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Virtus.pro second Dota 2 roster

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VP.Prodigy
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Virtus.pro launches a second Dota 2 team — VP.Prodigy. The roster consists of the ESL One CIS Online Season 1 open qualifier winners, Team Generation.

Sergey Glamazda, CEO of Virtus.pro:

“Guys from Team Generation caught our attention a while ago. Summer 2020 we decided to support them with a grant, provided them with a coach and a bootcamp. After former VP.Prodigy players had been transferred to our first roster, the place of the second roster/academy became vacant. We didn’t rush to announce our new squad as we wanted to let the guys grow and play in a competitive environment without unnecessary pressure. By qualifying to the Lower DIvision of ESL One CIS Online S1 they proved to be ready for the public attention and worthy of representing the VP.Prodigy brand, which is already associated with strong results in Dota 2.”

Our first opponent in the Lower Division of ESL One CIS Online S1 will be HellRaisers. The match is scheduled for 21st of January, 15:00 CET.

VP.Prodigy roster:

Evgeniy «Noticed» Ignatenko

Denis «Larl» Sigitov

Ilyas «celebrity» Gainullin

Maksim «forcemajor» Meretskii

Vladislav dSa» Shuvaev

Daniil «Schelk» Shelkunov

eSports

eSports in the CIS region , Q&A w/ Viktor Block, Senior Sales Manager/PandaScore

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eSports in the CIS region , Q&A w/ Viktor Block, Senior Sales Manager/PandaScore
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Esports has long been popular in the CIS region, with various top-tier teams and players all calling it home. How has the landscape evolved over the last few years? Have any particular trends emerged that have surprised you at all?

Esports boomed in the CIS region in 2008 when Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games became really popular. While esports had been a thing as far back as 2003, the rise of games such as Counter-Strike and DOTA2 was a major catalyst for the upward trajectory the sector has been riding ever since. In recent years, the infrastructure needed to support esports has improved drastically across the CIS region, including the construction of the Pixel Esports Arena in Minks, Belarus, and the Cyberspace Arena in Almaty, Kazakhstan, both of which hold top-flight contests. Internet connectivity has also improved, while support from local and international sponsors such as Monster Energy, Red Bull and War Gaming have provided funds for further investment while also driving awareness. Ultimately, this has seen the landscape evolve into a thriving industry with lots of opportunities for further growth.

In terms of trends, and especially relating to esports betting, I’ve been surprised by the high demand for betting on console games – we call them eBattles and they include disciplines such as eSoccer and eBasketball. I think this is just a natural development that has occurred off the back of strong demand for video game content, which is often the bridge between traditional sports and esports.

 

What factors have contributed to esports’ growth in the CIS over the past few years?

One of the biggest factors for me is that teams have become more professional and are now training and playing in well-run clubs. This takes place in dedicated buildings and rooms, set up with high-speed internet and the absolute best gaming equipment. Player salaries have also gone up, which has increased the calibre of players taking part in contests across the region, taking competitiveness to the next level. Today, many CIS players now play for high-ranked teams such as Virtus.pro, Team Spirit, Betboom or Na`Vi which compete on the international stage. This in turn is helping esports grow across the CIS region.

 

Given how many countries are in the CIS region, can you walk us through some of the biggest regulatory differences when it comes to betting on esports? And how does PandaScore navigate these changes?

The legality of betting and esports betting differs from country to country within the CIS region. Some are super strict or even prohibit gambling, while others take a more liberal approach, regulating the activity and licensing operators. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest markets and their approach.

In Ukraine, esports has been recognised as a sport since 2018 and in 2020 the country regulated and licensed gambling for the first time. The law focuses mostly on standard betting – sports and casino – but is likely to also include esports betting given that esports is a recognised sport in the country with tier-one Ukraine sportsbooks like Favbet and Parimatch offering it to their players.

Kazakhstan has a growing gambling industry with betting shops and casinos operating in major cities such as Almaty and Nur-Sultan. Gambling is regulated by the Ministry of Culture and Sports and while the regulatory framework is somewhat restrictive, sports betting – which is likely to include esports betting – is permitted.

Navigating the constant changes in betting regulation across the CIS region can be challenging, so we make sure to keep up to speed with the latest developments by monitoring legislative updates and amendments to regulatory guidelines. We also track industry trends and best practices to anticipate regulatory changes ahead of time, allowing us to adapt quickly if needed. This can involve benchmarking against competitors, attending conferences and networking with key stakeholders.

 

In your view, are there any unique opportunities for the expansion of esports and esports betting within the CIS region? And how does this differ to other regions?

It’s important to understand that CIS, especially Ukraine and Kazakhstan, play by their own rules. By that I mean they are very different to other esports markets, so don’t think what works in Italy will work in Ukraine. For example, while League of Legends is very popular in Europe, in CIS, it’s Dota 2 that takes the top spot. But for those who can understand the region and each market, there are plenty of opportunities to explore.

Let me elaborate. Dota 2 is thriving in the broader CIS, with regular tournaments and events attracting large audiences both offline and online. teams like Natus Vincere (Na’Vi), Virtus.pro and Team Spirit have achieved significant success in Dota 2 competitions, contributing to the game’s popularity in the region. While Dota 2 is big, other video games also enjoy significant popularity, including CS2, World of Tanks and Fortnite among others.

Operators need to consider this when deciding their markets and odds, marketing strategies and plans for player engagement.

 

What would you say is the key to creating a successful esports product for a CIS audience?

Understanding layer preferences in each market and delivering an experience that exceeds their expectations. For the CIS region, this means focusing on Dota 2 – this is a game that offers deep and strategic gameplay requiring teamwork, communication and skilful execution of plans and strategies. Its competitive nature appeals to gamers as they enjoy the challenge of multiplayer experiences – this goes back to the original MOBAs back in 2008. These factors must be present in the esports betting experience offered to players – at PandaScore, this means a comprehensive Dota 2 offering that covers markets such as Kills, Towers, Roshans and Barracks, with players able to challenge themselves in a betting competition against others.

Support is also key to delivering a quality player experience. We offer round-the-clock assistance and are regularly rolling out updates to improve the experience players receive when betting on esports at sportsbooks using our data, odds and betting tools such as our Bet Builder. We are always working hard to expand our offering to cover the most in-demand games including CS2, Valorant, Call of Duty and many more.

 

What trends or developments do you anticipate shaping the future growth of esports in the CIS region over the next few years?

The industry will continue to grow and become more professional. Esports is different to traditional sports and it still lacks recognition in some markets, even though it is considered an official sport in a growing number of countries across the CIS region. I think as it evolves, more governments will provide more support for esports as it brings tremendous economic, cultural and social benefits. This could include funding for esports initiatives, rolling out regulatory frameworks, helping to foster partnerships with esports organisations or simply recognising it as a sport.

The continued proliferation of smartphones across the region will be a further catalyst for esports growth. Titles such as PUGB Mobile, Free Fire and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang will attract large audiences and provide new opportunities for teams, players, sponsors and other stakeholders to explore. This is a really exciting time for esports and esports betting in the CIS region, and PandaScore is thrilled to be part of it.

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Aurora Gaming Crowned Champions of $350,000 Skyesports Masters 2024, Earns Spot in Skyesports Championship

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Aurora Gaming has been crowned the champions of the Skyesports Masters 2024, defeating OG 3-1 in an intense Grand Finals. With this victory, the team will take home $105,000 of the $350,000 prize pool and secure a slot in the next tournament of the 2024 Skyesports Counter-Strike 2 roadmap, the Skyesports Championship 2024.

The Skyesports Masters 2024 took place from April 8 to 14, featuring eight teams from India and Europe competing for the lion’s share of the substantial prize pool.

Coming in after a first-place finish at the Skyesports Grand Slam 2024 in Pune, India, last month, Aurora Gaming were on a hot streak and favored to win it all. The Siberian team had a dominant run throughout the upper bracket, achieving first place.

Facing Aurora in the Grand Finals was OG. The team had already lost to Aurora in their opening game of the Skyesports Masters and had to navigate through a high-stakes lower bracket, eliminating ENCE, Ninjas in Pyjamas, BIG, and BetBoom to reach the Grand Finals.

Aurora proved to be the stronger team this time as well, with a decisive 3-1 finish. The map-wise results were as follows:

● Anubis: 13-6 (Aurora Gaming)

● Mirage: 11-13 (OG)

● Ancient: 13-10 (Aurora Gaming)

● Overpass: 13-3 (Aurora Gaming)

In a post-match interview, Aurora’s Evgeniy “Norwi” Ermolin expressed gratitude to the team’s fans, stating, “I am feeling really good; we played really well today. Thank you for watching, for the support, and for everything. We will continue trying our best and look forward to playing some LAN.”

The Skyesports Masters 2024 reached a peak viewership of 41,833, a significant increase from the previous year, according to Esports Charts. Counter-Strike esports in India was given a revival through the 2023 and inaugural edition of the Skyesports Masters, the Playoffs for which happened in Bangalore, India. Skyesports has also announced that the Skyesports Masters will return for its third edition in the summer of 2025 with a six digit prize pool.

With this victory, Aurora Gaming has secured a slot in the Skyesports Championship 2024, the details of which will be announced later. It’s the next tournament in Skyesports’ 2024 Counter-Strike 2 esports roadmap, which has paved the way for international teams to look at the tournaments as viable IPs for them to participate in.

Commenting on the Skyesports Masters 2024, Shiva Nandy, Founder and CEO of Skyesports, said, “Congratulations to Aurora Gaming for winning the Skyesports Masters 2024. With more than 40,000 concurrent viewers, the tournament has made a significant impact in the global Counter-Strike 2 esports ecosystem, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future. Up next, we will bring another elite tournament, the Skyesports Championship 2024, which will be the sixth edition of this IP and the first time that Counter-Strike 2 will be a part.”

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eSports

Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov is a New Virtus.pro Player

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Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov (pictured), one of the most decorated and famous players in CS2, a Major champion and winner of the Intel Grand Slam, is moving to Virtus.pro.

“The arrival of star players always generates excitement within the club and among its fans,” the Chief Executive Officer for Virtus.pro, Nikolai Petrossian, said. “Denis is a well-known figure in the world of eSports with an impressive list of major victories and exceptional skill. Few players won both at Major and Intel Grand Slam events.

“Our CS2 roster is strong thanks to teamwork, a clearly defined playstyle and the individual talents of our players. Transferring players with outstanding skills to improve specific areas is a common practice in sports. I am confident that Denis joining will give a powerful boost to the team in the upcoming challenges in Dallas, London and beyond.

“Denis will replace Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov in the VP lineup. Nikolay has been a loyal and valuable member of our team and we express our gratitude for his contributions. Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov is open to offers from other teams.”

“Virtus.pro is a top team,” Sharipov said. “The core of the roster has won a Major not a while ago and all the players are in their prime and ready for victories right now. We share the same ambitions and goals. Besides, I’m also excited about the idea of playing with Jame as he’s one of the most unique IGLs in the game. Can’t wait to adapt to my new team and start doing what I came here for, winning trophies.”

Sharipov has dozens of victories at elite tournaments, including:

  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • Intel Grand Slam Season 3
  • BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020
  • IEM XVI – Cologne
  • EPL Season 14
  • BLAST Premier: World Final 2021

In addition, Sharipov was among the top-ten best players of the year by HLTV four times.

Updated Virtus.pro CS:GO roster:

  • Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali (captain)
  • Evgeny ‘FL1T’ Lebedev
  • David ‘n0rb3r7’ Daniyelyan
  • Petr ‘fame’ Bolyshev
  • Denis ‘electroNic’ Sharipov
  • Dastan ‘dastan’ Akbayev (coach)
  • Pavel ‘PASHANOJ’ Legostaev (analyst)
  • Nikolay ‘mir’ Bityukov (substitute)
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