Esports: New Opportunities for the World
Marianna Skragan is an experienced expert in developing innovative business projects. She started as a founder of a startup and finished as the director of a company supporting scientific and entrepreneurial initiatives. Today, one of the company’s cooperation directions is focused on esports. During the interview with Ms. Skragan, we discussed this new and rapidly developing industry, the pros and cons of computer games, and global problems that can be solved thanks to them.
Director General of Business Priority
The Business Priority company was established with the support of the Roscongress Foundation about a year and a half ago. About a thousand startups have already been considered by the company’s experts in this short time.
A team of experienced specialists in the company has developed a system of standards agreed with leading infrastructure organisations in the industry. Today, the startups that have passed a competitive selection process and have met the established criteria receive support from Business Priority in many forms. That helps them clearly formulate the idea of the product and take a firm place in the market, thus moving towards effective development.
– How would you formulate your professional and social mission?
– The thing is that fundamental science has many interesting and useful research results. However, they often ‘lie on the shelf’ and ‘are covered with dust’ for a long time. That is caused by the fact that we do not have many specialists able to engage in the introduction and practical implementation of innovations.
Startupers are that very kind of people. They fall in love with an idea and scientific development adventurously and strive to fulfil it by putting the theory into practice. However, it is important to understand that there are often different difficulties in terms of financing, legal peculiarities, and entrepreneurial risks. If we believe in success and promising future of startups, we help them overcome such difficulties.
I want our country’s startups to manage to enter the path of effective and sustainable development. The people who fulfil those startups create a future for us.
We also have an open YouTube channel where we not only share our professional experience and stories but also answer specific questions from beginning innovators.
– The esports industry is an important area that you support and promote today. Why has this field become so popular and promising in the modern world?
– Virtual space is gradually becoming an alternative to reality. It is full of life including communication, interaction, and even some economic processes.
As an expert, I am interested not so much in the games but in the innovations they contain. For example, game developers are actively introducing technologies related to artificial intelligence into their projects.
I believe that the esports industry is its runway today. People are already passionate about virtual reality. They will spend even more time in it and invest even more money in it in the future. That means that many advertisers, sponsors, and sellers will move into the digital space following their audience.
During the pandemic and self-isolation period, the number of users of computer games has increased by many times. We can make a logical conclusion that people have tried to replace the real life where they faced obstacles with the virtual one. On the one hand, it gives additional opportunities. On the other hand, it makes you sad when you understand that people are more interested in digital space than in real life.
Anyway, the esports industry is a very promising platform for business. Working with startups, I see more and more projects involved in this field.
– There is a stereotype that computer games are harmful and of no serious character. Is it really so? Can computer games be useful?
– That’s only a stereotype. When we started to engage in esports, we immersed in this topic in detail. The first marketing research that we carried out dispelled the myth about computer games being interesting only for children. Today people of all ages are their main audience.
As for ‘harmfulness’, it is also more of a stereotype. Firstly, there are many developing computer games now. They are filled with educational and informative content. Secondly, a strategy is one of the most popular genres among gamers. In this case, we can compare computer games with playing chess. Strategy games and chess both develop a person’s analytical thinking, logic, and strategic approach to solving problems.
A game can be either a way to gain new knowledge and skills or simply a ‘time-killer’. A person needs to understand that he or she can play games with use. Otherwise, he or she is doomed to procrastination.
Of course, there are disadvantages as well. Computer games are still a business. They have sellers and developers who make money on projects. No matter what high goals they set, it is important for them to create an effect of involvement in the game and make it difficult for a person to overcome it. That’s where gamers also need to be conscious.
– What global tasks can be addressed thanks to the esports industry? Can computer games contribute to intercultural communication?
– Yes, certainly. Even at present, many international teams consist of players from all over the world. It is very convenient that speaking different languages and being located in different parts of the world are not obstacles for them thanks to advanced modern technologies.
Moreover, companies that are associated with the esports industry are not tied to a particular territory. The target audience of their businesses is people from all over the planet. Such projects have no communication barriers.
In this sense, esports is a very interesting and useful phenomenon. It unites people, blurs the boundaries among them, and broadens their horizons.
– Our traditional final question to you is: what would you like to wish women of the world?
– My life position presupposes no clear division of the world into men and women. There are no separate standards for this or that sex in my professional activities related to science, innovation, and digital technology. I believe, it is important that everything ‘female’ and ‘male’ in the world coexists harmoniously.
What would I like to wish women? I think, simply to spread your love around yourself: for your children and loved ones, for your life, and just for the world. In my opinion, that is a woman’s mission no matter in what area she fulfils herself.
Viktoria Yezhova, Global Women Media news agency
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov