Alex Inglot, the Commissioner of the ESL Pro League (Esports). We discuss his legal background, his various sports roles before he entered the Esports world. Alex has been involved across multiple spectrums of the sports industry and is sharing his experiences with us before diving deep into his current role as Commissioner of the ESL Pro League (CS:GO). Lots of great stories and learning across sports and gaming.
How it all started, studying law at Oxford, playing Volleyball at Uni to his first internship at IMG – Rugby World Cup contract work
A few years of commercial law at various law firms in London – looking at a way back into the industry
Took FIFA International Master program to bring him back into the industry
First job after the program, heading to Mexico working at Atlante FC (club had just moved to Cancun), establishing a new fan base and building relationship with the region
Couple of years at JTA – working on Manchester United Corporate Communication, working with owner Jon Tibbs, difference between legal and marketing communication principles
Sportradar – promoting Sportradar’s integrity services to Federations and other rights holders (as Director of Communication), later involved in the non-betting services and then the opportunities in US sports betting
ATP Tour – Board Director – European Player Representative -working with ATP Player Council to drive progress for the members, redistribution of prize money, etc
Setting up systems, processes, transparency (eliminating distrust between players and tournaments) -driven by Andrea Gaudenzi’s vision, the new Chairman of ATP Tour
How ATP Tour survived Covid and continued the vision of Gaudenzi – creating a JV mentality between players and events
During COVID, ticketing revenue, which had always been very important for tennis events now became a vulnerability
ATP Media – broadcast arm, bundling rights across different levels of events – aggregating media rights was key to create one stop shop for broadcasters and/or fans
Commissioner of ESL Pro League (CS:GO – Counter Strike – Global Offensive) – major title by Valve
Intro to CS:GO – history the past 10 years – one of the major FPS (First person Shooter) games, played globally
ESL Pro Tour – owned by ESL FACEIT Group (new entity, created through merger, owned by Savvy Gaming Group from Saudi Arabia)
CS:GO landscape with total Price money US$ 18 mil across all events - players earning US$ 20-50k per month
Comparison with other games and economics for teams – power of Publisher
Louvre Agreement – distribution of money ESL makes to teams to build ecosystem – helping to sustain teams investments
CS 2.0 is coming later this year and how the transition will happen
Structure of League – 12 founding member teams – revenue share of traditional revenues such as sponsorship – guaranteed slot in Pro-League (currently 15 out of 32 team format)
Opportunities for sponsor by aggregation of rights, bundling is key opportunity
League staged in Malta – teams fly in for periods of time – Malta Gaming establishing itself as Esports/Gaming hub
Esports/Gaming after Covid – from red hot to current slow down, is there a “winter” or just a natural correction?
The fundamentals of Esports are solid and very attractive, especially anyone targeting the younger demographics (Metaverse, digital items, etc)
A unique strategist drawing on years of international corporate and commercial law in the City of London; nearly a decade working at the sharp end of global sports communications and public affairs; and now Commissioner of the ESL Pro League. Focused on reading the landscape, developing a direction, securing buy-in and delivering impact.
Driving the new structure that sits behind the CSGO ecosystem-leading EPL to ensure optimal governance and operations, record-breaking revenues and fair distribution, and the realisation of existing and upcoming aggregation opportunities. In parallel, using the platform to break down barriers across the wider CSGO stakeholder map and to drive collaboration for ecosystem optimisation.
Took a driving role in the full review and overhaul of the ATP's leadership in order to bring in new structures and dynamic individuals, to ensure the Tour can continue to grow in a fast-changing entertainment landscape. Juggled stress-testing a seismic strategic vision, defining a clear governance upgrade and adapting to the challenges of a global circuit in COVID times, all while undertaking upgraded player outreach to ensure structure and policies were effective, well understood and beneficial.
Previously led the whole range of communications and public affairs activities of one of the fastest growing enterprises in the global sports technology and innovation space, promoting their full range of expertise across data, content, betting, esports, streaming and integrity. This followed a number of years as a senior PR and international relations consultant to big names in football, Olympic sports and the integrity space.
Over the years, I have been a regular spokesperson across conference panels, workshops and seminars, while also guest lecturing at academic institutions across Europe and sitting on industry event and award advisory boards.
Former member of the English National Mens Volleyball Team Former coach of the Swiss Cottage Ladies Volleyball Team