France Is On All In On eSports

FRANCE IS ALL IN ON ESPORTS

Legia eSports Cup (Photo: Qwatti eSports )

TNL Take:  The convergence of Pro Sports and eSports is only accelerating.  A day doesn’t go by without more Pro Teams and eSports investment.

Another example is the Legia eSports Cup 2016 Tournament which took place recently with 10 European Pro Football clubs.

The Next Level and eSports Daily News partnered for an Exclusive interview with Pedro Honório Silva, Qwatti eSports Agency founder and Legia eSports Cup 2016 Tournament organizer about the event.

Let’s start with France’s eSports investment and then move to the Legia eSports Cup.

 

/01 PRO TEAM INVESTMENT

TNL eSports Infographic 016: Pro Teams eSports Investment (Graphic: The Next Level) 

If Europe is taking the lead in eSports infrastructure development, then France is spearheading that effort.

After last week’s signing of an eSports FIFA Athlete Adrien Viaud, France’s League 1 takes the lead for EU Pro Sports team investment with four teams: Paris St.-Germain, AS Monaco, Olympic Lyonnaiss and now FC Nantes.

They're moving so quickly I need to edit the chart again and add OL.


/02 ESPORTS LEAGUE

Last month, EA and France's League 1 announced a partnership to create an eSports league centered around the 20 teams in League 1.

With EA Sports FIFA handling the tournament infrastructure, each of the 20 teams would get 1 eSports Athlete per both Xbox and PlayStation platforms for a total of 40 Athletes.

Just as EA is helping PSV Eindhoven select their FIFA eSports Athlete, EA will now be doing the same for e-Leauge 1.@qwattiesports 

This shouldn’t be surprising.

As 20 EU teams have now signed eSports Athletes and made investments in Teams, the Publishers will naturally try to get even a bigger slice of the eSports pie.

 

/03 GOVERNMENT BODY

France and eSports (Photo: Reuters)

France's Secretary of State Axelle Lemaire announced the formation of a government sponsored “France eSports” federation.

France eSports will act as the industry’s representative body and be the official “partner for all matters relating to eSports".


/04 BROADCASTING

Canal Plus and ESL (Photo: ESL)

2016 Legia Cup (Photo: Qwatti eSports)

Yes this was in Poland but look at the French teams involved.

Another example is the recent Legia eSports Cup 2016 Tournament which took place two weeks ago with 10 European Football club participation.

The Next Level and eSports Daily News partnered for an Exclusive interview with Pedro Honório Silva, Qwatti eSports Agency founder and Legia eSports Cup 2016 Tournament organizer about the event.

Q: Legia FIFA Tournament took place recently in Warsaw on Nov 5th and 6th.  How did you manage to organize this first European event?

PH : My partner and I created Qwatti 18 months ago and we knew at the time that Pro clubs were going to invest in eSports. Honestly, it went faster than what we expected. We’ve been working on the idea to promote eSports & Pro Sports and to organize tournaments like the one which took place in Warsaw in partnership with the Legia football club. I have to send a big word of appreciation for Legia’s Marketing Director, Wiktor Cegła, who invested a lot in this event and was an excellent host.

 

Q: For this event, there were only players represented by Professional teams vs. traditional eSports teams. Why was that?

PH: eSports is not a new thing in Europe. Sports franchises began getting into eSports slowly last year and now everyone is moving in very quickly to the point that now it’s pretty much mainstream.

Qwatti also works very closely with Pro Teams with their business strategy and wanted to showcase what an Event like this could look like without the normal eSports teams.

Another big factor was that ESWC (eSports World Convention) just recently happened and we didn’t want to duplicate that. We wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before.

 

Q: What is Qwatti and what teams do you work with?

PH: Qwatti is an eSports Agency which aims to assist Sports Franchises get into eSports by providing services like Event Management, eSports presence creation, Partnership Acquisition and Player Representation. We currently work with Pro Sports organizations in Europe, namely:

  • Sporting Clube de Portugal
  • Schalke 04
  • Legia Warsaw
  • We also work with eSports teams like Splyce, who we represent in Europe.

 

Q: What are your thoughts on EA and their partnership with League 1 and the FIFA eSports League?

PH: We believe this is an important step in the right direction. Our expectation is that, with time, more and more countries will start doing their own FIFA League, to somehow mimic the Pro Football leagues. This will be key for FIFA development, hence the involvement of EA, but also to the development of eSports within Pro Sports Franchises.

 

Q: Why have 15+ European Pro Teams have made investments in eSports and yet 0 US MLS teams have entered the space?

PH: Football is by far the biggest sport in Europe. Sporting Portugal, for example, has been around for over 110 years. 

The Pro Team digital strategy also seems to be a bit more mature in Europe than the US. I think both of those factors have contributed to why European Football teams have taken the lead.

Pro Clubs are starting to understand that this is a perfect angle to reach new market segments like Millennials.

 

Q: What were some of the engagement numbers from the Legia Sports Cup?

PH: Over the course of the 2-day event, we had a total of over 1M Views globally, on 4 different broadcasting platforms, and 43,000+ total hours watched on Twitch.

The highest Max viewers during the event was 11,000 people watching the final game.[PS2] 

The event was also covered by 5 different TV channels in Poland, 100+ journalists requested accreditation and had covered in 20+ countries.

 

Q: It’s amazing that you got a Non-Endemic Brand like Doubletree to Sponsor the Event. How did they participate?

PH: The Doubletree in Warsaw is one of the most popular hotels in the area. They covered the accommodation costs for all eSports Athletes a Sponsorship deal around the overall Event.

Not only did they have full Branding associated with the Legia Sports Cup but had exposure at the Event itself as well.

In fact, when we were leaving, the Polish National Football Team was coming in to stay. That was pretty cool.


Q: It’s amazing that you got a Non-Endemic Brand like Doubletree to Sponsor the Event. How did they participate?

PH: The Doubletree in Warsaw is one of the most popular hotels in the area. They covered the accommodation costs for all eSports Athletes a Sponsorship deal around the overall Event.