Esport: in France Valorant definitely takes off

What if it was finally time to take off Enhance in France ? Almost two years after its release, Riot Games’ shooter, after a fledgling start, is now hitting audience records for its French competitions. A resurgence of enthusiasm that bears the seal of two teams launched by influencers: Adrien “ZeratoR” Nougaret’s Mandatory and, above all, Karmine Corp. The ultra popular structure founded by streamer Kamel “Kameto” Kebir launched the game in early May and he is currently leading the Regional League France: Revolution, whose third week continues this Tuesday (6pm). In its wake, an entire scene is drawn upwards.

130,000 spectators for Karmine’s debut

Expected since its release in 2020 as one of the future heavyweights in eSports, Enhance, although acclaimed by many professional players and already popular in the United States or Asia, he had so far struggled to completely seduce the French public. Last November, despite the Vitality heavyweight win, the Open Tour France final had only garnered 11,000 worshipers on Twitch. On 10 May, for the first week of the French championship, two days after the officialization of the Karmine team, there were 130,000.

“To be honest, the entry of KCorp, along with those of other teams, it was obvious that it would at least triple our opinions, breathes Emma “Emash” Beziaud Le Pochat, French commentator of the competition. But we didn’t expect him to score like that … “ Run in tournaments League of Legendsable to fill entire rooms for their team, organized and very active on social networks, the alleged ultras replied once again.

“The game entered the field of view of the French public by the influencers”, analyzes Arthur “pm” Guillermet. Former Vitality coach, it was he who built the KC project in recent weeks, looking for “Promising French speakers who stick to the team’s values”. It is therefore at the forefront to see the growing enthusiasm for Enhance in France. “There have been various reconstructions from right to left, but the real story is Karmine. The other major factor is that the championship is very homogeneous, there are many good posters. “

The pioneers of Obbligatorio

Before the KC-generated May recovery, the road had already been cleared by Mandatory. Founded in January by streamer ZeratoR, creator of the Trackmania Cup or Zlan and passionate Enhance, the structure had begun to highlight the French-speaking scene, despite the mediocre results. Reinforced in the transfer window, he intends to play the leading roles this season and build a rivalry with Karmine … Even if after several days of intense talk on the networks, the first confrontation between the two teams ended clearly (13 -1) of the latest arrivals.

“There is a rivalry between the great streaming experts that is created through Valuing, Emash advances. This leads to emulation between communities, which are not necessarily interested in the base game. ZeratoR, his girlfriend competed Enhance and he plays too, Kameto is very curious and has played, so they are both very enthusiastic. “ For newbies, influencers are also an accessible gateway to competition. “This is one of the advantages, they are good at explaining details without being very technical, complete Damien “HyP” Souville, Captain of the Mandate. My parents watch the streaming of ZeratoR and even though he screams a lot they can understand what he is saying. “

Between the teams created by influencers and Valorant, marriage had everything to work: while it is not necessarily very readable to inexperienced eyes, the game was meant to develop competitions on it. “Also, since the scene is still new, creating a team still doesn’t cost much, lights up HyP. Since Riot Games is behind the game and they have already proven themselves League of Legends, we can expect them to do crazy things. There is already a European championship, a world championship and, above all, do not forget the lower levels, contrary to what Blizzard did on Watch over For instance. “

A start of the LFL trajectory

For Riot, the challenge now is to capitalize on this new audience, so that the competitive circuit becomes a long-term project. “Offering a good show every week will allow us to find a lasting audience, assures Emash. These newcomers are fans who are very interested in eSports. It is bound to drip. “ To a lesser extent, the French Regional League may dream of a path to the LFL (the French League of League of Legends), which saw its ratings explode in early 2021 with the arrival of KCorp and has remained at a very stable level ever since.

Obviously, the good sporting performance of the French-speaking locomotives, starting with the Karmine, should play a decisive role in the success of the championship. “If the results are there, then there is a story to tell. And if there is a story to tell, you can win any heart, without it joining the game, I assure pm. And if we win in France, behind, there is the equivalent of the European Masters (the European second division, which Karmine has won three times in the League of Legends)… “ With KCorp, history is often an eternal beginning.

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