Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Degree: Social Service Worker
Year of graduation: 2009
What’s in a game?
Arwina Mogul levels up in the world of eSports
In the competitive world of esports, Arwina Mogul is an up-and-coming power player.
The founder of Esports Tickets, Mogul is capitalizing on the burgeoning world of competitive video gaming. Esports – the nature of watching other people play video games, says Mogul – is a $1-billion industry. Large-scale esport competitions are comparable to stadium concerts or award shows, complete with commentators, trophies and tens of thousands of online viewers.
Mogul’s Esports Tickets, which launched in 2017, is a Toronto-based tech startup that creates event platforms for gamers. The company fills a gap in the esports market for ticketing, and enables fans to more easily find and attend esports events.
Mogul built the company with the support of EDGE at Sheridan’s Hazel McCallion Campus – a space developed to help entrepreneurs build their ventures through networking and co-working space and training. “EDGE is an amazing and supportive place, a ton of valuable services are available for entrepreneurs such as competitions, space, printing, applications, design services, media services, advisors and mentors, and connections,” says Mogul.
Drawing on her government and private sector experience as well as her previous technology work, Mogul launched her first business, Daily Esports – a media and events agency focusing on Esports and gaming – in 2014. The business was acquired four years later, but Mogul was ready to continue her entrepreneurial endeavors.
In 2017, while Mogul was working as a project manager with global entertainment company Trimoo, designing and developing Virtuocity, a theme park where participants can play eSports competitively, Mogul founded Esports Tickets.
“Our big vision is that we will be the future Ticketmaster for esports,” says Mogul. “Our goal is to hit $100 million in revenue per year within the next three-to-four years.”
Thus far, Mogul’s racking up points towards her goal: Esports Tickets Inc. is part of the Ryerson Futures Inc.’s Zone Sports + Media program, which has a 1% acceptance rate, and she recently won the MNP Future Business Leader award in 2019.
Esports Tickets also recently launched its latest product, Beam – an event platform for gamers looking to find esports and gaming events in their own cities.
Mogul’s love of technology and its multiple forms — coding, especially — came early, influenced by her engineer father and mother. Mogul was born in Manila, living in Shenzen, China, before moving to Hong Kong at the age of five with her family.
“Hong Kong was really where my techie side grew,” she remembers. “I learned PaintShop Pro and was coding when I was nine, making websites for friends and family.”
When she was 16, Mogul came to Canada with her family, where she continued to make websites.
“I always had the entrepreneurial side, but had to drop coding because it wasn’t as popular a career for women at that time, in 2007,” she says. "As a female immigrant, I had to pick a career that would have allowed me to make money for my family. My parents were supportive, but that responsibility was still there.”
Drawing on her love of helping people, Mogul decided on a career in social work because she wanted to work in a field that would assist other immigrants coming to Canada. “My experience as someone migrating to Canada from Asia is that if my sister and I weren’t as knowledgeable in English or as proactive as we were, our family would have been in a very bad place,” she says. “There are gaps in the system that are difficult to navigate.”
"If you want that freedom and to make that positive impact, you’re not going to do that as a cog in the corporate machine.”
Mogul enrolled in Sheridan’s Social Work program, completing her degree while also working at lawn care company TruGreen as an account specialist.
Upon graduation in 2009, Mogul joined The Region of Peel as a case manager. She worked there for six years, eventually moving to the communications side as an information representative and then communications coordinator.
Although she was grateful for the experience, Mogul longed to return to her tech and entrepreneurial roots. “I’ve always been a gamer since I was a child,” she says. “I loved gaming and always gamed throughout my whole life.”
In 2012, Mogul’s passion for gaming was rekindled when she entered a tournament hosted by game developer Valve Corporation. Participants played multiplayer arena video game Dota 2 in a tournament, with a prize of $1 million.
“When I started playing this very heavy team-based game, it ignited the fire I had in me for technology and entrepreneurship,” she says. “I became passionate about helping the industry and being a pioneer within it.”
This pioneering spirit led her to the world of esports and entrepreneurship.These days, Mogul is continuing to push herself to succeed and take risks in a competitive arena – one that she sees only growing in years to come.
“Nothing goes your way in entrepreneurship or goes to plan, and you have to accept it. You will be rejected hundreds of times over,” she says. “But if you want that freedom and to make that positive impact, you’re not going to do that as a cog in the corporate machine.”