Anna Rozwandowicz, Kalie Moore and Nicola Piggott have today announced the launch of The Story Mob, a dedicated esports communications consultancy.The three co-founders have a plethora of top level esports experience. Anna Rozwandowicz comes from a role as the VP of Communications at ESL where she led a worldwide team – as well as being an adviser for the Cybersmile Foundation and part of the setup of the Esports Integrity Coalition (“ESIC”). Nicola Piggott has spent over five years at Riot Games where she led global communication for Riot’s esports team. She was also named one of PR Week’s top Women in PR in 2015. Finally, Kalie Moore was Head of Communications for BITKRAFT Esports Ventures where she oversaw communications strategy, media relations and crisis communications amongst much much more. The new consultancy already boasts impressive clients such as Team Liquid, Fnatic, Red Bull, DOJO Madness, Split Media Labs and BITKRAFT Esports Ventures. The lead investor in Story Mob is BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, and notably The Story Mob becomes the first investment from BITKRAFT in a female founding team. Last year, only 2.2% of VC funding went to female founding teams and the diversity issue is something that the aforementioned trio keep very close to their hearts. The group has already teased plans for pro-bono work in areas that encourage diversity in the competitive gaming landscape. Esports Insider had a chance to have catch-up with The Story Mob ahead of their official launch today. ESI: What’s the origin story of The Story Mob?Anna: As heads of communications at ESL and Riot Games, Nicola Piggott and I had worked together on various projects including IEM over several years. Communications pros within esports were rare and we often compared notes on some of the challenges and learnings we had experienced. We both believed that successful communications could speed up and contribute to the growth of the esports industry – and when we considered partnering we found we had several of the same goals and values when it came to the types of projects and partners we felt we could add value to.Our partnership with Kalie Moore, who we were familiar with through her work on BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, the world’s first VC fund solely dedicated to esports, felt similarly smooth. Kalie’s expertise in investor relations and inside knowledge of esports investment strategies provided a missing piece that rounded out our offer and expertise.ESI: What kind of clients are you planning to work with?Nicola: We’re working with several leading esports competitive teams, including Team Liquid and Fnatic. We’ve worked alongside – and cheered for – these teams and pros for years as part of our work at ESL and Riot Games and helping teams create strong and compelling stories remains our core passion.We’ll also be working alongside strong consumer brands, such as Red Bull, that believe in the potential of the esports market and are using their brand power to improve the sport for fans worldwide.Our experience as communications leaders for both a developer/publisher and tournament organizer also means that we’re ready to share our experience over years of live esports leagues and competitions.Kalie: In addition to our work with teams and brands, because of our strong VC background, we’re uniquely set up to work with private equity and venture capital funds involved in esports and esports startups who want attention in mainstream media. We also offer an investor relations component, where we support startups with communicating their strategies and wins to their investors. We’re proud to be working alongside one of our investors, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, as they continue to invest in the future of esports companies.ESI: What do you think teams and tournament organizers can be doing better to address communication issues?Anna: Esports teams have taken huge steps forward in the past few years to improve communications, provide value and content for their fans and increase brand loyalty. With that said, we believe that there’s still a ton of room to improve to bring esports in line with other more established sports industries.Teams need to be able to fully articulate their brand story and what makes them unique to fans, potential athletes and investors. We work with clients to help them isolate their vision and values, then make sure their communications strategies live up to them. From working smartly with the media to reacting quickly and with transparency in a crisis, everything comes back to those values. Nicola: For tournament organizers, the major challenge is to share enough of the inner workings so that fans can understand the bigger picture and trust that every tournament is run with their interests in mind. Communication challenges happen when our words don’t match our actions, so part of our job as communication pros is to be the voice of the fan and to raise our hand where we see a dissonance between the values we claim and the ones we put into action.
Roberto Di Matteo says he would be prepared to drop Fernando Torres from the Chelsea team to face Juventus in the UEFA Champions League if it is the ‘right thing’ to do.Torres has scored just once in his last seven appearances for Chelsea and again looked out of sorts during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.Di Matteo is ready to make changes for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League game away to Juventus and conceded Torres was one of the players who could lose his place.He said: “Am I prepared to leave Torres out on Tuesday? I think we will have to assess the whole team and see how everybody is, and how they have recovered.“Am I prepared to leave Torres out on Tuesday? I think we will have to assess the whole team and see how everybody is, and how they have recovered.”Roberto Di MatteoQuotes of the week“A lot of players only came back Thursday afternoon or Friday from internationals in Europe and the rest of the world.“We will assess them and see what the right selection is for Tuesday. If I believe it is the right thing to do for the team, then yes.”The Chelsea boss is also aware that his team have to improve defensively after conceding 18 goals in eight games. Di Matteo added: “I think as a team we have to be better defending. You don’t defend with one player – you defend with the whole team, like you want your whole team helping when you are attacking as well.“It is a defensive organisation on the pitch that we need to look at and, as I said before, maybe I have to do some changes.“We have got bodies in midfield – the 4-2-3-1 system really helped us last season after the change (of manager) but maybe in terms of personnel we have to do something different.”Di Matteo is also at a loss to explain another dip by Chelsea during November after picking up just two points from three Premier League games.He said: “It is very difficult to explain. It is not just one year – it has been three years in a row. “You have top, top players – they play every three or four days. That amount of games can affect them, but it is not only that.“It is a challenging time when you don’t win games and you need to instil confidence in players and to the team and that is going to be a tough job.”