Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into ESI’s international esports business events taking place around the world. The next event, ESI London, takes place September 5-7th in BOXPARK Wembley.
France has slowly become one of Europe’s most talked about countries when it comes to esports. French president Emmanuel Macron has publicly praised the esports industry and has stated that he wants esports to take part in the 2024 Paris Olympics – in some way, shape or form.
In recent years, the French scene has also developed a strong regional following, particularly within League of Legends and for teams such as Karmine Corp. In fact, the country’s regional League of Legends competition, the LFL, recorded over 220,000 peak viewers at one point during the Spring 2022 season.
France also has a long history of developing world-class players across a range of titles. Retired Dota 2 superstar Sébastien ‘Ceb’ Debs is the only French player to win The International, taking the title consecutively in 2018 and 2019 with OG. French Team Vitality CS:GO duo Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire and Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut, among many other French players, have been highly regarded in the scene for years. Team Envy has also previously fielded wildly successful French rosters.
Given the country’s development structure within League of Legends, it’s no surprise to see the title have multiple rising talents in the scene. Vincent ‘Vetheo’ Berrié, Loïc ‘toucouille’ Dubois, Steven ‘Hans sama’ Liv and Jean ‘Jezu’ Massol have already started to make names for themselves in both Europe and North America. Moreover, players such as Bora ‘YellOwStaR’ Kim and Paul ‘sOAZ’ Boyer have attached themselves to European League of Legends history.
France also sees deep success in Rocket League, most notably through Team BDS and Team Vitality. Team BDS’ all-French roster won the RLCS 2021-22 World Championship, and more French players have Rocket League World Championship titles than any other country, as of publication.
France’s competitive success across titles is clear, but what makes the country even more attractive is its growing and passionate fanbase, along with new structures being developed to bolster its scene. Trust Esport, the first esports-specific venture fund in France, was launched in 2018 with the purpose to invest in startups focusing on services that improve esports and gaming. The fund was founded by esports entrepreneur Matthieu Dallon, who co-founded esports platform Toornament.com, and also founded non-profit federation France Esports alongside the French Ministry of Economy. While certainly not lacking professional players or teams, France is highlighting that industry developments aren’t always done on the competitive level.
Government support underpins France’s passion for esports. Highlighting the economic impacts of esports, the French government officially recognised esports as a national sport through the French Digital Republic Law in 2016. A year later, two more national decrees increased the government’s stance on esports.
French President Emmanuel Macron has also spoken highly and supportively of esports and France’s success within the discipline.
Notable Tournaments & Leagues
France has a notably successful domestic League of Legends league, the LFL, as well as major S-tier events like the League of Legends World Championship 2019.
Notable Esports Organisations
Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.
National Association(s) / Federation(s)
Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.
Despite its general support for the scene, the government has not made a push towards incorporating education into esports.
However, in August 2020, Team Vitality launched Vitality School to provide online esports training courses for 12-17-year-olds during the school holidays.