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The remit of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) is to offer the ACES Executive Board non-binding but informed guidance on current and future industry trends to enhance links between academia and industry

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Rob Black

Founder and CEO of Promod Esports
Rob has been involved in competitive gaming since the early 00s, having been a player of the original CoD on PC, then moving on to team management and tournament organisation during CoD2. He went on to become an integral part of the CoD4 competitive scene, founding CoD4 Promod the de facto competitive mod for professional play, and working with multiple top organisations as a team coach and manager. After growing up with a mum who was a teacher Rob has always been an advocate for education. He understands the power and inspiration education can provide and is passionate about combining esports and education for the progression of the industry. Rob is the founder and CEO of Promod Esports, a specialist esports solutions agency that works with IP owners, creating the best connections between themselves and their customers.
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Richard Huggan

Managing director of Hitmarker
Richard Huggan has been the Managing Director of Hitmarker, a jobs website dedicated to the esports and gaming industry, since November 2017, having previously worked as a Performance Analyst and later Head of Sport in the traditional sports industry for over five years. In his time as MD, Hitmarker has grown rapidly to become the largest jobs platform in the esports and gaming scene, with over 50,000 registered users, including more than 3,500 hiring companies, and in excess of 30,000 advertised roles in its lifetime. Based out of Newcastle upon Tyne and now with a staff team of 10, Hitmarker has been used over 2,000,000 times by more than 750,000 people, won “Service Provider of the Year” at the 2019 UK Esports Awards, and was a “Supporting Agency of the Year” finalist at The Esports Awards 2019. Hitmarker raised £200,000 on a pre-money valuation of £1,980,000 in just six days during a public equity crowdfunding campaign last November and now has formal partnerships in place with the University of California, Irvine, the British Esports Association, The NUEL, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, and The 1,000 Dreams Fund, among others.
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Heather Dower

Founder and managing director at Hotdrop
Competitive at heart, Heather has always pushed herself to excel and grow within the industry leading her to set up Hotdrop in late 2019. Starting her journey in gaming as a streamer in early 2011, Heather quickly learned how to optimise a personal brand and developed expertise in the emerging market of esports and gaming influencers by becoming a successful brand influencer and esports broadcaster. She cemented her broadcasting skills by becoming the producer and host of the world's first daily esports news show ‘The Daily Download’ broadcasting live in 55 countries. Joining ESL UK in 2018, Heather applied her industry experience in her role as the UK’s marketing director. She led the marketing and creative teams through various global properties, brand activations, charitable events as well as pioneering new IP product development. Since founding the company, Hotdrop has become a comprehensive esports and gaming creative marketing agency which takes clients through ideation to execution with creative, authentic and high-quality ideas in all formats.
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Sam Cooke

Co-founder and managing director of Esports Insider
Co-founder and managing director of Esports Insider, the leading global B2B esports industry news platform, agency, events and media company. ESI is also a co-owner in joint ventures The Esports Journal, and the WFH League. Sam is an advisor to esports focused venture fund Rewired.GG, the group behind Team Vitality, and mobile esports service provider Gamerpro. He has spoken at events including the World Gaming Executive Summit, the Asia Licensing Conference, Esports BAR Cannes, Samsung KX, Asia Esports Forum and more.
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Edgar Chekera

Performance coach and founder of PSYCH-CHEK
Edgar Chekera is a mental performance coach and founder of PSYCH-CHEK. Edgar specialises in optimising performance using sport psychology. This involves addressing psychological topics, such as confidence, motivation, anxiety, group dynamics and many more, in the quest to enhance performance. Edgar graduated from the University of Chichester with a 1st class honours BSc degree in sport and exercise psychology. He also has a distinction class MSc degree in applied sport psychology from the St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He is currently completing his Sport and Exercise Psychology Accreditation Route from one of Britain’s leading professional sports and exercises governing bodies, BASES (British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences). At the start of his career, Edgar applied sport psychology to traditional sports such as rugby, football, boxing and athletics (to which he has worked with Great British sprinters). Over the last 2 years Edgar has focused on working in the esports industry. He’s worked alongside respected and high-level esport organisations such as Fnatic, Excel, Manchester City, AS Roma and Hashtag United. His esports journey has seen him working in a range of esports including FIFA, Fortnite, League of Legends (LoL) and Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2). Edgar also creates sport psychology content that is available for the general public to understand and apply within performance on his website (www.psych-chek.co.uk). Furthermore, Edgar is a co-author of an esport psychology blog series for the international psychology magazine ‘Psychology Today’. This blog series solely focuses on how sport psychology can be used in the esports industry; drawing on Edgar’s experiences and research in the field. For example, ‘What are the mental demands of esports’.
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