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Paul Sams



Sams began his work in gaming in 1994. The vast majority of his career was spent as the #2 senior executive at Blizzard Entertainment, the global video game giant who created some of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed games in the world, including World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. As the company’s global COO and its President of Blizzard Europe, he helped grow the company from ~40 employees with an ~$8M value to 4,000+ global employees with a more than $8B valuation.

Regarded by some as one of the “Godfathers of esports”, Sams has been deeply involved in esports since its infancy and spearheaded the first known esports event in Seoul, South Korea
for StarCraft in 1998. Sams was most recently the CEO of Ready at Dawn, the AAA independent video game developer of Lone Echo and Echo Arena, the #1 Virtual Reality (VR) esports title in the world and still serves as their strategic advisor.


In 2009, the Sams family became a minority investor of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Additionally, through he and his wife opened the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at the University of Texas
in Austin, which provides education on the business of video games and esports.


Sams’ strengths are esports, strategy and company vision development, business operations, global expansion, franchise development, go-to-market planning and execution, and high-value deal negotiation.