Telecom juggernaut MTS acquires Gambit Esports

MTS, the largest mobile operator in the Russia and CIS region has today acquired Gambit Esports for an undisclosed sum described as “one of the largest esports deals in CIS and Europe”.

Credit: Gambit Esports

Gambit Esports has been in the esports industry for approaching five years, and has rosters in the three big esports: League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. It also houses a FIFA player.

The organisation is best known for a surprise Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major win last time out – and the squad will be looking to defend their title next week as the ELEAGUE Major: Boston gets underway on Friday.

The deal will not see any of the teams released, and the staff will remain the same for the time being. CEO Konstantin Pikiner will continue his role, transitioning to become the Chief Gaming Officer at MTS. The Gambit Esports brand name will not be altered at all.

Konstantin Pikiner, Gambit Esports CEO stated in a release: “It’s an important and iconic event for our organization. Esports industry is growing rapidly, the level of competition is higher than it has ever been before”.

He added: “Big brands from all over the world, famous sports and entertainment organizations have begun investing in the esports industry, therefore we are glad that Russian companies are not an exception. Opportunities provided by one of the leading technological companies will allow us to focus on achieving competitive success and interaction with our audience.”

The financial power of MTS is unquestionable. The third quarter results for 2017 saw the company turn 114.6 billion Russian Rubles (~£1.4 billion) in revenue and have a total of 108.9 million mobile subscribers.

Esports Insider says: Big news for Gambit as they’re acquired by an absolute giant of the telecom world with a lot of capital behind them. It’ll be intriguing to see what they do with the brand and how much funding Gambit will receive. It’s undoubtedly great news for them, however.