The rise of competitive gaming, also known as eSports, has been meteoric over the past few years.
An eSports competition consists of professional video game players squaring off against each other – either in teams or individually.
Last year, major eSports competitions drew in a combined audience of over 230 million people, which is more than some major sporting events.
As a result of the industry’s growing popularity, many countries have set up organisations to help promote eSports in an attempt to cash in on this developing market.
eSports in Russia
Russia accepted eSports as an official sport 15 years ago. As such, a section of the country’s sports funding and resources is now completely dedicated to eSports. Tournaments are watched online by millions of spectators and it is becoming more popular every day.
The prize pool of these tournaments sometimes reaches $1 million or more, which motivates the players and spectators to be passionate about the field and adds a sense of legitimacy.
Bookmakers now take bets on eSports as well, with Russian bookies claiming that more money is already being staked on eSports than on more established athletic sports such as rugby and tennis.
Russian eSports Federation
The Russian eSports Federation was founded in 2000 and is a member of the International Federation of Computer Sports. It is an all-Russian public organisation responsible for the development and promotion of eSports in Russia.
The mission of the Russian eSports Federation is to promote and engage people in Russian competitions such as:
- The All-Russian eSports Student League
- The Russian eSports Championship
- The Russian eSports Cup
- The Russian Cyber Soccer Championship
The Federation also provides training and certification for judges, accreditation for events, teaching materials, and educational projects. It also provides resources to help with the development of local and national eSports clubs.
The mission of the Russian eSports Federation is to embrace this new industry and prepare citizens for its increasing influence in society. The Federation aims to place Russia at the forefront of the international eSports movement.
An important task of the Federation is to provide information. As such, its members regularly speak at forums and conferences and explain the nuances of computer sports in the media.
The Russian eSports Federation is a public organisation and is not state-owned. In 2017, the Federation received a grant from Vladimir Putin to host the second season of the All-Russian eSports Student League.
Popular eSports games in Russia
Some of the most popular eSports games in Russia include:
- Dota 2
This is a popular multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. Two teams of players fight each other on a special map and each player controls one character from a list of available heroes with different abilities. The main goal during the match is to destroy enemy bases.
- League of Legends
This is another online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games. It is perhaps the most popular eSports game in the world. The world championship of this game has been held since 2011, with an average of 32 million online viewers watching the latest championship games. Around $7 million worth of prizes are paid out annually.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
This is perhaps the most famous shooter game in eSports. The main aim of the game is to defeat the opposing team by either eliminating them or completing tasks. Around $4 million worth of prizes are paid out annually.
- StarCraft II
This is a science fiction real-time strategy (RTS) video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The goal of the game is to build and secure your own base and destroy the enemy base, with different strategies and paths to victory. The first part of this space strategy game was released in 1998 and became the leader among network RTS games for many years. It is one of the first eSports games to be played professionally.
This is a free-to-play online digital collectible card game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The game involves 1v1 duels between players who use their unique cards to destroy each other. To improve your deck, you can buy rarer and more powerful cards in the game store or receive them as a reward for participating in games in the Arena.
What are the benefits of eSports?
Video games can promote and improve the development of various abilities in young children. Strategy games help promote problem-solving abilities and strategic thinking, while battle and shooter games can help develop improved reaction speeds.
In team games, players benefit from the interaction between participants and can develop teamworking and leadership skills. Competitive eSports also teaches those playing to recognise and work through mistakes, respect and learn from rivals, and show humility and grace in victory and defeat.
Find out more about eSports here on Coin Rivet.