host, of course, we've got Lucy who's covering as well,

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Hi, Lucy, how you doing? Come and join me this stage, because

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we've got about 15 minutes haven't where to basically

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debrief debrief, it is our debrief. Very, very excited. I'm

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still my head's still in the last panel, but I'm gonna bring

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it back now, because I want to welcome of course, Mark Kai

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esports, and gaming content creator from the US. And of

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course, Paul, the profit. Thank you for joining us. Appreciate

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it. Thank you. So Lucy, I'll let you lead if you want or should I

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push on?

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Okay. Well, first of all, I think everyone here can agree

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that today has just been such a fantastic event. There's been

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back to back amazing speakers, guests, people in the audience.

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Everyone's has been getting involved getting interactive.

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And that's exactly what we wanted from this event. So hats

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off to all the organizers. should feel good about

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yourselves today. It's been fantastic. But the whole point

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of this panel is to is for us to

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we're naming we're tossing people who were

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totally

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hated No, no, no, no, we're gonna keep them positive.

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You know, what some of the biggest takeaway from today what

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have been your highlights? Any particular quotes? Me

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personally, I loved when you and I can't remember his name. Now

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grant getting into nearly got into a bit of a scrap on stage

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over. I missed that. Yeah, just I

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didn't know none of my panelists. But that was probably

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a good. So that

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was pretty fun to me. But you know what, Paul, you've been

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here you've been able, David wandering around, you are a tour

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de force in the esports world. And I can see why. But yeah,

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tell me about some of the highlights for you.

Paul Dawalibi:

You know, I I've been doing a podcast for years

Paul Dawalibi:

now on the gaming and esports industry. And for to at least

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two years publicly, I've been saying this region, everyone's

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sleeping on it. Everyone, right, this is everyone's talking about

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China. Everyone's talking about Asia in general. This is the

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region I said for two years. Now everyone's sleeping on, put my

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money where my mouth is I moved here, you know, in the beginning

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of the year. So like, I believe what I'm saying. And I think the

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day here, two things the day here and I was at gamers eight

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yesterday, which I second time there between gamers eight and

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here I realized the prophets prophecy has come true, right?

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Like this is really, I think, the seminal moment, this

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conference where people will look back and go, when did Saudi

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Arabia sort of make its debut on the global stage from a gaming

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and esports perspective? It's today, it's today it's they got

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an entire room packed of thought leaders and industry, people,

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heads of industry, to all be talking about what's going on in

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Saudi Arabia. To me, that's the accomplishment here. And the

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question I have for you guys is, how does this sustain Right?

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Like, what does not just day to tomorrow look like? But how do

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you grow from this? And how do you push this out? The next

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year, two years, five years, so that we're on this stage five

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years from now in a room 10 times the size having the same

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conversation, right?

Unknown:

I mean, I have to say that the leat the top line for

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me from that from the whole day. And I've been either on stage or

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listening to Lucy sessions. And and of course, your sessions was

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when his Royal Highness Prince Faisal said, What are you going

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to do together? What are you going to do as a community? And

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I certainly feel that as a consequence of this conference,

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we have, or I say we, I include myself in it now. We have pulled

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together as a community, it's wonderful seeing the breakout

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sessions and people chatting and, you know, a mug you've

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flown over from the United States. And you know, you've

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come in to chat to people who maybe came in from Jeddah and

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who have never, you know, I've never been to a conference like

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this before. It's really been exhilarating,

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because this is like a chat opportunity, but

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also the challenge of success like this in this moment, in the

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sense that the excitement and the hype around something like

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this, around next World Forum, people are going to leave

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there'll be a group of people who leave and go, there's an

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opportunity here for me to make money. Right, there's a

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financial opportunity. Saudi Arabia is bullish on gaming and

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esports. They're going to be spending a lot of money to build

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their vision. I think the challenge is, how do you sort

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through the people who are here sort of to make a fast buck and

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I know this has made be taboo to talk about, versus who really

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buy into the vision, who are drinking the Kool Aid, who are

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seeing the same thing. His Highness is seeing right who are

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believing in this vision truly, and want to make it happen

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regardless of the immediate financial return. I think that's

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the challenge and the opportunity when there's so much

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hype around something.

Unknown:

But I think that's one of the interesting things you've

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seen about today is that other events around the world, I'm not

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going to name locations or events, but there's a lot of

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talk, you know, a lot of hot air being blown about whereas what

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i've what I witnessed today was various levels of government

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bodies, to publishers to esports. Team owners, it all

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types of different people, the multifaceted elements that make

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up the esports arena, really all pushing streamlining towards the

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same goal, we are going to be at the top if not the top of the

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games and eco esports ecosystem. And that, for me, is what maybe

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sets this event apart from other events that I've been to in the

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past, I still see a real determination to make stuff

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happen. Yeah.

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I mean, Mark, you've flown into the United States with it with a

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different perspective. Had you been to the kingdom before? Is

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this a new experience for you? Yeah,

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this is entirely new for me. And I think it's, it's eye opening,

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obviously, you know, people, people need us to view things a

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certain way. And so I think it's good to just meet people here

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and actually understand where they come from. And I was really

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pleasantly surprised with one of the breakout sessions about

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woman in gaming and esports. And I think that was really good to

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see here, because that's something that's, you know, it's

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I think it's a discussion globally, but the fact that I

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think, you know, Saudi doesn't have as much history and esports

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and, and already focusing on that, they've already come

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further than a lot of places who have been doing esports for a

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long time, and really haven't figured that out. Right. So I

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think that's a good progression. And I think it goes back to the

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whole local community building up locally, right, you know,

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there's only a few teams met few years ago, now there's hundreds

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of teams. So I think that, you know, getting the people

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involved and listening to the people that are actually, you

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know, involved playing the games, the business side, I

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think that's a, you know, this is a good discussion to be

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having,

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it's very encouraging to see, you can almost feel that

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ecosystem flourishing. As we speak, you can almost see the

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content, you know, the connections being built, the

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synapses meeting. I mean, what do you think next? So many of

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our sessions have been, you know, now, and next, where do

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you see this going over the next few years?

Paul Dawalibi:

One of the things I, one of the takeaways for me

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is there's been a lot of talk today about traditional sports,

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right? And its connection to esports. A lot of panels and,

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and I'll pull out a matrix reference, there's a reference

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in the matrix where they say, you can't, no one can tell you

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that you're the one you have to know you are, like, I wish as

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esports. We admired and borrowed from traditional sports, what,

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what is best and what we can sort of leverage for ourselves.

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But I would love to see more in terms of what's next. Us being

Paul Dawalibi:

our own thing. Like we don't have to prove to anyone we're

Paul Dawalibi:

athletes, we don't have to be at the Olympics, because I think

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traditional sports should be fearing esports. Like, this is

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the I think they're the ones who shouldn't be worried, not us,

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sort of, with a little bit of an inferiority complex going,

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please accept us, please, you know. And so, I think what's in

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terms of where I, what's next from the conversations today,

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one of the big things I'd love to see is just more, how can we

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be our own thing and be different and different for the

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right reasons? Not necessarily. So tied to sports?

Unknown:

Yeah, it's not what we're talking about during our

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panel discussion about the metaverse, why are we building

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these digital versions of replicating replicas of our

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current life? Why don't we do something outside the box and

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take it beyond? So that's yeah, you're you really like to think

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outside the box. That's what I'm getting from you, Paul. But

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again, I think it's just that fear, isn't it? It's that fear,

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who no one wants to be first.

Paul Dawalibi:

But there wasn't a lot of fear today on stage. I

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think that was a really cool part, right? Like everyone here

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really has conviction around what they're doing, whether it's

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a regulatory role, whether it's a you know, they're building

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games, or whatever they're doing, I think the big takeaway

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for me is, there's so much belief in what they're building.

Paul Dawalibi:

You You rarely see that in industries, right, like you see

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them at sort of peak hype cycle in industry sometimes, but that,

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to me was very promising to see that conviction in whatever

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they're building.

Unknown:

And back to your point, I think that with, you know,

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sports, maybe fearing esports I think it comes full circle,

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because now they're integrating esports right? There's sports

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teams that are, you know, getting esports involved with

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them. So they can be collaborative, because they

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realize, well, if we can't beat them, let's join them. Right? So

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let's let's work together and, and maybe it becomes it's a fear

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at first, but it comes full circle because, you know, it's

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two different audiences, right? And with those two different

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audiences, you know, maybe someone who's been traditionally

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an esports fan their entire lives, they start watching

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football, all of a sudden they you know, then they become

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football fans along with these sports fans, and you can be both

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at the same time right there. There can be that crossover, I

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think organizations are starting to see that so it's, it's Good

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progress.

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I have to say speaking to that, as far as you know, bravery of

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putting esports at the center of your, your system or the center

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of your development, I was astonished to hear the level to

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which Neelam is expecting to put esports and gaming right at the

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very, very center, you know, not me said that at the CEO said at

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the, at the center of the line will be esports, I gave the

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impression that they would be in arena that, and that was pretty

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cool, you know, as the journalists antenna in my head.

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That's a new story.

Paul Dawalibi:

That is, I mean, the devils in the details with

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those things, though, right? Like, is it? Is it 10,000 seats

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is at 100,000 seats? Like, what's the scale of this? What's

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the deal? Right? And then you start your mind starts going

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places like like, what can you do with the venue maybe of that

Paul Dawalibi:

scale? Is it? You know, is it just about gaming and esports?

Paul Dawalibi:

Because that's interesting, right? Like, how can you

Paul Dawalibi:

transform entertainment that is inherently digital, because I

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hate that we sort of have an made analog, what is a digital

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medium, right? Today, the way we watch esports is we sit in a

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physical chair, and we look at a screen that's pretty far away,

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and we watch people playing a digital game seems, seems a

Paul Dawalibi:

little bit backwards. It's like having an analog face on my

Paul Dawalibi:

digital watch. Right? Like, how can we conceptualize maybe new

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things, and neon provides sort of this blank slate where

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anything's possible, right? Like, is there a world where you

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have 100,000 person stadium, but where everyone has the best

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seats in the house? Because you use some sort of VR or AR and

Paul Dawalibi:

virtualization? I don't know. Like, is there a world where we

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think beyond just what we're doing today? I think that's the

Paul Dawalibi:

cool part about neon. Yeah,

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rewriting the rulebook? Yeah.

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Now, Lucy, your voice was the first that everyone heard this

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morning. So I feel it's only fair. It should be last at the

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end of our session. And I think it is time to close

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today. It's time to close I think I'm not going to build on

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any more of the what I just said, When I open this short

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little panel discussion. I have had such a great day talking to

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such incredible people, including you guys, up on this

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dais, Georgia has done a fantastic job moderating panels.

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Truly, truly brilliant day we are back for day two, tomorrow

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is going to be another action packed day. I hope you're

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suitably excited. And all that's left to say is thank you so much

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for being a fantastic audience. I can see we've lost quite a few

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people, duration of the day. For the most part. This has been a

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relatively packed house. And for that I am grateful and happy. So

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thank you guys, and enjoy the rest of your evening.

Unknown:

Thank you. Well applaud ourselves now.

Announcer:

Thanks for listening to the business of esports

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