On today’s show I talk to Ben Goldhaber, co-founder and CEO of Juked.gg, a fantastic esports aggregation website that makes it easy to just see all the esports happening live online right now.
When you hit the site you just get this great dashboard of live feeds as if you’re looking at a bunch of screens in a sports bar. It launched in 2019 and I’ve been a fan since I first spotted it – it solves the classic problem of not knowing what’s on and not being sure where to find it.
Ben has a huge background in both esports and live-streaming, and was even on the founding team when twitch.tv was born.
So it was great to catch up and hear his thoughts on why he’s created Juked as well as his thoughts on making esports easier to watch and where this still very new service might go from here.
We last caught up with Michal ‘Carmac’ Blicharz, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL, at Intel Extreme Masters Sydney last year. This year, Australia’s IEM is moving to Melbourne to headline Melbourne Esports Open. Or at least, it’s meant to be. If we’re amazingly lucky, and we’re probably not going to be lucky, we’ll all get to catch up in Melbourne and enjoy the show in August.
One of the big lines in the sand for seeing the coronavirus shut down a lot of major events around the world was this year’s IEM in Katowice, Poland, in the country where Carmac is from. The event was all systems go until the very day before the doors opened. With travellers already in the city, ESL had to make the announcement that authorities had decided they could no longer enter the arena to watch one of the most beloved events on the annual calendar.
In today’s conversation, we talk about how esports has had to respond to the crisis in the age of stadium events as a norm, how the shock now turns to opportunity for the industry, and whether this will be a chance to change minds and open the door to new fans and new perspectives on what esports has to offer.
Digital services are blowing up in all kinds of ways, whether becoming the new hotness or collapsing under the weight of all this new work from home traffic. What are we searching for? Efficient work, entertainment or a sense of real connection?
All this plus random acts of kindness, esports replacing real sports, and more.
Seamus caught up with Josh Inman, Operations Manager for ESL Australia, a few weeks ago around the AO Summer Smash event (ESL was behind the scenes on production) to talk about the importance of that event to the local scene.
Plus Josh dropped the IEM Melbourne news on Seamus in this chat so you get to hear his raw reaction to the news and then they discuss just how Melbourne is getting so serious about being Australia’s “home of esports”.
Seamus visited the construction site of Fortress Melbourne ahead of the venue’s launch in early March. He spoke to Jon Satterley, CEO of Fortress, and Ben Jackson, Dell General Manager for Australia, to find out about the venue, its mission, its business model, and their Alienware partnership.
Having had the chance to walk the three-floor venue (as deeply under construction as it was), it does feel like something very new in the Australian market. It’s massive, and it’s aiming to be a great esports venue while also being a space that is open for use every day for people to hang out and play games together. And that includes tabletop!
It’s great to hear the mission from the folks before the public’s fingers hit the keyboards and controllers – and bars. Hopefully we’ll catch them again later in the year to hear more about how it’s doing and what lessons you just can’t learn until you’re operating.
This week Seamus and Nic explore ten years of iPad, how Sonos is struggling to kill old products, and the return of the Motorola Razr… all somehow revolving around questions of how our tech is meant to evolve, to last and to be the right tool for the right job.
On the ten years of iPad, we think about how we both dismissed it at launch but have had very different perspectives on it in the years since. Has the tablet market grown? Have laptops changed?
Seamus is a massive Sonos nerd so he’s right in the thick of the tension between the need to kill old tech in the name of new features but the faith Sonos lovers have in the company always supporting its speakers. Is there something unique about audio tech that makes it feel wrong to see it die?
Motorola’s new folding screen Razr hits the market in February so we debate if it’s the right kind of folding screen or not, and whether folding screens really are the future.
Plus a look at Activision Blizzard’s new YouTube deal for its esports broadcasts – is this going to hurt Twitch?
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Seamus rounds up his thoughts from being there, as well as the mainstream media interest that blew up around the event. Plus why the haters need to calm the farm – Fortnite is an esport and it’s not going away anytime soon.
And the positives of the shift into a new phase of Fortnite esports starting just days from now with Season X.
Dave Jansen stops by The Scrapyard to dive deep on 8.2 and the state of the raiding scene just as Mythic Eternal Palace gets set to drop.
With a fresh Race To World First kicking off, we look at the controversy around Method and Red Bull falling out, wanting to see more guilds being involved, and what we hope the right way to run this all might be.
Plus we enter a big old rabbit hole around the lore of the expansion and where we think, and where we hope, things will take us as we head toward the next expansion.