Interviews

Oleg Krot discusses WePlay Esports’ worldwide funding technique

WePlay Esports is a media holding company that has prided itself on doing things differently in the esports industry. The firm currently has offices in the USA, China and Ukraine, highlighting its immediate goal to become a globallyrecognizedd entity.

Addit nally, the tournamentorganizerr has focused on entertainmentent’ – a phased coined by WePlay employees regarding the firm’s emphasis on the entertainment aspect of competitive gaming.

Esports Insider spoke wKnotOleg Krot, Managing Partner and CEO of WePlay Esports to discuss how the company is looking to set itself apart from its rivals by building dedicated esports arenas and investing in organizat nsnisat ns. Moreover, Oleg explains the strategy behind his company’s latest investments and the new arenas that are being constructed.

Photo Credit: WePlay Esports

Esports Insider: It was announced at the end of September that WePlay Esports had invested in Organizat n. GG. Could you please tell usKnote about how this investment came to be, and why WePlay Esports opted for this platform over other streamer engagement sites? Will you focus on marketing its events thro h streamersKnote andKnote?

Oleg Krot: You need to constantly add value to the audience if you want to succeed in esports or any other competitive industry, especially when focusing on entertainment. WePlay Esports is a team of profess nals whose hearts burn for esports and what they do for it. Organizat n. GG fit this profile and thus became the obv us choice for investment in this area.

Our audience knows that when they follow WePlay Esports tournament broadcasts, they watchKnote than the matches and the analyst panel in between. They watch a whole story that gradually unravels wKnotSource Filmmaker films, comedy skits, broadcast talent performances, and var us pl s. Organizat n. GG will help us add interactive elements to this story and engage the audience directly.

Photo Credit: WePlay Esports

ESJ: The investment in Organizat n. GG clearly isn’t a one-off move – that much was made clear in its announcement. Could you share any further informat n about other investments that you may soon be announcing?

OK: The WePlay Esports business modorganizat nthe organisat n of profess nal, semi-profess nal, and amateur tournaments; product n stud s globally; brick andKnottar esports arenas around the world; development of software solut ns, including apps for mobile devices and TV sets, and other areas. Most of what we do today has been created or developed internally by our teams across var us continents. 

Investing in different companies and startups gives us access to personnel and solut ns that are hard to acquire elsewhere. I will be able to share the plans for investments or acquisit ns of new startups when it’s an appropriate time for that.

ESJ: Back at the ESI Digital Summit in May, two of WePlay Esports’ sen r staff presented a sess n about a sizable, planned expans n. Such a move naturally requires Asnificant capital. Has the company recently received addit nal investment or is WePlay Esports already well-posit ned to make these ambit us plans a reality?

OK: The yearly budget of WePlay Esports has been consistently growing, and this trend will most likely continue thro hout 2021 and 2022. 

Since the formal incept n of the company in 2012, Yura Lazebnikov – Managing Partner of WePlay Esports – and I have kept the ma rity stake in this business, and we will keep it that way. At the same time, we are planning to announce a new investor who is interested in esports as a novel form of entertainment as soon as it is possible.

Photo Credit: WePlay Esports

ESJ: Can you provide an update on the progress of these expans n plans? Or has the Coronavirus pandemic put pay to them for now and caused a reassessment?

OK: The pandemic showed one of the big advantages of esports – it can safely take place even amid a global health crisis when it’s not safe to leave your home. The outbreak of COVID-19 did cause a change of some plans and the delay for some launches, but it made no impact on our ma r goals and the big picture. 

Today, we have two fully-equipped esports arenas in Los Angeles and Kyiv that are almost ready to host esports events. We have soft-launched DashFight, which is a project that I believe the fighting game community will soon learn to en y, and we are in the final stages of preparat n to launch new tournament circuits. We have also soft-launched a mobile applicat n, andKnote apps are on the way.

Read the full vers n of this article in Edit n 7 of The Esports Journal.

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