Video games: an international e-sport competition in Montpellier

the essential
The 2023 finals of “League Of Legends LEC”, a global event for e-sport, will take place in Montpellier this fall.

Is France becoming essential in the field of e-sport, the practice of a video game in competition alone or in a team? In any case, our country, which has 10.8 million Internet users aged 15 and over interested in e-sport, has strong ambitions. On January 16, the Ministers of the Economy (Digital Transition), Sports and Culture announced an ambitious action plan to “make France a great e-sport nation and give new impetus to the 2020-2025 esports strategy. » The actors of the sector approached presented their work around five objectives: to structure the ecosystem of e-sport; better support amateur practice and associations in the sector in the territories; remove the obstacles to the development of the practice in France; strengthen the capacity of the French ecosystem to host major international e-sport events; and finally, mobilizing the ecosystem to host Olympic Esports Week in France at the end of 2024, in the wake of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The hosting of major international competitions had already been mentioned by Emmanuel Macron last June. The Head of State had shown his desire to accelerate the structuring of the e-sport sector and strengthen its attractiveness, in particular through the hosting of new major international events, while announcing new major competitions in France, the ” Blast Major” in May 2023 and “Trackmania games” in 2024.

Montpellier: an obvious choice

To these competitions has just been added a new important meeting in Occitania: the 2023 finals of “League Of Legends LEC”, the most important international e-sport competition for the EMEA zone (Europe, Middle East and Africa). ), which will take place in Montpellier this fall. A powerhouse of the industry for more than a decade, League of Legends (LoL), the world’s most popular computer game, has played a major role in the popularity and professionalization of esports. The competitions attract not only the best teams in the world but also a large audience. In 2022, the LEC Summer Playoffs event held in Malmö, Sweden, brought together nearly 20,000 people from dozens of countries.

The choice of Montpellier seems obvious as the city has focused part of its economic development for more than 20 years on the cultural and creative industries sector, by hosting renowned schools in the field of video games and 3D animation, as well as as internationally renowned studios like Ubisoft, Blue Twelve and Fortiche. “We are proud to be able to host the League of Legends LEC Finals in the Occitanie Region and in Montpellier. A planetary event, which unites the youth of the entire EMEA region”, rejoiced the mayor of Montpellier Michaël Delafosse and the president of the Region Carole Delga.

“France has a huge base of hardcore LoL Esports fans. We are therefore delighted to return to this country for the first time since 2017 with the holding of our flagship event in Montpellier. The candidacy of this city and the Occitanie Region has proven to be very attractive, with a real passion and an unwavering commitment to the development of E-Sport”, declared Alberto Guerrero, director of e-sport for the EMEA region at Riot Games.

With this meeting, Occitanie, which accounts for 10.3% of French video game companies (125 companies, + 20% compared to 2018) and is the first region in number of “amateur e-sports” confirms thus its position in e-sports.