eSports has grown into a force of nature. The last decade has seen the industry rise and grow, seen greater opportunities, and more money be pumped into helping develop teams, strategies, and ways of engaging spectators. And, as it has grown the industry has also proven that it could be a force for good. The benefit of being able to cultivate players from anywhere in the world means that the fanbase exists digitally and across the planet. How does the latest spate of charitable donations reflect the founding principles of NaVi’s Counter-Strike: Global Operation (CS:GO) team – and how do they continue to do good?
In the semi-finals of Gamers Without Borders event, our CS:GO squad will play vs @FaZeClan!
⏰: 16:00 CEST
Match odds: https://t.co/uYU2cn4BAC#GWBPS #CS:GO #navination pic.twitter.com/JqPPFVECpn
— Natus Vincere (@natusvincere) May 30, 2020
CS:GO Team Win Big for Charity
The Natus Vincere – NaVi – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team put their gaming prowess to good use in May 2020 when they won the Gamers Without Borders $2 million charity CS:GO tournament. The $75,000 was donated to UNICEF. While the NaVi team has grown and developed since its inception a decade ago, the founding principles of philanthropy are clearly still there. The remainder of the $2 million won by the other teams was also donated to various charities, proving the altruistic power of eSports.
The next tournament is planned for June 2020 for FIFA 20. There are countless causes that need attention in the world, and it’s admirable that eSports have decided to give back. Given that the industry started properly a decade ago, it shows a shift in attitudes and values compared to companies and industries that have been around for longer. Being born into that way of life, as the eSports industry was, gives them a different set of values to work with compared to other forms of gaming and other industries.
117k Peak Viewers on Gamers Without Borders 2020 #CS:GO. @natusvincere vs @mousesports is the most popular match of the event. @GWBPS_Ar @GWBPS @SAFEISKSA
More stats:https://t.co/NbBq9WoBuf pic.twitter.com/oS7i2uYbtw
— Esports Charts ? Esports & Streaming statistics (@EsportsCharts) June 1, 2020
NaVi’s Philanthropic Past
NaVi burst into the eSports industry in 2009. Beneficiary of Murat “Arbalet” Zhumashevich’s generosity, a professional team was developed with a sponsorship and support. Back then, eSports was less accessible, and the founding of the organisation enabled players to train full-time in their games, without worrying about fitting it in with full working days.
The current NaVi CSGO team has a 57% win streak and have been seen as real contenders since around 2015. Using their success to give back helps honour the founding of the company and show the eSports industry has a commitment to altruism.
One of the main benefits of eSports compared to its traditional sports counterparts is that the barriers to success aren’t as limited. While sports stars have to be scouted and those in less affluent areas are often overlooked, there are fewer barriers when it comes to playing online. NaVi’s founder understood this and by offering sponsorships and financial support – such as airfare – they were able to nurture the very best, regardless of their backgrounds.
eSports is better placed to raise money for charity due to the reach that they can achieve. Streaming platforms like Twitch and the communities across social media can be mobilized to get messages out to more people and to spread positivity and consolidate help for various causes. eSports giving to charity in this way is emblematic of the modern world we live in and how digital companies are able to solve problems that were otherwise left unfixed.