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About five months after the Russian telecommunications company MTS completed the acquisition process of Praliss Enterprises, the parent company of Gambit Esports, it revealed the value of the exchange. An MTS representative told Russian business outlet Vedomosti that the deal totalled RUB 313M (~$5 million).
Gambit Esports is a professional team organisation that fields rosters in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends and FIFA. The official said that MTS plans to use the marketing capabilities of Gambit Esports’ teams, create products for esports fans, and sign sponsorship deals with other companies in the space.
MTS revealed the acquisition of Praliss Enterprises in January 2016, while also launching its own esports division, led by Virtus.pro co-founder Irina Semenova.
Currently, MTS is one of the world’s largest telecom companies to have acquired an esports organisation, with its revenues for 2017 amounting to $7.15B. It is also the largest company in Russia with an esports asset. The prize for the largest esports-focused company in the country, however, goes to Virtus.pro and RuHub parent company ESforce Holding Ltd., whose acquisition by Mail.Ru was valued to be at least $110M.
Telecommunications companies are continuing to double down on esports and position it long term into their business models. In Europe, this has resulted in Vodafone becoming a “premium partner” for ESL and several of its flagship events, while mobilcom-debitel built an esports tariff package on the back of its sponsorship deal with Unicorns of Love.
The SEA market is also seeing heavy activation. In April, Globe Telecom launched its own gaming/esports division with event partnerships with Riot Games, Garena, and Mineski, and just today, Razer has signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore operator Singtel Group, with plans to build esports events together.
Source: European Gaming Media and Events