Dmitry Smit, Russian Cybersport Federation: “Our prize money is modest, it is measured in millions of rubles”

The president of the Cybersport Federation of Russia visits Kazan to sign a cooperation agreement with the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan

The grand finale of the open Cybersport Cup of Russia will take place in the Tatarstan capital in December. Realnoe Vremya asked President of the Cybersport Federation of Russia Dmitry Smit for details of the upcoming tournament and prospects of Russian cyberathletes in the light of possible disqualification of Russia at WADA.

Team Tatarstan in the final

The grand finale of the open Cybersport Cup of Russia will be in the Academic and Laboratory Building of Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism on 14-15 December. The cup will have two disciplines Dota 2 and Clash Royale and a special tournament Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Admission to the competitions for fans will be free of charge, the organisers are inviting everybody.

As Dmitry Smit told Realnoe Vremya, 44 athletes from four countries — Russia, Latvia, Ukraine and Belarus — will be participating in the grand final.

“By the way, one of the teams is representing Tatarstan,” Smit stressed. 25,000 people from 15 countries participated in the tournament.

As Dmitry Smit told Realnoe Vremya, 44 athletes from four countries — Russia, Latvia, Ukraine and Belarus — will be participating in the grand final. Photo: Irina Anisimova

“Our prize money is modest, it is measured in millions of rubles”

In answer to Realnoe Vremya’s question about the amount of prize money for winners, Dmitry Smit laughed it off.

“Our prize money is modest, it is measured in millions of rubles. By cybersport standards, it is really little (Editor’s Note: winners of the biggest international cybersport competitions get millions of dollars from the organisers), but if we compare it with the awards in other sports competitions, our prize money looks quite impressive, especially if we consider that the participants are young guys,” the president of the Cybersport Federation of Russia explained.

“WADA sanctions aren’t imposed on cybersport”

The International Cybersport Federation, whose member the Russian federation is, has the status of a member of World Anti-Doping Agency. This is why as strange as it might sound, cyberathletes have to take tests in international competitions.

As it is known, WADA can impose further sanctions on Russia on 9 December and expel our country from international competitions. Realnoe Vremya asked Dmitry Smit about the consequences of such a decision for cybersport.

The final of the Open Cup of Russia is not the first competition held in Kazan. Photo: Irina Anisimova

“In our case, we don’t think that it will have a serious impact. Yes, we are members of the international federation, but computer sport and cybersport happen not to be recognised by the International Olympic Committee so far, so these sanctions aren’t imposed on us,” Dmitry Smith claimed.

“Kazan has every chance of becoming a cybersport capital of Russia”

The final of the Open Cup of Russia is not the first competition held in Kazan. A republican cup that showed the city is ready to host larger competitions already took place here.

“It will, of course, be hard to invite the majors because it is a commercial story, not sports. But it is quite possible to hold a big international tournament with the strongest participants and very serious sums of prize money,” Dmitry Smit thinks. “Kazan is often called the sports capital of Russia, and I think it has every chance of becoming a cybersport capital too.”

“Cybersport has rapidly developed around the world in the last years, and Tatarstan is involved in this process,” Fazleyeva claimed and put her signature below the agreement on cooperation with the Russian Cybersport Federation. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

Vice Chairwoman of the republican government Leyla Fazleyeva thinks that the December tournament will become a good opportunity for Tatarstan to, on the one hand, to use groundwork of the Russian Cybersport Federation in hosting international cybersport competition and, on the other hand, share its experience in organising competitions.

“Cybersport has rapidly developed around the world in the last years, and Tatarstan is involved in this process,” Fazleyeva claimed and put her signature below the agreement on cooperation with the Russian Cybersport Federation.

By Vitaly Akhmerov
Tatarstan