American multinational financial services corporation Visa and esports platform FACEIT have partnered with privately-owned Russian bank Gazprombank.
The alliance will result in what’s said to be the first esports debit card launched for Russian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 players.
Beginning in June, a total of $450,000 (£355,351) in prize money will be up for grabs for players competing in CS:GO and Dota 2 tournaments on FACEIT’s platform. Alongside the initial prize pot, there will be a new prize pool unveiled at the beginning of each month.
Niccolo Maisto, Co-founder and CEO at FACEIT, commented on the partnership in a release: “We are very excited to launch the program with VISA and Gazprombank as our first partner in this world first collaboration. This program is a great example of how brands can connect with our community and significantly contribute to the development of competitive ecosystems which is something that is hugely important for FACEIT.
“The partnership aims to drive new competitive opportunities to esports players in Russia while also creating valuable content for CSGO and Dota2 players. It’s fantastic to partner with international industry leaders to create new initiatives.”
The debit card enables users to earn exclusive access to tournaments held on the FACEIT platform alongside making everyday purchases. The competitions will be open to players of all skill levels to provide the Russian esports community with an opportunity to compete in more online tournaments.
Alexey Popovich, First Vice President and Management Board member at Gazprombank, added: “Following the trends in the banking business, Gazprombank once again relies on personalization. This time we chose a rapidly growing segment – the mass e-sports market in Russia. In partnership with Visa and FACEIT, we launched a unique card product for gamers, thanks to which we plan to significantly increase our customer base. I’m sure that the new card will be in demand, because now the e-sports audience in Russia has about 10-12 million people and is predicted to grow by 20% annually.”
Esports Insider says: It was revealed that Visa and FACEIT would be working with a Russian bank back in November 2019. With Gazprombank now officially involved, it’ll be interesting to see how fruitful the collaboration will be across the nation.