eSports after the pandemic: industry format and development potential
On February 4, Moscow hosted a press conference titled "eSports after the Pandemic: Industry Format and Development Potential". The organizers were Cyber Legacy with the support of Tatyana Mineeva, Moscow Business Ombudsman, and Business Priority, innovation platform of the Roscongress Foundation. The venue was Winstrike Arena - a cozy space for computer games and their fans in the center of Moscow.
During the panel discussion, industry experts discussed current trends and forecasts in the industry: Moscow Business Ombudsman Tatyana Mineeva, President of Freedom Group investment management company Narek Sirakanyan, Strategic Development Director of My.Games Ilya Karpinsky, Partner and Practice Leader of the Legal Division of the Rights Business Standard consulting company Pavel Rusetsky.
Until 2024, according to PwC experts, the eSports segment in Russia will grow by an average of 14.9% per year. In 2020, amidst the pandemic, eSports attracted new partners: pharmaceutical giants, automotive concerns and other brands entered the market. In Russia, the eSports audience is growing rapidly and already exceeds 15 million people.
The participants discussed the need for and the possibility of introducing special organizational forms for the creation of eSports clubs, as well as taxation for sponsors, team builders and individual players. All these issues are crucial for further development of eSports in Russia and are be studied after creation of a special working group, initiated by Narek Sirakanyan and Tatiana Mineeva.
Following the press conference, Narek Sirakanyan summed it up: “At our conference, we managed to discuss three key issues in a quiet, creative atmosphere:
- For eSports, a separate OKVED code is needed, activities of the organization of computer sports.
- Prize-winning players need to be placed in a separate tax category; so far, you have to pay tax on them as on salaries (insurance premiums 30% + personal income tax 13% = 43%).
- How to make eSports friends with the state.
I am almost sure that all this is possible thanks to the support of wonderful people like Tatiana Mineeva. Together with the market leaders, we shall strengthen and continue developing the Russian eSports industry".
Business Priority Director Marianna Skragan also noted the importance of this discussion in her commentary: “The creation of new economic mechanisms for the development of eSports can lead to significant social results, such as the emergence of new sports disciplines and new educational products for young people. We invite partners to join this work, I am sure that it will give the eSports industry positive results which can then be presented at the leading business platforms in Russia".
Vladislav Grechkin, CEO of Cyber Legacy, also gave his assessment to the proposed ways of solving pressing cybersport issues: “We welcome the initiatives voiced today, since we really often deal with finding the solutions to such issues. Both a separate OKVED code and a special category of tax are measures necessary for domestic eSports proliferation, especially to support young players".
About Cyber Legacy:
Cyber Legacy (CL, Tigers) is a Russian eSports club founded in 2020. The main owner of the company is Narek Sirakanyan. The company is represented in the CIS countries. Cyber Legacy online (Twitch, VK, FB, IG, Twitter): cyblegacy.