eSport in Paris

Posted by NEWS BOT 23. September 2018 in generalTravel

I fortunately had the chance to visit one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and used my time there to check out the most interesting ESport locations.

The Meltdown Bar in Paris

The first stop on my journey was the so-called „Meltdown Bar“. The Meltdown Franchise offers gaming themed bars all over the world and acts as a nice location for many gaming enthusiasts.
I grabbed a cold (and for Paris quite cheap) beer and sat down onto one of many need-for-seat branded gamer seats where I started a game of CS:GO. The staff was very friendly and I met some other passionate gamers with whom I had some interesting talks about the gaming scene in France. The walls were cluttered with many big flat-screen tvs streaming some Overwatch tournament which made the whole atmosphere more enticing and tense.

If you want to check out the whole concept of the Meltdown Franchise you can find their website here.

FlyView Paris

Even if this location has no direct relations with gaming itself, one can still see the huge improvements and the fast evolution of VR tech. FlyView Paris uses HTV Vive goggles and a jetpack like construction with motion effects to create an illusion of flying through and over Paris. The shown 360° videos were ccaptured by a drone which flew over all important sights of this beautiful city. Even though the entry fee of 15€ was not really cheap for the considerably short experience, I personally do think this attraction is a step in the right direction and shows one of the many possibilities of virtual reality.

MeetUp with France ESports

On my last day in Paris, I met the Vice-President of France Esports, Nicolas Besombes, who represents the so-called players-committee. The location for our „MeetUp“ was a small café called „le Gurü“. At first glance, this place does not seem to have any obvious relations with the Esport-scene, but the café has far more connections to this topic than one might think. The two owners of „le Gurü“ are involved deeply in the French esports scene and their restaurant is kind of a secret spot for many gamers.

First of all, Nicolas told me about the difference between the Austrian eSports Association (ESVÖ) and the one in France. France Esports is not a federation (as they don’t organize nor regulate championships and tournaments).
Their main objectives are

  • to bring together all the major stakeholders of the french esports industry (i.e. the players, the publishers and they called the promoters: leagues organizers, teams, specialized media, etc.);
  • to promote and structure the esports ecosystem (from local to national and from grassroots to high-level/pro);
  • to be the main point of contact for the national public authorities (government, ministry, cities, etc.). In France Esports there are three committees: one for the players, one for the promoters, and one for the publishers. It is very important for them to keep in contact with the publishers. They decide together about upcoming tournaments and other events and they get supported by them. „If you are planning to host a tournament without the awareness of a publisher about it, it can lead to some serious problems“, Nicolas stated. Of course, not many Associations have the same kind opportunities like French ESports: Many big publishers like Ubisoft, Bethesda or Activision are French and therefore they have fewer communication problems.

This is also a reason why France ESports is not a member of the International eSports Federation (IeSF): „We keep in contact with the IeSF and support them and also our decision is not final, but at this moment we can’t join the IeSF with their status. Publishers are indeed not part of the IeSF and we think a permanent arrangement and communication is important. Also, some members of the IeSF aren’t non-profit organizations“, which France Esports might think should be a condition to join the IeSF. Still, France Esports has strong direct relations with Germany, and Switzerland and many other countries.

Also, the Esports scene, in general, has a different value for public institutions: Even though Esports is not recognized as a real sport in France (more as an industry since the regulation is operated by the State Secretary of Digital and the Ministry of Economy), there is much official support from the public services. That kind of help from the authorities brings many benefits with it: As an example, France Esports took the initiative to inform the government about several legal issues which led to helping the organizers of events. The Association even sets up some events to talk to the local people about the health and social challenges of sports, about the clichés and about racial- and diversity problems. „My dream is to bring Esports into the schools to educate people about gaming“ Nicolas declared.

France has many famous and great Esport teams: The four most important teams, in my opinion, are LDLC Esports, Vitality, Gamers Origin and Paris Saint-Germain.
The president of France Esports, Stéphan Euthine, also has a major role in Team LDLC as he is the director and Co-Owner of the team. Nicolas also noted that France Esports is well connected to all its members, and Teams are a very important part of it. Even if the mentioned teams are the best and most popular in France, also the smaller teams and all persons who contribute to the scene are very valuable to the Association.

I asked Nicolas about upcoming tournaments and events and he told me there are many big LAN Partys, not in Paris, but spread all over France. The City of Paris is very keen on seeing big esports events hosted there and therefore very supportive of this topic. We are excited and are going to observe the situation 🙂

I am very happy I had the opportunity to talk to Nicolas and hope to hear more about France Esports in the future.

Nicolas Besombes, Vice-President of France Esports, and Martin