CS.MONEY is an IT company that launches esports products and generally supports the industry, as well as the newly announced general partner of the Kronbars esports team. This platform provides users with a wide range of opportunities for buying and trading in-game items. Started as an IT startup, it now employs around 160 people. It has released eight products and has several offices in Russia – the main one being in St. Petersburg.
“Last year, the representatives of CS.MONEY got in touch with us and expressed their desire to collaborate with our students and graduates. We realized that this partnership might be beneficial for our esports section, and our students will get the chance to try themselves in the gaming industry. As a result, we agreed that we would promote the CS.MONEY brand, and they, in turn, would provide us with advanced technologies,” says Alisa Ivanova, an SMM manager of the Kronbars esports team.
ITMO University and CS.MONEY had already cooperated within some projects, for example, in a series of ITMO.cubs tournaments for ITMO applicants that took place in the summer of 2020. The CS:GO round then featured the company’s trademark.
The company will provide the team not only with its own esports uniform with the CS.MONEY logo but also with the needed devices such as computer mice and keyboards for the game.
During the games, ITMO’s esports team will wear the CS.MONEY merchandise and post promotional content on social media. ITMO University will also let CS.MONEY take an active part in various events related to the careers of future graduates.
Primarily, CS.MONEY positions itself as an employer and promotes itself on the market. According to Philip Losev, an HR manager at CS.MONEY, the company is mainly interested in finding promising employees among students of ITMO University.
“Our company has been on the market for only five years, and this is our first collaboration with a university. We spent a long time thinking about the ways to collaborate. We could hold lectures, help in creating new faculties, and so on – but our field is gaming, and that’s how we realized that esports is the best way to join forces,” he says.
Philip Losev thinks that it is easier to build an interaction with students from scratch: to come up with a new work process, immediately introduce them to the company, and get to know them firsthand, rather than do it through job search engines or third-party contacts.
The second goal of this partnership is to develop and support esports in Russia.
“We strive to support the youth, ITMO University, and esports in general, that’s why we decided to go with a common theme – something from our field,” he adds.
Alisa Ivanova is sure that it will help ITMO University to expand its field from IT to various other fields, including esports, and such partnerships will contribute to this process.
“For our club, it’s a great opportunity to be supported by such a major company. This makes it clear that we’re not just gaming amateurs but something more. It’s a new and rather serious step for us,” comments Alisa Ivanova. “As you can see from the news, our team is getting bigger. And our esports club, as well as ITMO University, has no analogs. This project is unique,” explains Alisa Ivanova.
Opportunities at CS.MONEY
CS.MONEY was initially focused on gaming purchases, and now it is developing in other fields related to the gaming industry. It has already launched educational services and plans to unite these products under a single brand in 2021.
The company is looking for those wishing to know more about esports and aims to strengthen the existing teams by coming up with new ideas.
“Students are great employees as they have a flexible approach, critical thinking, and soft skills that are more difficult to master than tech knowledge. These features help them remain demanded on the market. Moreover, most players are students, and they have many stimulating thoughts, approaches, and ideas for esports. That’s why students who work at our marketing department and are fans of esports often bring new fresh perspectives to our company,” comments Philip Losev.
According to him, the company is always looking for people who want to face new challenges and are ready to do something on their own. There are also priority fields and roles for potential employees. These are web services development, back-end and front-end, and testing. CS.MONEY also has a strong analytics department. There, they value not experience but logical thinking and understanding of advanced technologies.
However, according to the HR manager, they also focus on motivation as a key selection criterion. Those who are far from esports won’t be interested in the product; they will not be passionate about the work and won’t immerse themselves in the environment. Therefore, it’ll be difficult for them to work at companies related to this industry.
“As an employer, we want to be beneficial for our employees. We play an active role in the esports market and can share our first-hand experience with them, as well as our thoughts on IT careers. It’s important as people have stereotypes, fears, and expectations of the esports and IT industries,” comments Philip Losev.
Working in a new industry has numerous advantages, and one of them, according to Philip Losev, is the chance to start together with the field, work in flexibility and uncertainty, as well as constantly try new things – you can find it all in the esports industry.
“This is a job for proactive people who enjoy experiments. The esports industry has more tasks and faces more challenges on the business side than long-established fields. Global esports have not yet settled in our country the way it has in the West or Asia – but everything is happening gradually. We have to convey the ideas and value of esports to society, tell people that there are various competitions, good sponsorship, and media coverage – this is a full-fledged sport that, at the same time, is developing faster than others. Therefore, working with us is a challenge,” he concludes.
Esports at ITMO University
Alisa Ivanova stresses that esports is a fairly relevant yet biased field. It faces numerous stereotypes and today's task is to address them – and that’s what ITMO does.
“Despite the differences in the views of generations, everyone understands that youth is our driving force, and the university should adapt to its wishes and needs. I have to hand it to ITMO University and the Kronbars management that offers us a wide range of different formats. They support our ideas, don’t limit us, and understand that the main resource of the university is its students. They are the reason for the creation of such unique projects as Cyber Physical Culture,” she says.
The Cyber Physical Culture is a series of cybersports tournaments that allow students to receive extra points for their physical culture exam. Angelina Shulyakovskaya, public relations manager of ITMO's Physical Training and Sports Department, says that the project has recently been launched by the Kronbars club within the framework of the KRONBARS ONLINE program.
As part of the project, participants have developed their own platform for holding championships, shot a promo video with the Rector of ITMO University, held tournaments and training streams. In total, over 1,000 students studied Cyber Physical Culture.
“The project blew up the internet! Match TV, Championship, Cybersport, Lentach wrote about Cyber Physical Culture. Three broadcasts were aired on TV – in total, more than 130 media outlets talked about our project. It received coverage of about 4,000,000 people and the media index according to Medialogia data was 1931.00,” she says.
But the Kronbars don’t plan to stop there.
“The esports section prepares a great number of events that everyone will enjoy. The leading players of the national teams are determined to win tournaments. And I’m sure you’ll hear even more about cyberbars at ITMO and beyond. Keep updated!” concludes Alisa Ivanova.