Esports without borders: how Oleg Krot and Yura Lazebnikov built an international company with Ukrainian roots

Esports without borders: how Oleg Krot and Yura Lazebnikov built an international company with Ukrainian roots

Dec. 14, 2020
Insights 3 min read

While the Olympics and major sporting events are being canceled one after another, esports, on the other hand, knows no bounds.

Tournaments are gathering more and more viewers, and arenas for games are appearing all over the world. How the esports industry is developing and how it can do better than traditional competitions – the founders of WePlay! Esports and TECHIIA international holding told in the first issue of Forbes Ukraine magazine.

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Why is the esports industry fundamentally different from regular sports?

Oleg Krot, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer at WePlay! Esports:

– Due to innovation and technology, esports has many advantages over traditional sports. Usual workouts may not be available to people with special needs. Sometimes the original physical form, which cannot be changed, interferes. For example, an athlete's height.

In esports, people can compete in different parts of the world without needing  to leave their home. Therefore, the audience is continuously growing, and it is more accessible than in traditional sports.

What does WePlay! Esports do? What sets the company apart from competitors in Ukraine and the world?

– WePlay! Esports is building an ecosystem that includes both traditional and innovative things. We hold tournaments, cover events from our own studio, using AR and other modern technologies, and create software for organizing competitions. We are building esports arenas on all continents except Antarctica.

We work with the audience of more than one country or one language, and see esports of the future as a single global industry. This approach is the basis for our growth, which distinguishes WePlay! Esports from most esports companies. We believe that an organization can only be successful in this area if it, like esports itself, has no borders.

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What are the primary sources of income for a tournament organizer?

Yura Lazebnikov, Managing Partner and Chief Business Development Officer at WePlay! Esports:

– First of all, it is sponsorship and the sale of media rights to broadcast tournaments. Also, in the near future, we plan to launch very ambitious and exciting projects for users on the WePlay! Tournament Platform, which generates income through premium subscriptions.

One of the types of income is various contracts for the organization of tournaments and broadcasts, and consulting in this area. 

What are the company's plans in Ukraine? What will the company do abroad?

– In Ukraine, we have concentrated mostly on the R&D, and also produce content focused primarily on European time zones. We plan to increase the number of developers, open new studios, and continue to develop the center of our European infrastructure here.

Our international goals are to be present in all, more or less, broad and economically developed regions. This will prove ourselves not only in international leagues but also in reliable products focused on local markets.

We have ideas, desires, and resources to amaze the audience from Los Angeles to Shanghai, to attract big money, big names, and brands to esports. As it turns out, the pace will only increase.