Mobile TeleSystems (MST), the Russian telecommunications company that finalized its acquisition of Gambit Esports on Jan. 18, has revealed what it paid for the organization and its parent company.
An MTS representative told Russian business website Vedemosti that MTS’ acquisition of Gambit parent company Praliss Enterprises was an estimated 313 million rubles—roughly $5 million. Gambit was the sole property operated by Praliss. Following the acquisition, MTS set up a separate esports division within the company, which is headed by former Gambit Esports CEO Konstantin “Groove” Pikiner.
MTS’ entrance into esports has the potential to be a watershed moment for the CIS esports scene, as it’s one of the few companies with enough spending power to match that of Alisher Usmanov’s ESForce Holdings, which currently owns the SK Gaming and Virtus Pro organizations. MTS’ parent company, Sistema, reportedly generated more than $10.7 billion in revenue in 2016. Additionally, the company appeared eager to advertise towards the esports audience and develop products specifically designed for the esports demographic, according to a statement from MTS at the time of the acquisition.
The $5 million figure for the Praliss deal should help determine approximately how much a top performing esports team in the CIS-region market is worth. Especially when it concerns a storied organization such as Gambit.
Currently housing teams in FIFA 18, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Gambit was formed in 2013 after it acquired the former Moscow 5 League roster. Since then, the organization’s greatest success came in 2017, when its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad took home the PGL Kraków Valve Major on July 23.