How esports works. Professional organizations then and now

CEO of HellRaisers Aleksey "хаос" Kucherov is talking about development of esports organizations.
How esports works. Professional organizations then and now


Esports in the early twenty-one century

— What an esports organization was like in the 2000s?
— In the early 2000s, it was just five players and a manager at best, who helped them organize trips and tried to get some funding, or food at least so that players wouldn't starve to death during practice sessions.

After some time, there appeared the beginnings of what we consider now an organization with people responsible for sports results, hunting, media, sells and so on. However, there was no ecosystem for what we have now, which is involvement and right policies of game publishers regarding promoting their own game; it wasn't as entertaining to watch; there weren't many big tournaments. It all didn't let the audience grow and didn't give more interest to the games, which strongly limited this field's growth.


Years have passed but Ami, xaoc and ANGE1 continue to stick together

— Did players get paid?
— Around the world, yes. However, only a special few used to be paid in the CIS, and it was absolutely different amounts, which would only let you survive. It was mostly about prize money, which was roughly 60-70% of players' income (even considering there weren't many events). People then didn't play for money. There are more opportunities in esports now and many come for money.. Many, but not everyone.

— What did players need an organization for, if it didn't pay them much?
— They needed it to survive and be able to focus more on the game and not tasks like "how to find money for food or a place to live"


Aleksey "хаос" Kucherov got to play for the biggest CIS organization

— There are now organizations created and managed by players themselves. Doesn't it affect a team's performance this way?
Pro players don't do managment, since they simply have no time for that, otherwise they wouldn't be professionals. However, if the assignment of responsibilities is made poorly, then it might distract players. Basically, the difference is in the main source of income for an organization's functioning.


Esports organizations today

— What kinds of organizations exist now? 
— А. Big — world large-scale multigaming organizations with huge support of the audience, a clear structure of both management and funding, which makes them an independent structure and a powerful player on the market.
B. Small 
— mostly based on opportunities and not finance. The fact that you have the money doesn't always give you all opportunities. This field isn't the cheapest, so there's no reason to spend all at once, a wrong approach and misunderstanding might lead to a financial "stove".

— What does an organization live on?
— The main income of an organization is selling ads. You need to have three things for that such as results of the team, media and work with the first two things. It'll be interesting for sponsors then, and they'll be glad to cooperate.


An example of "right" ads in esports. Picture says: "Iron Dread"

— Do big organizations show their income?
— This is a developing market, which shows a big growth rate every year. Sometimes there's no point in showing the income and it's better to reinvest it into development to take a larger market share.

— Does it pay off the investments when it comes to small organizations?
— Perhaps, but being creative is very important when working with partners/sponsors, but without the three things from the previous question, it'll be a pretty difficult task. Besides, both huge and small organizations need to strive to spectacular results of their rosters in the first place, since it's a sport!


You can't do without fans' support 

— Is there a monopoly of huge orgnizations in certain regional markets?
— There's some kind of a monopoly, but it usually comes to certain moments which aren't as developed among other competitors. However, it'll stabilize eventually, so there's no reason to be worried about that.

— As for legal aspects, do organizations work legally? Regarding the CIS region, will esportsmen receive pensions?
— There are different processes which of course are optimized both financially and legally. If you don't do that, your life will be much harder. However, it's all legal in general, taxes are paid.

— Contracts used to have no legal value. Does this piece of paper work differently now?
— Contracts used to be will to play with each other. Organizations didn't try to hijack players, since there was no reason for that. As for contracts within the context of esports present-day realities, we'll talk about that next time!


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