Constance Steinkuehler, Mark Deppe, and Michael Prindiville Announced as Featured Speakers for 2019

Deppe, Steinkuehler, and Prindiville headshots courtesy of the speakers.

Competition has long been a part of the gaming world, but the explosion of esports into the mainstream has opened new doors and created unlikely avenues of cooperation and innovation. SXSW Gaming is proud to present the next round of Featured Speakers for 2019 focusing on these opportunities, alongside other industry experts and veterans in the Esports Industry track.

This year, Constance Steinkuehler (Professor of Informatics) and Mark Deppe (Director of Esports) from the University of California, Irvine; and Michael Prindiville (CEO of Dignitas) join the 2019 Featured Speaker lineup at SXSW Gaming.

This year’s sessions will explore the growing influence of esports, sharing insights on how it will impact not only everyday gaming culture and business but creative industries far beyond the normal reach of games. With esports teams forming at the high school level, Deppe and Steinkuehler will analyze the results of a study conducted at the University of California, Irvine on how connecting teens’ vast esports interest with education will yield emotional and skill development to prepare them for a larger, increasingly connected world. Michael Prindiville, the newly-appointed CEO of the international esports team Dignitas, will be here to share his experience of the organization’s rebranding and their new goals in the gaming world.

We are thrilled to have such a wide variety of Featured Speakers for SXSW Gaming 2019. Featured Sessions at SXSW Gaming are open to all SXSW Gaming attendees with a SXSW Gaming wristband or any SXSW badge.

Buy A Wristband

Featured Speaker Bios

Constance Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, where she researches the cognitive, intellectual, and social aspects of esports and multiplayer online videogames. She is the founder and former President of the Higher Education Video Games Alliance, an academic organization of game-related programs in higher education. Steinkuehler currently serves on the advisory board for the UCI Esports Program and chairs the UCI Diversity and Inclusion in Esports Task Force. She is the Director of Research and Education for the North America Scholastic Esports Federation. She has also worked closely with the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Education on special reports related to videogames, and her work has been featured in Science, Wired, USA Today, New York Times, LA Times, ABC, CBS, CNN, NPR, BBC and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Mark Deppe

Mark Deppe is the Director of Esports at the University of California, Irvine and has led the effort to create the university’s award-winning esports program. He works closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty and industry partners to build a business plan that is both cost-neutral to the university and broadly approaches the world of esports. During his time at UCI, he has helped break six world records and led their League of Legends team to a 2018 Collegiate Championship. Deppe is the Commissioner of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation.

Michael Prindiville

Michael Prindiville is the newly appointed CEO of Dignitas and played a hand in the team’s rebranding in October. After leaving his position as Head of Esports at NBC Sports Group he joined Dignitas, one of the first esports teams to be acquired by a major North American sports property – the Philadelphia 76ers.

Join the Fun

Purchase your 3-Day or single day SXSW Gaming wristband today at our early bird rate. For $39, you get to experience the best in gaming culture with hands-on play, tournaments, exhibitions, a one-of-a-kind awards show, and SXSW-exclusive activities this March!

Make your hotel reservations through SXSW Housing & Travel for access to the best available rates and locations. SXSW attendees can save between 35%-50% using SXSW Housing’s contracted hotel rates compared to direct bookings and online travel agencies.

To stay in the SX Gaming know, sign up for SXSW Gaming Event Updates and follow us in all the usual social spots for daily updates – Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Pam Renteria

Gaming Marketing Specialist

Stay Tuned

Sign up to receive the latest announcements, tips, networking invitations and more.