The second edition of Winter Cup, the largest eSports tournament in Georgia, took place at the Olympic Palace in Tbilisi. The total prize fund for the championship was 100,000 Gel ($38 000).
The Grand Final of the Winter Cup was held in seven disciplines: eFootball, DOTA 2, TEKKEN 7, FIFA 23, CS:GO, NBA, and Pubg Mobile. Betting company Europebet sponsors the tournament and the Georgia Computer Sports Federation, as well as supports the development of Georgian gaming.
SBC CIS met with Europebet’s Chief Marketing Officer Dimitri Vachnadze to discuss the development and popularity of esports in the country, and why his betting company is so active in this area.
In addition to supporting the Winter Cup eSports tournament, you also support the Georgian Computer Sports Federation. How did you become involved in eSports? And why is it important to you?
Esports is growing every year all over the world. This is a sport of the XXI century that has the potential to enter the Olympic program. It is important for us to support Georgian gaming. In order to develop the Georgian eSports scene, we want Europebet to be an active participant.
What is your assessment of the last tournament? Could you tell us about your expectations? What changes have been made to the tournament since its inception?
The number of players attending this championship was higher than the previous one. Two new disciplines were introduced this year: eFootball and NBA 2K. In Georgia, Europebet Winter Cup has become the premier esports championship, where gamers have the opportunity to experience sports emotions in front of a live audience in a real esports arena.
The Winter Cup was held for the second time this year and exceeded all expectations. A number of well-known players have returned to gaming, and new clans have been created specifically for the Winter Cup. Generally, with each new championship, we gain more experience and are convinced that Georgia has great potential for this sport.
As part of the tournament, you also organized various activities at the Olympic Palace. Would you tell us about this part as well?
The game sessions were paralleled with various activities: there was a retro gaming corner with old consoles and all your favorite games, and a PlayStation space for everyone to play. We also had a dunk show during the break.
In the future, we will offer viewers a more diverse program, since we did all this for the first time, checked the audience’s interest, and everything worked. We want these activities to be part of the show. The tournament should become a place where, in addition to cheering and supporting, the spectators could participate in entertainment activities and have fun.
How promising do you find this industry, and what is your support for it?
Gaming is a sport that requires a great deal of support. The total prize fund for the WINTER CUP was 100,000 GEL. Our goal is to motivate gamers and make esports a common profession in Georgia that can provide a steady income for them. Europebet works with the Computer Sports Federation to raise the level of esports in the country. There is a lot of interest in this area around the world, and we believe that with such tournaments, Georgian players are bound to achieve success on the international stage as well.
In terms of betting, how popular is eSports in Georgia, and is it possible to bet on esports at Europebet?
The popularity and awareness of eSports in Georgia have increased significantly in the last two years. In general, this happened because of joint projects, championships, and events with solid prize funds. All this may not have yet led to the popularity found in Europe and Asia, but interest and involvement are steadily increasing.
In terms of gambling on eSports, there is, of course, the chance to bet on Dota or even LoL. For esports fans, Europebet offers a complete portfolio of events. Like leading foreign gambling companies, our users also can bet on a variety of desired events.
What are your plans for this partnership and how can it be developed? Can you tell me more about your plans?
We are planning to support gaming in the future as well. We have big plans. Soon we will announce a new major tournament with slightly changed rules. We continue to actively work towards increasing the level of esports in the country.
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