CEO NaVi and Virtus.pro: esports during COVID-19 times
The major managers of two the most successful CIS esports organizations have shared thoughts about their business during these unstable COVID-19 times. In interviews with DOTA2.RU, Natus Vincere CEO Yevhen Zolotarov and Virtus.pro CEO Sergey Glamazda answered the same questions about esports popularity and salary decrease during self-isolation.
About esports popularity:
CEO NaVi: At the moment, esports is breaking all possible records. Just outstanding viewing numbers. We have got reports from the BLAST and ESL Pro League. Both Natus Vincere and esports teams in general are showing record-breaking results.
CEO Virtus.pro: After the isolation period, we will be able to keep esports popularity. The ones who used to watch esports before – will stay watching. When offline and LAN-events will come back, the new viewers will see esports even in a more beautiful perspective. Now a wide number of viewers have seen what one of the fastest-growing industries looks like.
About salary decrease during isolation:
CEO NaVi: We consider the option to decrease salaries. I think that the guys have also thought about it, and when it will be needed – we will find a consensus. At the moment we are not losing money. So, we have no need to decrease the salaries for players and organization workers. What’s more, we are discussing a major media rights agreement, connected to the Chinese market. If everything will pass smoothly, I don’t deny that our staff will be earning more. Our target is to go through this period of crisis without any loss, including financial loss.
CEO Virtus.pro: We did not decrease the salaries for our players and staff. This makes no sense. The players are competing successfully. It is unethical to decrease salaries. We can allow ourselves to work under the same conditions. The only thing is that we have a fixed currency rate. If the exchange rate will increase, we will have to go back to the fixed numbers. This is more of a safety precaution than decreasing players' salaries.
Despite having common opinions on two above-mentioned topics, the CEO’s have different thoughts on the decrease of the prize pool at online tournaments in comparison to offline. Thus, Natus Vincere CEO said that the organization gives almost all prize money to the players, so the organization has not been heavily influenced by the prize pool decrease. Meanwhile, VP CEO commented that in the organization scheme some part of the prize money belongs to the organization itself. Therefore, Sergey Glamazda called the tournament prize pool decrease “a one more minus of absence of LAN-events”
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