Events

Roman Dvoryankin speaks at White Nights conference in Moscow

White Nights, an international game industry conference which annually gathers over 4 thousand professionals at its various venues, has included an esports session held under the auspices of Game Insight, a mobile esports leader. Roman Dvoryankin, general manager at Virtus.pro, delivered a talk, Why Esports Is Serious and It’s Here to Stay, and took part in a panel session with representatives of ESL, Game Insight, Twognation, and Sports.ru.

In his talk, Roman spoke about the journey esports has made in Russia and abroad over the past few years. He said that younger audiences can relate to esports players better than they can to professional athletes or international film stars, while the industry on the whole is profitable for developers of esports titles (citing players’ contribution to the prize pool of Dota 2’s The International as an example; in-game purchases helped fund the largest prize pool in the title’s history) as well as for brands investing in esports. Russia’s esports industry can boast strong, world-famous teams as well as a stable ecosystem for brands and publishers; neither public money nor all-seeing regulators are present in esports.

“We are faced with a major task, that of making esports mainstream,” Roman Dvoryankin said. “In order to do that, we must compete not only with other esports teams, not even with other sports, but also with TV series, theaters, and even pubs. In short, with everything and anything people may do in their free time. And this competition is on a global scale, so in order to reach our goal, we must make esports more enjoyable to watch, attract professionals from other industries into esports, as well as tell wide audiences that esports is a dynamic and interesting field.”

Roman Dvoryankin also took part in a panel discussion titled, Business in Esports: Where’s the Money? As part of the session, Roman spoke about the different components of the team’s income and the prospects for the industry’s development. “It is an indicator of the success of esports that the largest digital TV services put the Twitch player next to digital television channels — meaning that content aggregators and media companies realize that an increasing number of people want to watch tournaments and esports teams. Overall, esports is an industry in which money can be earned in a wide variety of ways. For example, we pay for the services of a startup that collects statistical information about competing teams’ games. Esports is also yet to start employing agents, of the kind that every celebrity has. I’m sure we’re going to see these and similar professions and services geared towards esports in the coming years,” Roman commented.

White Nights is an international business conference devoted to game development and promotion. It is held three times a year: in Berlin in February, in St. Petersburg in June, and in Moscow in October. Overall, in the course of a year, White Nights events gather over 4,000 professionals. A closed CEO Summit for top managers is also held once a year in Europe. The conference is organized by Nevosoft, a St. Petersburg-based developer and publisher of mass-audience games.