Wargaming CEO Victor Kisyli said that the investment is a response to player demand for tank warfare tournaments
With the likes of The Internationals and Evolution Championship Series 2014 video game tournaments being popular, it won’t come as a shock for publishers to start putting in money, either to support the scene or think that there’s huge returns down the line. With that possible train of thought, World of Tanks creator Wargaming sees value in the field as it pledges to invest US$10 million into the development of eSports this year.
According to a press conference in Poland (via Games Industry International), the company’s CEO said that there’s been rapid growth in people tuning in to World of Tanks in the eSports field. The numbers stated that 30,000 gamers took part in 120 World of Tanks tournaments in 2012, while 200,000 pro players turned up in more than a 1000 of these tournaments in 2013. In the latter year, the company invested US$8 million in expanding its eSports presence.
Kisyli said that he founded a company within a company due to the US$10 million venture. “They take care not only about game features to cater to spectators, but also about the physical organisation of the tournaments. In the beginning, it was not so much us who wanted to introduce World of Tanks to eSports, it was the players themselves who wanted to be more competitive.”
Wargaming has been doing well for itself for the past few years, with its game World of Tanks now having 80 million registered players worldwide. The Asian branch of Wargaming is currently hosting its ongoing World of Tanks 3 versus 3 Tier 5 Quarter Year Championship tournament, which has started on March 29. The top four teams for the first week were MetalWarriors, TCSG: Coal diggers, Pahlawan Tomato and -4S-.