Gamers Change Lives

Gamers Change Lives

Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that?


November 26, 2022 60 min

We have two guests today: Kieran Sanford. Co-Founder of ForG4MERSake in London, and Baba Dioum, the Manager SOLO Esport in Dakar Senegal.

Our discussion included:

How Kieran and Baba each came to esports from different paths.

They each talk briefly about the state of esports in their home countries, the UK and Senegal.

Baba was recently invited to an esports conference hosted by the Royal Federation of Esports in Morocco in Casabla...

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Our guest is Tushaar Garg from India. He is the Founder and CEO @StreamO as well as the Founder and CEO of Irony Esports.

Our discussion included:

Tushaar talks about how large the market is in India, for those playing and those watching video games. Note: it is huge!

From his beginning as a championship tennis player, Tushaar worked in traditional sports with the IPL – the Indian Premier League Cricket. When the pandemic hit, ...

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Our guest is Frank Sliwka, Global Esports, Gaming & Digital Entertainment Opinion Leader, Keynote Speaker, COO, and Hon. Professor from Singapore.

Our discussion included:

Frank’s introduction to esports while watching the excitement of gamers, bringing them to one of the largest consumer electronics shows in Europe.

“I saw these kids playing competitive gaming – what are they doing? It’s so fantastic what they are doing. If I ...

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Our guest is Jon Satterley from Melbourne Australia. He is CEO & Co-Founder at Fortress Australia.

Our discussion included:

How a passion for heavy metal music and the world of entertainment led to the creation of a cathedral to games culture.

Jon’s career spanning music, entertainment, and video games, including the value of spending 3 years cleaning toilets.

How Jon took his experience as Chief Digital Officer at Village Road...

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October 29, 2022 61 min

Our guest is Malph Minns from the UK. He is Managing Director at Strive Sponsorship.

Our discussion included:

The difference between esports sponsorship and that of traditional sports and other entertainment industries based on Malph’ s extensive experience over the years.

The importance of knowing your industry, knowing your audience, knowing your fan base.

Is there such a thing as a typical esports sponsor?

The value of the indus...

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Our guest is Dave Harris from Australia. He is Managing Director at Guinevere Capital. He is also an Investor and former Chairman of EXCEL Esports and a Founding Partner at League of Legends Circuit Oceania.

Our discussion included:

How investing in esports works, including ways for a person seeking investment can have the best chance of securing that all important deal.

Dave’s start in esports coming from a traditional sports back...

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Our guest is Christian Bishop, Director of Twitch Properties - Gaming & Esports.

Our discussion included:

Christian’s esports journey from venues, esports arenas, production companies, tournaments/leagues, teams and now on the platform side. “Going through the grind.”

In Person Esports Events - TwitchCon

Revenue streams from in person events:

  • The difference between TwitchCon and other events
  • The 5 top sources of revenue
  • The most ...
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    Sidick Bakayoko from Côte d'Ivoire is the Founder and CEO at Paradise Game.

    Our discussion included:

    Sidick’s background including how he learned that being number one in a startup is a lot different than being #2 or #3.

    Paradise Game

    Paradise Game's mandate is to entertain, educate and empower young Africans through video games and esports.

  • How FEJA: Electronical and Video Games Festival of Abidjan began
  • Content creation as...
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    Our guests are Trev Keane, Director Esports Strategy: EPIC Global and Advisor/Judge at Stadia Ventures, and Cholwe Shabukali, Co- Founder and Managing Director at Team Gematrix and a Zambian Esports Pioneer.

    Our discussion includes:

    Cholwe’s background including how being selected for an accelerator program at BongoHive started her on turning a passion into a business.

    Trev’s background recalling how “games were part of our lives” ...

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    September 24, 2022 59 min

    Today’s guests is Luca Tucconi from Cape Town, South Africa. He is the National Gaming & Esports Specialist at Red Bull. Before that he founded ORENA, South Africa's Premier Esports Tournament & Events Agency.

    Our discussion included:

    Luca’s background including how he saw a void in the local tournament scene in South Africa and decided to fill it.

    Red Bull South Africa:

  • Where esports fits into the company marketing str...
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    The Gamers Change Lives Podcast Season Two: “Follow the Money”

    Do you have big goals for your esports team, or tournament, or enterprise? I’ll bet the answer is a big “YES!” We are gamers, right? We know what thinking big and winning feels like.

    But the one thing holding us back from reaching our goals is money. There is never enough investment to start out or grow our business. We don’t have enough money to send our team across th...

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    August 13, 2022 52 min

    Today’s guests are Chantal-Denise Ortega, the Brand Partnerships Manager at Galaxy Racer North America, and HER Galaxy speaking from Mexico City. And Xinmiao Zhang who manages game pipelines and projects at Tencent speaking from Shanghai, China.

    Our discussion included:

    How our guests became involved with esports and gaming plus with Women in Games

    Women in Games:

  • The goals of the organization: “to encourage, empower, and inspire w...
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    Today’s guest is Dimitris Farmakis. He is the Head of Esports at Yieldly and Yesports.

    Our discussion included:

    An overview of esports in Greece.


  • What is the mission of Yesports?
  • How do you recruit teams and streamers?
  • Is language an issue in esports?
  • Investment in esports (and no, this is not financial advice – you need a qualified financial advisor for that):

  • What types of esports organization are looking for investment?
  • W...
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    Today’s guest is Dhiman Kashyap, Co - Founder, CEO of Resilience Esports & ex-Head of Operations at Esports Federation of India (ESFI).

    Our discussion included:

    Establishing and building a team to create a successful esports organization

  • The importance of having the right people in place
  • The ability to use the team to build for the future
  • Content Creators

  • Who is a content creator in the world of esports?
  • What does the talent team...
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    Today’s guest is Ido Brosh, “The Esports Guy from Israel.” Ido is the VP Europe of the International Esports Federation. He is also the President of Esports Europe and Founder and CEO of Winzard.

    Ido's esports accomplishments demonstrate that working through the many esports organizations on a local, national, and international level, can result in greater accomplishments.

    Our discussion included:

    How the Israeli Esports Associ...

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    Today’s guest is Brad Kirby from Cape Town South Africa. Pioneer in African gaming and esports. Seasoned Project Manager with Business Development and Digital Marketing Management experience. Deep understanding of the gaming and esports industry and experience in planning, developing, streamlining, and implementing multiple successful skill-based gaming strategies which include influencing gaming strategy and direction for media ti...

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    Today’s guest is Michael Akintaju. He lives in Atlanta, GA in the US, and is from Lagos, Nigeria. He is a writer at the AfroGamer where you may have heard him on the AfroGamer Podcast. He is also a project manager Lagos Esports Forum (LESF) and Co-Founder of Mobiele.

    Michael demonstrates that it is possible to support esports around the world from anywhere in the world.

    Our discussion included:

    What is it like to work on esports in...

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    Today’s guest is Nicholas Holden. He is an industry-respected esports and gaming specialist in South Africa. He is the managing director of African Cyber Gaming League ( and works with Entravision 365 Digital as their Gaming Solution Specialist.

    With over 11 years of work experience in gaming and esports, Nick and his team have played a pivotal role in growing competitive gaming in the school, university, and public sect...

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    Today’s guest is Ulises Fahnert from Santiago, Chile. He is the Founder of NowPlayNoGames and has many years of experience in a wide variety of esports ventures.

    NOTE: The most important message that was brought home in this discussion was that creating esports jobs can be done from anywhere in the world with planning and persistence.

    Our discussion included:

    Esports in South and Latin America

  • What is the current landscape of espor...
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    Today’s guest is John Cash, the Founder & Global Professor JCSU Gaming & Esports Initiative at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. In addition, he is the Chief Development & Education Officer and Investor at Cxmmunity in Atlanta, Georgia.

    NOTE: The most important message that was brought home in this discussion was that creating esports programs at the university level is impor...

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