Tournament organizers FACEIT and VISA are launching a $450,000 esports program in Russia, collaborating with new partner Gazprombank. This program will feature competitions for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 over the span of three months, specifically June through August 2020.
Highly exclusive tournaments
Interested players can enter the tournaments by obtaining FACEIT branded VISA cards from Gazprombank. Upon receiving their visa cards, these players can earn bonus FACEIT points with purchases, as well as access to cash prizes. The competitions are only open to VISA cardholders, which makes it one of the most exclusive CS:GO and Dota tournament circuits in the CIS region.
The official press release from FACEIT states: “Starting in June, $450,000 in prize money will be distributed among players within the first three months across several different tournament formats for CS:GO and Dota 2, both in FACEIT points and ruble cash prizes. Points can be exchanged for prizes: virtual goods for games, character design, official products with the symbols of professional teams.”
According to the same FACEIT statement, the $450,000 issued represents the circuit’s “initial fund.” New prize pools will be distributed players every month based on card usage.
Popularity of Dota 2 and CSGO in Russia
Steam reported record usage stats over quarantine across the world. Russia specifically saw increased player peaks in both CS:GO and Dota, two of the most popular esports titles in the country. Evgeniy Zelenyi, Visa Russia director of strategic partnerships and fintech, said: “With CS:GO and Dota hitting a peak of 1.3M and 800K concurrent players, we are saying to the world: come compete with us and get prizes!”
FACEIT co-founder and CEO Niccolo Maisto added: “We are very excited to launch the program with VISA and Gazprombank as our first partner in this world-first collaboration. This program is a great example of how brands can connect with our community and significantly contribute to the development of competitive ecosystems which is something that is hugely important for FACEIT.”
Esports audiences are “predicted to grow by 20% annually,” according to Alexey Popovich, First Vice President and member of the Management Board of Gazprombank. This alone should be more than enough reason for a large company like VISA to back an esports initiative in Russia, with hopes to attract young consumers to their brand.
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