Polish esports organisation Virtus.pro has appointed former pro basketball player Ivan ‘Lazar’ Lazarev as its Sports Director.
Lazarev’s duties will include working with players and coaches to build training processes, as well as monitoring the psychological and physical condition of the team.
In addition, Lazarev will also coordinate the work of psychologists and physical training coaches. Moreover, he will work with team managers to implement new training plans.
Lazarev is a former professional player for a number of Russian basketball teams. He was a part of the CSKA Moscow team that won the basketball Euroleague in 2016. Moreover, he is a winner of VTB United League in 2016 and 2017.
Lazarev retired from professional basketball in 2018. Since then, he has been active in the gaming space. This includes commentating on Dota 2 matches, a role that he will continue to do.
Ivan Lazarev, Virtus.pro’s new Sports Director, commented: “I have spent my whole life in professional basketball clubs. My interests have always included working on building a team and developing team-building programs for young athletes. Most of the disciplines Virtus.pro competes in are team-based, so my experience will be useful.”
Ivan Lazarev is the latest ex-professional athlete to integrate into the esports sector. Some notable sporting names include the likes of, Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Casemiro.
Sergey Glamazda, Virtus.pro CEO, added: “We have been thinking about what skills and background a sports director should have for a long time, and we have focused our search on an employee who hasn’t grown up in the industry so that he could bring something fresh and new for us.
“Ivan has been a professional athlete of the highest level for many years, he felt the pressure of fans in the arena, he competed for championships many times, he knows the logic behind building a training process, and he has experience of solving crisis situations within the team.”
Esports Insider says: Ivan Lazarev joining Virtus.pro is an interesting move. The Polish esports organisation is seemingly looking at the broader picture, not just hiring from within the industry. Lazarev’s experience within traditional sport, as well as his spell in the gaming sector, will undoubtedly bring an edge to the team.