Parimatch’s Head of Esports Stepan Shulga looks ahead to this year’s “The International” annual gaming competition
August is here, the month when the entire e-sports community waits in anticipation for the largest competition in the e-sports calendar to begin. “The International” sees competitors fight it out in the online battle arena of Dota2, for the chance to win millions of dollars in prize money. This year the venue is in Shanghai, the first time the competition has been held in China.
The clever people at Valve Corporation, developers of the Dota2 universe came up with the idea of crowdfunding the prize money, giving fans and players the opportunity to have an impact on the size of the prize fund. At the time of writing, the prize pot currently stands at $32 million USD, almost as much as the French football team made when they lifted the World Cup trophy in 2019! Admittedly, the prize money will be shared amongst 16 teams, but it is still a life-changing amount.
But why does The International matter to Parimatch? From a commercial perspective - you may be surprised to hear that the number of bets we take on the event is similar to what we see with more traditional sports, and we see great loyalty towards e-sports teams from young adults.
It also matters because we sponsor the successful e-gaming team Virtus.pro. It gives us great pride to say that Virtus.pro is one of the top three e-gaming teams, and is one of the favourites to win this year’s competition. Parimatch has a reputation for partnering with sporting winners!
For now, we wait with bated breath for the tournament to start on the 20th August, and wish our friends at Virtus.pro the best of luck as they continue to conquer the e-sports world!