The French eSports sector, these online video game competitions, seeks to structure itself to promote this new discipline internationally and to position itself in particular at major international events that attract thousands of fans. The draft action plan was presented on 16 January and includes an international component.
They are called Couterstrike, League of legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, Fifa…. They are one of the most popular games in the world of eSports, which have millions of fans around the world, young and old, as well as an entire ecosystem of game publishers, competition organizers, sponsors, suppliers of various equipment. A booming sector that is starting to gain momentum economically and financially, including in France.
This is why President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed last June his desire to accelerate the structuring of the esports sector and increase its attractiveness, in particular through the hosting of new major international events. On this occasion, he announced new major competitions in France: “Blast Major” in May 2023 and “Trackmania games” in 2024.
Five goals and a specific plan of action
No fewer than three ministers have set to work, led by Amelie Oudéa-Castera, Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Jean-Noel Barrot, Minister Delegate for Digital Transition and Telecommunications, and Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture. by organizing consultations with members of this ecosystem, diverse groups formed by representative esports organizations including France Esports, sports teams, event organizers, a syndicate of leisure software publishers, private partners, the media, the sports movement, the Paris 2024 organizing committee, local governments and civil services and others
On January 16 at the Maison de l’Esport, during a seminar organized by the Ministry of Sports, the results of this work, which has been carried out since September, were presented in accordance with five main objectives, according to the official press release:
– structure the esports ecosystem;
– it is better to support amateur performances and associations in the industry in the territories;
-remove obstacles to the development of practice in France;
– to strengthen the capacity of the French ecosystem to host major international eSports events;
– mobilize the ecosystem for the Olympic Esports Week in France at the end of 2024, after the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.
Towards a national structure
An action plan has been adopted. Among the concrete actions that will be taken in the short term, we note the launch of a prototype mission to create a national structure aimed at piloting and implementing a national esports strategy, which should take stock in the summer of 2023. .
In addition, mapping of esports players will be carried out in order to make existing territorial structures more identifiable, promote associations, promote interaction and synergy between players (including sports clubs).
Finally, regional esports chapters will be established in two to four pilot regions (including the southern region) with the appointment of a territorial delegate in each of them and the signing of a tripartite agreement between the state, France Esports and the region concerned. .
Bid Committee led by Mathieu Pesche
Another priority of this action plan is to strengthen the international dynamism of France, embodied in its competitions, its leading or expanding companies, its video games, its teams, and to promote its international appeal by publishing an inter-ministerial instruction allowing the use of the “world famous” talent passport for athletes high level.
Finally, on January 16, a bid committee was set up to host the Olympic Esports Week in France at the end of 2024. It will be co-managed by the National Olympic and Sports Committee of France, the Inter-Ministerial Delegation for Major Sports Events, Paris&Co. – eSports and with the participation of the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee. He was responsible for developing and presenting the project to the public in the spring of 2023, simultaneously with the specifications of the IOC and the scope of the event. . Mathieu Pesche, Vitality’s Counter-Strike Team Manager and Rio 2016 bronze medalist, will be coordinating this committee.
“According to the direction given by the President of the Republic, this morning’s seminar will accelerate the structuring of the sector in the coming months, as well as the development of practices in the territories,” commented Amélie Udea-Kastera. joint communiqué of the three ministers. And after the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, we will aim to have an Olympic Esports Week at the end of 2024 to further strengthen the bridges between sports and esports.”
“France, in order to shine, must increase its attractiveness in eSports,” said Jean-Noel Barraud for his part. From 2023, we will show that the country is the host of major international esports events. We will make this possible, in particular, by making it easier for high-level athletes to use the Talent Passport. At the same time, we will carry out work to identify obstacles to the economic development of the sector in order to eliminate them, and we will support the strengthening of the economic model of professional teams, moving towards better supervision of online competitions.”
To be continued…