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Ivan Danishevsky: "E-sports resemble a very complicated chess game".

Our expert Ivan Danishevsky, who specializes on organization and conduct of major e-sports tournaments, explained how cybersport is developing in Ukraine, what use it has and what it needs to be legalized.

- Are e-sports in Ukraine a new kind of sport or have they existed for a long time?

Nobody has covered this direction before, nor regulated, and journalists passed by considering it to be entertainment for children who like to play computer games in their spare time. E-sports tournaments appeared long time ago, just nobody had the heart to call this passion a sport. E-sports have become popular and widespread with the advent of free-to-play — free games with a huge audience. Publishers of such games began to hold big tournaments and that attracted large sponsors to the already emerging e-sports industry. Full-scale e-sports organizations and teams appeared, as well as professional players earning their living not with "game", but with "sports". In addition, one of the main advantages of e-sports is the youth of their audience. Before that, the major brands had no opportunity to reach out to schoolchildren and students, but popularization of e-sports has changed a lot — an emerging market has appeared for advertisers offering new, previously unavailable audience.


- How much is cybersport popular in Ukraine? Is there a business component, and what exactly is it?

We have a long-standing relationship with e-sports. Ukraine became the country to host one of the first and most famous e-sports organizations — Natus Vincere. Starladder, who is one of the biggest e-sports tournaments organizer in the world, is based in Kyiv. However, e-sports in Ukraine are developing chaotically, without any oversight or control. The niche has not been filled yet, and the market is open to new investors. Here you have the opportunity not only to create innovative projects, bring experience from other industries, but also to improve already existing directions.

- What are the main e-sports competitions?

- There are many games on which they hold tournaments. But just to mention the most popular ones, they are Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. They are in fact e-sports possessing 97% of the market share.

-What is in trend in this kind of sports? And what is out-of-date?

- E-sports do not stand still. Number of visitors depends on the popularity of a game. If ten years ago such well-known strategies as Warcraft III and Starcraft 2 were ruling the day, now team disciplines in the genre of MOBA — Dota 2 and League of Legends — are the most wide-scale. At the same time, developers of mobile games, such as Clash & Clans and Vainglory, are vigorously trying to get to e-sports, but they have not yet figured out how to captivate the players' interest for more than fifteen minutes. Besides, nowadays streams have become extremely popular — online broadcasting of players with the possibility of real-time dialogue between the audience and the presenter.

- E-sport events betting is becoming more and more popular. What effect does it have on e-sports?

- Betting companies have become one of the largest and most loyal sponsors for e-sports industry. They are financing a great number of professional teams of different levels of preparation, starting with the strongest teams in the world and finishing with all sorts of youth teams, thereby enriching the arena with new players and people. And the more the e-sports arena is growing, the more opportunities there will be for betting — so it is the mutual benefit.

- What is useful in such kind of sports as e-sports?

- E-sports resemble a very complicated chess game. A good player should have a flash-like reactions and analytical mind to be able to take the right decisions and act with surgical precision. These are the qualities which gaming develops. Moreover, most disciplines are team-based, that is why people should be able to communicate well, to negotiate, to self-organize. It is equally important that e-sports players grow up and become more responsible at young age. Professional cyber athletes have their own set of talents and personal qualities that are not inferior by their importance to the ability of running fast or accurately throwing a ball into the ring.

- What are you doing now: which projects, what goals do you set for yourself?

- First of all, my company and me, we are interested in development of e-sports both in Ukraine and in the world. We collect all kinds of statistics, make conclusions about what the audience wants and which direction we should move on. Our goal is to find problems in the industry and solve them with all possible and available means.

- What else do e-sports need to be recognized as a kind of sports in Ukraine, like it happened in Russia one year ago? And is there a need?

- We need an official support of major sponsors. In Russia an industrial magnate Usmanov invested 100 million dollars in organizing Virtus.Pro. It breathed a new life into Russian e-sports. However, with no global development of the world arena and the market. If there appear philanthropists of the same kind in Ukraine or neighboring CIS countries, we know how to apply their funds in a different way: through building self-developing structure, which will not only create new gamers, but also build a dedicated and responsive audience. For it to become a kind of sport, it is necessary not only to regulate it, you need to be able to do it and it should be taught.