Roland-Garros marks tennis’ entry in esports at French Open

26 March 2018


Roland-Garros, the organiser behind the French Open, is going to be hosting tennis’ first esports competition: Roland-Garros e-series by BNP Paribas. As you’d expect by the name, it’ll be sponsored by the French Open’s main partner, BNP Paribas.

Kicking off in April, the event will span over multiple countries – including France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Germany, China, India, and Brazil. The title players will compete on is Tennis World Tour, a game by Bigben Interactive that’s yet to be released. The winners from each qualifier will find themselves in the finals at Roland-Garros on May 25, during the French Open. Playing on a demo version of a game is relatively unheard of, especially when it’s being played as part of a worldwide competition.

The tournament is said to be part of a renewal of the partnership between BNP Paribas and the French Tennis Federation. The former has secured its role as the official sponsor of the French Open until 2021 at least, and will be supporting the tournament via “various digital projects and international activations.”

There’s no word on the prize pool or terms and conditions of the upcoming tournament just yet, which is probably due to the parties involved not formally announcing their plans. Tennis is just yet another major sport that’s starting to embrace esports. The NHL Gaming World Championship is on the way, and the NBA 2K League is rapidly approaching.

Esports Insider says: Tennis is of course a huge sport, and the French Open (one of the Grand Slams) gets a consistently solid viewership but we are a little perplexed at this decision to launch a competition using a demo for an as yet unreleased game. The hope is that all goes well and that it encourages other tennis stakeholders, and those from other sports, in further esports engagements.