After more than four years in multiple roles at ESforce Holding as CEO and media director, the company announced that Nikkolai Petrossian is leaving. His roles will be taken over by what the company calls a “management company” that will “ensure closer integration of the holding with its parent VK Play.” It is unclear from the Monday announcement from ESforce if Petrossian is stepping completely away or moving into a role at VK Play.
ESforce is the largest esports operator in the region; it currently owns Russian-language esports mass media company CYBERSPORT.RU, esports/gaming focused content creation studio RUHUB, tournament brand EPICENTER, esports tournament operator Epic Esports Events, Moscow-based esports venue Yota Arena, and its own internal esports marketing agency that services partners within the region.
In case you didn’t know, VK Play is part of VK, Russia’s largest social media network, or what some call Russia’s answer to Facebook. In October, VK announced that it had sold its gaming division–MY.GAMES–for an estimated $642M USD to focus solely on supporting its domestic VK Play service. At the end of September, VK suffered a major setback when Apple removed the app from its App Store globally, claiming that it was complying with British sanctions due to Russia’s activities in the ongoing war in Ukraine.