American multinational financial services corporation Visa has partnered with esports platform FACEIT, with Russia being the first market of focus.
The deal will see the creation of a new dedicated gaming environment for esports fans.
Evgeniy Zelenyi, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Fintech at Visa Russia commented on the partnership in a release: “According to our estimations, the global esports market is forecasted to reach 500 mln gamers by 2020. Visa is keen to contribute its payment expertise to the space and deliver added value to this audience. Given the synergy between FACEIT’s stronghold on the Russian market, the overall number of esports audience and how receptive Russians are in general to innovative concepts, this is absolutely the right geography to start with.”
The partnership will launch with the commercial backing of a Russian bank, which hasn’t been disclosed at the time of writing. Visa and FACEIT will focus on designing and distributing online programs that allow players to develop their skills.
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Through its competitive platform, FACEIT currently supports the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Dota 2, League of Legends, World of Tanks, Brawl Stars, Overwatch, and SMITE It’s not known which titles will be utilised when the collaboration hits Russia.
Niccolo Maisto, Co-founder & CEO of FACEIT added: “We’re excited to work with such a globally recognised brand and to support their next step into esports. This partnership is a shining example of how a brand can become endemic to the esports community and help the overall esports ecosystem grow which is FACEIT’s continued mission.”
Esports Insider Says: While we’re still not sold on why Russia is the ideal place to launch this kind of partnership, it can’t hurt to have a Russian bank involved commercially when making such decisions. We’re intrigued to see why Visa chose to engage at this level of esports with FACEIT when it’s hosted a variety of large-scale events in the past.