Alisher Usmanov’s USM Holdings is investing in Virtus.pro, the largest Russian e-sports community. The Group’s investment in the project may exceed $100 million.
Virtus.pro is one of the world’s leading e-sports organisations and the undisputed industry leader in Russia. It brings together companies that organise international gaming tournaments and leagues, as well as sound and video recording studios that release over 1,500 pieces of content on various internet platforms each month, reaching 30 million people worldwide. The project’s teams in the main e-sports disciplines have won more than 250 awards at international tournaments. Virtus.pro has amassed more than 7.6 million subscribers and its content received more than 1 billion views last year.
USM Holdings is a diversified international company with significant interests across the metals and mining, telecoms, internet and media sectors.
The e-sports industry has demonstrated strong growth around the world. According to figures from SuperData Research, the e-sports market was worth $612 million in 2015 and reached more than 130 million people. The total size of prize funds in the industry exceeded $42 million.
Ivan Streshinsky, a Member of the Board of Directors of USM Holdings, commented: “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.”
Anton Cherepennikov, Co-owner and Managing Partner of Virtus.pro, commented: “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.”