Monolith Gaming – an eSports force to be reckoned with
In May 2017, Skoltech announced the launch of its eSports Academy.
Just over a year later, the initiative has taken on a life of its own – it has signed up a full roster for its professional team Monolith, moved into a Skolkovo-based residential village for Russian eSports teams, and even developed a research initiative that will convert the player experience into an array of useful scientific data.
The organizers have busied themselves in recent months with gathering a team of world-class players and a coach to bring out the best in each of them.
Enter Rustam Tsagolov. Upon graduating from Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Tsagolov took a job as a junior coach with Gambit, which is perhaps Russia’s most famous eSports team. He spent a year and a half training the team as a junior coach while they prepared for matches in Russia and abroad, and then decided it was time to pursue loftier professional endeavors – namely, a head coaching position.
Tsagolov promptly set about scouting players with the potential to rise to the top of the growing international eSports scene. He found a group of five guys in their early- to mid-twenties who had a strong, if under-resourced, gaming track record together, and who were eager to embrace the fulltime professional gaming lifestyle.
Monolith has set up shop in the so-called eSports Village – brand new cottages located within the Skolkovo Innovation Center. They spend a portion of the day honing their individual skills before switching gears for remote practice competitions against teams from around the world, after which they focus on developing new tactics and methods.
“It’s like this all day, every day, five days a week,” Tsagolov explained. “On the sixth day, we often participate in formal competitions. And while they technically have the seventh day off, they still spend most of their time on their off day playing and training.”
All the while, Tsagolov tracks their progress with meticulously detailed tables and graphs that festoon the main gaming room.
The esports organization now fields two teams: a Counter-Strike:Global-Offensive roster, as well as a League of Legends one.