Jun 14, 2021
In this podcast, Karim Nurani welcomes back Arnold Hur the Chief Operations Officer and Co-President of Gen.G, the highly successful professional esports team and event company. In part 2 of this conversation, Arnold talks about uneven access to esports platforms, global 5G networks and their effect on mobile gaming, and cultural barriers, diversity, and gender equality in gaming.
In this podcast, we explore three major themes:
Uneven Access to Esports Platforms
The ability to get involved with esports differs across the globe. The cost of entry is unaffordable for many, with PS5s priced at $700 and fast internet connections out of reach for most. In Korea. most of the players are not well off. Their families can't afford elite after-school academic improvement programs, which enables game enthusiasts to gather in LAN cafes where, for $2/3/hour, they have access to the high-end PCs and fast networks needed to hone their esports skills.
Global 5G Networks and Mobile Gaming
In contrast, in the US, LAN cafe culture never took off widely, and so direct access to esports is more common among upper middle-class kids, who can afford the necessary equipment and network connectivity. Expanded mobile gaming and access to 5G networks are changes that will make it possible for more esports uptake among less well-off communities globally, especially in India, Africa, and Latin America.
Cultural Barriers, Diversity, and Gender Equality
Esports has started to help break down cultural barriers. but not as much as one would expect or hope for. Game servers are predominantly regional or locally-based, because of network speed and performance issues. So the player communities tend to be more homogeneous. Gen-G Esports is pushing for more gender equality in gaming. The company has started all-women teams in Fortnite and Valorant, and is promoting friendly tournaments and community scrims among female teams. It has also funded the new foundation to expand access and diversity in the gaming community, while also encouraging academic excellence at the same time.
About Our Guest:
Arnold Hur is the Chief Operations Officer and Co-President of Gen.G, the highly successful professional esports team and event company.
He is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in the growth of early-stage startups. He joined Gen.G shortly after it was founded in 2017, and initiated the rapid expansion of the company through acquisitions of professional teams in several esports franchises, including Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends.
Under Hur’s leadership, Gen.G has continued growing by further acquisitions, as well as building its own rosters of players and coaches, including one of the first all-female teams for Fortnite. By December 2020, the company had become the sixth most valuable esports organization in the world, with an estimated valuation of $185M.
Hur attributes much of Gen.G’s success to a close collaboration between the United States and S. Korea, which combines the skills and dedication of Korean esports culture with the investment prowess and global reach of California's Silicon Valley.
Prior to joining Gen.G, Hur was President of Memebox, a multi-brand beauty and personal care e-commerce venture headquartered in San Francisco. Like Gen.G, Memebox leverages the latest innovations in Korean trends and popular culture. During his time at Memebox, the company raised over $160M in funding from numerous prominent early-stage Silicon Valley VC firms and family offices.
After graduating from Boston College with a degree in finance, Hur worked with Goldman Sachs and Boston Consulting Group, before heading west to Silicon Valley to work in new product strategy and business development for Google.
About Our Host:
Investor and Entrepreneur
Chief Strategy Officer, Linqto
Fearless innovator. Perpetual student. Equal parts irrepressible and curious, always scanning the horizon for a better way. This is how Karim Nurani is routinely described by those who know him best.
This particular handful of traits has served him exceedingly well across three decades as an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor. It’s a journey marked by the formation and successful guidance of over a hundred startups from mining to process manufacturing, leadership in a number of top venture firms, and lucrative forays into markets as diverse as IoT, GreenTech, SAAS, and FinTech. His special power is a rare ability to embrace the multiplicity of perspectives and mindsets that coexist in the business realm—entrepreneur, executive, investor; early-stage, IPO, and established enterprise.
A great believer in the law of mutual attraction, he puts a great stake in relationships with like-minded thinkers across sectors and around the globe—an endless source of inspiration, knowledge, and exciting opportunity.
Find Karim on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/karimnurani/
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About This Podcast:
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