Events

Virtus.pro general manager takes part in State Duma hearing on esports development

On April 2, a hearing was held at the Russian State Duma titled, Developing and perfecting legislation in the area of electronic sports. Invited speakers included Tina Kandelaki, general producer of Match TV; Roman Dvoryankin, general manager of Virtus.pro; Dmitry Smit, president of the Russian E-sports Federation; and Mikhail Degtyarev, chairman of the Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs.

The speakers raised the issues of the economic component of Russia’s esports market, the interaction between the esports industry and the media, and the influence of esports on player’s psychological and physical condition; they also discussed the steps necessary for the development of esports in schools.

Virtus.pro general manager Roman Dvoryankin spoke about the popularization of esports in Russia, presented an overview of his team’s international achievements, and spoke about Virtus.pro’s future plans and prospects for development.

The president of RESF stressed the importance of discerning esports disciplines among the games available on the market and noted the importance of esports as a tool to combat gaming addiction among the young. As part of a mission to develop and popularize esports clubs, RESF is planning on holding the largest competition among college and school students in 2018–19.

Mikhail Degtyarev, chairman of the Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, reviewed the economic aspect of esports in Russia. According to him, esports market size reached 2 billion rubles ($34,5m) in 2016, with a 10–15% annual growth in the number of participants.

Mikhail Degtyarev pointed out the importance of esports players’ creative freedom for their self-organization: “Any sport is an area of collective creativity; it’s always a search for new solutions. For us, the important thing is to ensure that esports players have creative freedom and organize themselves, to try to avoid over-regulating it.”

Tina Kandelaki, general producer of Match TV, spoke about the prospects for esports media coverage and called for including esports on the school syllabus. The Match TV channel sees its task as being “quality, all-round coverage of this type of sports, not only through broadcasting competitions, but also through producing themed programming and special reports.”

As an outcome of the hearing, the Russian State Duma will prepare and forward to the Russian Government and relevant ministries the resolution with reccomendations on the lay-out of an appropriate set of measures for the eSports development in Russia.