With the Esports sector growing at an exponentially fast rate over the last few years and with event organizers such as the Electronic Sports League (ESL) and DreamHack stepping up to the plate, more corporate firms and investors have started to take notice.
Alisher Usmanov, who is one of Russia’s richest oligarchs and the 71st richest man in the world according to Forbes Magazine, has just invested more than $100 million dollars through his company called USM Holdings into Virtus.Pro, which is known to be a leading Esports team from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Ivan Streshinsky, one of the company’s directors, has the following to say about the latest investment:
“E-sports are a unique proposition, uniting the sports, media and the internet industries. It is a fast-growing market, which has already generated huge interest around the world and Virtus.pro is the leader in the e-sports industry in Russia. I am confident that the support from USM will spur the company’s further development and enable it to take its projects to a whole new level.”
In addition, Anton Cherepennikov, co-owner and managing partner of VP, stated that:
“Our main goal is to increase the popularity of e-sports in Russia, and this is what USM’s investment will go towards. The funds will primarily be used to launch new tournaments and various new gaming disciplines, as well to create media channels to cover the sport and to construct e-sports arenas.”
USM Holdings Limited is a diversified international company with significant interests across the metals and mining, telecoms, internet and media sectors. USM’s assets include Metalloinvest and Mail.Ru Group among others.
The investment could prove to be a historical turning points in the field of Esports as well-established brands such as RedBull, Coca-Cola and ESPN have increased their involvement in the field.
Featured image taken from Reddit. All rights belong to their respective owners.