Dmitry Smith, President of the Russian Computer Sports Federation
Photo: Andrei Minaev
President of the Russian Federation of Computer Sports Dmitry Smith visited the studio of Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda at the Eastern Economic Forum, where he spoke about the latest developments in the world of electronic sports.
“NOW PLAYING UNDER THE SERBIAN FLAG”
– Dmitry Vyacheslavovich, how have the last two and a half years affected the role of Russian cyber-sportsmen on the world stage?
– Many events happened, not all of them as joyful as we would like. But if we start with the bad, under the pressure of the sanctions that geopolitics also imposes on esports, many important national teams were forced to relocate. For example, the Virtus.pro team moved to Armenia. Naturally, on the one hand, this greatly weakened the presence of Russia as a country in international competitions, because they did not allow athletes not only under the flag and the anthem, they did not even allow them in their uniform, they did not allow sponsors. to be placed in this uniform, etc. But the situation changed not long ago. Just a few weeks ago, an international federation congress took place, where the Russian Federation of Computer Sports presented a motion and demanded that all sanctions on our athletes be lifted. And oddly enough, we did it. The International Federation, as a result of a vote, decided that the sanctions should be lifted. Naturally, Ukraine and its European colleagues tried in every way to counteract this, but only 13 countries supported the sanctions. And the rest supported our position or accepted a neutral one. Therefore, starting today it will be easier. Until the end of the year, at least in two international competitions, our athletes will finally be able to perform fully.
– This is not just a question of politics. Some teams were mixed, not only Russians participated, but also Ukrainians…
– Yes. An excellent example is the Team Spirit team, made up of Russian and Ukrainian boys, which not long ago won the big tournament The International. Everyone congratulated them. Now they have become persona non grata in their country, that is, Ukrainian athletes are no longer willing to return to Ukraine, because there they will be blamed for playing with the guys from Russia on the same team. But the team itself has also ceased to be Russian. Yes, they are still guys with Ukrainian and Russian citizenship, but now they play under the Serbian flag.
“WINNING MEANS SURPRISING”
– Do e-sportsmen from new Russian territories have the opportunity to participate in Russian tournaments?
– Definitely. This is the territory of the Russian Federation, how can they not accept something? We carry out separate educational programs on the territory of DSTU in Rostov, we bring children there from new territories, we carry out special educational programs aimed at training specialists, so that there is someone there to conduct competitions, training, etc.
As for international competitions, there is not much difference: a person is from a new territory or from an old one, from Orel, Tyumen, Ryazan. It doesn’t matter. They don’t want to see us in Europe. And if we talk about Asia, Africa or South America, please. Here they love us, appreciate us, wait for us and are happy to compete with us.
– How strong are we on the international stage?
– Strong enough. For example, recently, within the framework of KNNVS, competitions in the discipline of fighting games were held in Ufa, the guys competed in Tekken, the Russian took first place, and 10 countries were represented there. And in general, our athletes, not only in fighting games, but also in strategy games, in the same Dota 2, always performed successfully in three-dimensional tactical combat, in Counter-Strike or in World of Tanks. No, national teams have always been highly valued, both as entire teams and as foreign players, they continue to be accepted into their teams with great pleasure. Our sport has always been at a high level. I was an e-sportsman myself, we had an “Orkos” team more than 20 years ago… We have always been the best, we have always been people who devised new tactics, new homemade preparations, in short, winning meant surprising. Then we were surprised: we won.
DRIFT TOWARDS SMARTPHONES
– In what direction are electronic sports currently developing in our country and in the world as a whole? What promising niches do you see?
– A very deep and broad question. Let’s go in order. Technically, it is developing towards mobile solutions. Games are becoming more and more popular on mobile platforms, on smartphones, and very good domestic games are appearing, for example the game Standoff 2, for which we have already held and will continue to support a large number of competitions. This game allows you to compete exclusively on smartphones and the team can be located not only in one region, but also in different cities.
– So, competitions are also held on mobile phones?
– Yes Yes. This is an even lower entry threshold, because a smartphone costs 15 thousand rubles and you can already compete, technically you don’t need anything for this. This has already been implemented.
And the next step is competitions with augmented virtual reality. There are also some good internal happenings here. With our help we hope to carry them out and in the near future to begin actively holding competitions in this direction.
– Use virtual reality glasses. This is when your actions as an athlete are transferred to your avatar. In some ways it’s like a movie.
– Electronic sports: how profitable is this activity for the athlete himself? It turns out that there are games in which you invest 15 thousand in the purchase of a mobile phone and you are already a participant in world tournaments.
– It is true, but the situation is not so simple. The games are specially designed so that the entry threshold is the lowest and then gradually they start to become more complex. The same goes for esports. It is easy to participate in the contest. But these competitions will be of the widest scope. The higher you want to go, relatively speaking, winning your city’s championship is much easier than winning your region’s championship. And even more so the national or world championship. Therefore, here in eSports it is easy to start competing, and then it all depends on how ready you are for serious work. Because, after all, the level of development of electronic sports is very high and the competition is very serious. If we talk about e-sports as a mass trend, then you can easily participate in competitions and receive 2-3 thousand rubles in prizes per month. But if you want to win a lot of money, and in e-sports our prize money is millions of rubles, and in the international arena it is usually millions of dollars, here, of course, you will have to approach it completely differently. That is, it must be the team, the coach, the diet, the sleeping pattern and the regular sessions with a sports psychologist. And then, thanks to this investment, not so much material as time and energy, nerves, mental strength, much greater economic results can be achieved. These are truly top athletes. Of course, they are not as rich as football players, but they buy apartments.
SPORT IS A SYSTEMS APPROACH
– What do the federal authorities of our country think about the development of electronic sports?
– After yesterday’s speech by our president, I think no one has questions anymore. We are now tasked with preparing separate competitions in the Far Eastern regions and gradually making them regular, annual and international. Similarly, we organize a large number of competitions, both domestic and foreign, throughout Russia. Just this year we had a student league in Nizhny Novgorod and the final of the Russian championship in Ufa. Now several more regions are preparing for international competitions, including student ones. That is, the leadership of our country perfectly understands the importance of electronic sports, how effective they are now in interacting with young people, how useful they are from the point of view of educational processes and training of specialists and, in general, the formation of a healthy lifestyle and education of a harmoniously developed personality.
– My children, like many of their peers, live almost constantly on their mobile phones. Including playing. How do you determine if this is a waste of time or an investment in developing future eSports stars?
– Maybe I answered a little incorrectly, but this question reminded me of the question of one of my friends who came up to me and said: I don’t understand where my money goes. I say: what are you spending them on? Through a bank card. I say: there is analytics in the app. The phone also has analytics and you can see how your child spends their time. And there are also parental controls that allow you to limit.
For example, my youngest son has strictly limited time in front of his mobile phone. He can’t spend more than half an hour a day on games. All. Another thing is that he also has a separate computer time (it’s not very big either), but this is also clearly regulated. I know what he plays, when he plays and who he plays with. This is a very important point. Because if we leave a child with her own devices, allowing her to connect, it is not clear where she will connect. That is, here you need to understand very clearly what your child is doing, with whom and what he is playing. Because there are many games. And if a person sits all day and says: I am an e-sportsman, don’t touch me, I won’t sleep at night, but I will win something, initially this is wrong. This person is either fooling themselves or trying to fool you.
We must clearly understand that sport is a systematic approach. A person must regularly participate in competitions, he must have his own team. If he does this individually, he must still have some kind of team, because even when there are individual disciplines, there are still teams, clans, etc. He must have some kind of sparring partner, he must have a trainer. And then it can lead to something serious. That is, the first thing is to control what a person does and what he does. If he is doing something that is not related to eSports, it is definitely gaming and if you want to guide him, invite him to play something like that. That is, if you see him playing some kind of racing simulator, invite him to play a sports game. If he watches a lot of videos about drones, invite him to play DCL – The Game. Maybe you’re a great drone operator. If he likes some strange shooting games, offer him the same Standoff.