Russian Minister Discusses the Future of Esports as an Official Sport: "It was recognized by the society" - Dexerto

Russian Minister Discusses the Future of Esports as an Official Sport: “It was recognized by the society”

Published: 1/Jun/2018 10:06 Updated: 11/Mar/2019 13:02

by Ross Deason


Russia’s Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, has spoken favorably about esports being recognised as a fully fledged sport at an International Economic Forum.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian Minister of Sport addressed his organization’s approach to the ever-growing esports scene.


The Russian Ministry of Sport currently views esports as a single sport category, but one with various different disciplines in it, similar to what might be seen in Track and Field.

While Kolobkov addressed the forum, he made it clear that he does not believe that esports will ever replace traditional sports as esport is a “unique sphere which does not cross traditional sports”.


However, he reiterated that he believes esports have “all elements of a sport” and even went so far as to say that other international sport organizations have been wrong in their refusal to recognize them as such.

He also made it clear that it doesn’t actually matter whether or not he agrees with the decision to recognise esports in this way because it has already been “recognized by the society”.

“We had a long discussion, and I believe that we made the right choice, because it does not matter whether the government or somebody else recognizes esports as a sport,”

“It was recognized by the society. By people who are making it. Our task is to regulate it and put in some legal boundaries, allow it to develop under our control, along with the government, along with us. That is why I am sure that at this moment one can say that esports is quite an established sphere.”

With countries around the world beginning to recognize esports as sports, the discussion about them potentially being included in the likes of the Olympics has once again reared its head.


However, the world of esports is growing by the day and will continue to do so with or without the acceptance of the likes of the International Olympic Committee.


Recently-launched esports network VENN raises $26m

Published: 20/Oct/2020 14:33 Updated: 20/Oct/2020 14:44

by Adam Fitch


VENN, a gaming and esports television that launched on August 5, has raised $26 million in investment.

The Series A funding round was led by BITKRAFT Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by ESL and G2 Esports co-founder Jens Hilgers. Television and media company Nexstar Media Group has also invested in the network.


Nexstar Media Group is said to be the largest owner of television stations in the entire United States, which perhaps signals that VENN is prioritizing mainstream adoption instead of building up a major viewership base on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.

Interestingly, WISE Ventures — the parent company of Call of Duty League franchise Minnesota ROKKR and Rocket League brand Version1 — also participated in the funding.

VENN's The Download show
The Download is one of VENN’s main content offerings.

With live studios in New York and Los Angeles, the gaming and esports network is looking to become the home of “streamers, casters, content creators, esports athletes” through “engaging and innovative formats.”

In the first month of trying to become the premier destination of content for gamers and esports fans, VENN achieved a peak viewership of 14.2K, according to Esports Charts.

It dropped in the last week of August — reaching an average viewership of 216 people. It’s worth noting that the network also uploads VODs of its content, which includes topical talk shows and a daily news offering.

VENN's co-founders Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin
VENN’s co-founders Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin are no strangers to gaming and esports.

Another big move for VENN is the appointment of Jeff Jacobs, a former NBC Sports veteran that joins as executive vice president and general manager. He will oversee an expansion for the network in terms of their content and business operations in hopes of making it more prominent among the bustling gaming fan base.

For now, it’s clear that there’s a long road ahead of VENN for it to reach the lofty ambitions of the founders, but raising $26m is certainly a good pot of cash to work with.