Speaker Spotlight: Edge Esports COO David Yarnton on the future of the $500 million competitive gaming industry

Speaker Spotlight: Edge Esports COO David Yarnton on the future of the $500 million competitive gaming industry

Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 will take place on January 21st to 22nd. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

For more details on PGC London and to book a ticket, head to the website here.

In today's Speaker Spotlight we're talking to Edge Esports COO and chairman David Yarnton.

Yarnton has been involved in the games industry for over 30 years, 17 of those years as a senior manager at Nintendo both in Australia and the UK.

He was a founding director of Gfinity Ltd, the only listed esports company in the United Kingdom and the first company in the world to launch a dedicated esports arena in London, a venue for tournaments featuring the top teams in the world competing in all of the best esports games.

Gfinity recently opened in Australia and has run Esports tournaments in China, France, USA and Mexico. Yarnton is currently the founder and COO of Edge Esports, which is developing smart contracts and analytics focused on the esports industry. Could you tell us a bit about the company?

David Yarnton: Edge plans to reinvent the contract, tame the Wild West of esports and revolutionise the legal industry.

First, we connect gamers, teams, leagues, influencers and brands. Then we disrupt a $500 million industry with our Edge Hybrid Smart Contracts and intuitive platform.

We choose esports and gaming because:

  1. It’s digital
  2. The users are early adopters
  3. There are no legacy systems to displace

We are providing players a 'path to pro'.

What does your role entail?

Even though I have a title we aren't big on siloing our task. As a small start-up everyone has involvement in all aspects of the business which is great as there is never a dull moment.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I've been in the games industry for over 30 years and when I started I just wanted to be able to play games, especially Donkey Kong and Mario.

Mobile and esports are continuing to grow at breakneck speeds.
David Yarnton

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Don't be narrow in your aspirations, be prepared to have a go at anything. Once you get your foot in the door and work hard, opportunities will open up.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

It's amazing as to how the industry keeps growing, evolving and developing with so many exciting games continuing to be released that people are always surprised by.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

Mobile and esports are continuing to grow at breakneck speeds. What people thought wasn't possible on handheld continues to surprise me. We will see these areas continue to grow and gaining wider mainstream acceptance.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

Obviously the tech has developed greatly to provide richer and more in-depth experiences for the player but what makes a great game still has the same DNA from years ago. I could pick-up GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64 and still play a great game even though some people would look at the graphics with some disdain compared to today's products.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

Every time I attend I always learn something new. Last year I became a Guns of Boom fan, who knows what I will discover in 2019?

Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 on the website.


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