DiscoverupsideCC043: James O’Connor of the Pittsburgh Knights // operating a professional esports team (from CES 2020)
CC043: James O’Connor of the Pittsburgh Knights // operating a professional esports team (from CES 2020)

CC043: James O’Connor of the Pittsburgh Knights // operating a professional esports team (from CES 2020)

Update: 2020-02-19
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Interview starts: 6:09
Debrief starts: 39:07

James O'Connor is the cofounder and president of the Pittsburgh Knights, a global esports team of 30+ players and streamers, headquartered in one of the most well-branded sports cities in the country. With his knowledge of management, program development, economic development, veteran affairs, data-analysis, and strategic planning, his 10+ years of professional gaming experience, and his desire to bolster his hometown, he is driving the Pittsburgh Knights to become one of the most esteemed esports teams in the world.

In 2018, the Knights announced their partnership with six-time Super Bowl Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2019, the Knights brought on another strategic partner with Pittsburgh roots - multi-platinum recording artist Wiz Khalifa.

We discuss:

  • AD: Finding experienced employees for your new business with Integrity Power Search (4:32 )

  • History of Pittsburgh Knights (6:12 )

  • Opening Esports events (9:57 )

  • Deciding games for a team (12:08 )

  • How teams make money (15:59 )

  • Building a fan base and media (20:17 )

  • Team structures (24:36 )

  • Esports stadiums (31:37 )

  • Misconceptions about Esports (33:27 )

  • How to build a sustainable gaming company (35:01 )

  • Changes in Esports in next 5 years (36:22 )

Learn more about the Pittsburgh Knights: https://knights.gg/
Follow James on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesoconnor
Follow upside on Twitter: https://twitter.com/upsidefm
Advertise with an upside classified: https://upside.fm/classifieds
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This episode is sponsored by Integrity Power Search, the #1 full stack high growth startup recruiting firm between the coasts. They partner with venture capitalists, private equity groups and CEOs to build amazing teams for the world’s most disrupting companies.

Learn more about or get in touch with Integrity Power Search: https://upside.fm/integrity
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CC043: James O’Connor of the Pittsburgh Knights // operating a professional esports team (from CES 2020)

CC043: James O’Connor of the Pittsburgh Knights // operating a professional esports team (from CES 2020)

Jay Clouse and Eric Hornung