James Dean is the founder and Managing Director of the ESL UK subsidiary, building the ESL brand
and community on a regional level. James began his career in IT writing for UK’s largest computer
magazine while studying for a Degree in Computer Science at Birmingham University. After
graduating James managed the PC division of a well-known computer retailer in the UK and in 2004
launched a gaming brand of PCs increasing average margins from 6% to 20%.
In 2006, James founded a sales, marketing and PR company specializing in services for the IT and
gaming industry, representing brands without existing operations in the UK. Within 3 years, the
agency was generating over £5m annual revenues for various niche gaming brands including
SteelSeries, the well-known esports peripheral brand.
This shaped the foundation of the ESL UK franchise after introduction to ESL Germany in 2012 which
was eventually purchased by ESL’s global group in 2016. ESL is the world’s largest esports company
with 15 offices spanning the globe. The UK office has maintained 50%+ year-on-year growth since
it’s foundation. It operates the UK’s longest-running national esports tournament, the ESL
Premiership currently spanning 4 gaming titles. To this date, ESL still holds records for the largest
ever online audience for a UK esports tournament.