In Castle Throne esport, League of Legends, the famous MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena, type of video game) published by Riot Games. During 2010, “LoL” gradually established itself as the world number one in esports, with the World Championship final being the highlight of the year on average, as well as 664.16 million watch hours (excluding China) in 2021 according to the Agency for Statistical Analysis Esport Charts.
In France, mayonnaise is taken of course, and it is the game that benefits from the most regulated ecosystem, from its vast competitive circuit to the professionalization of its distribution, mostly guaranteed, on Twitch, by OTP (One Trick Production).
OTP is an audiovisual production company responsible for broadcasting almost all the major competitions in the game: European Championships, South Korea, World Championships… – European Cup for the segment that is organized twice a year among the best teams in each national league. The competition is currently ongoing and three French teams are still participating: LDLC OL, Vitality Bee and Karmine Corp.
Tell us a lot of stories
But the OTP is above all a band of about ten “commentators” (commentators) who are now iconic in the eyes of society. Omar da Fonseca, Yuan Rio or Julian Vibro are a way to play sports like Fabian “Chips” Cole, Charles “Noé” Lapassat, or Kevin “Twicks” Remy, to name a few, for esports (in League of Legends).
Like their traditional sports counterparts, they comment, excite and bring matches to life, as well as restore pre- and post-match analytics, with a wealth of esports-specific impressions – and vocabulary completely incomprehensible to beginners.
Between passion, humor, expertise and (a touch of) chauvinism, the OTP “crew” has earned the loyalty of its fans for contributing to the development of League of Legends in France. As a result, LoL is thriving and remains the most popular game in France by “amateur esports”, with 76% of them watching its competitions, according to the France Esports Barometer 2021. “I think we shared the interest in the game, because many people have discovered it thanks to us, “Chips, 32, who has been on hold for ten years, is giving an eternity to the industry.
On leur a donné des raisons de regarder le jeu, de s’y accrocher… Et on a raconté plein d’histoires qui font que, pour les gens , c’est devenu quelque chose qui a été ancré en eux, qui leur a amené memories.”
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Like much of the OTP team, and in particular Noe, his lifelong assistant, Chips made his debut on O’Gaming, the former main broadcaster of LoL in France. The departure of these major esports figures from Web TV, which was announced in October 2020, has left thousands of viewers orphans. Even the announcement with great fanfare of the launch of the OTP, two months later: a few days after its opening in January 2021, the channel had already gathered 120,000 spectators, for the start of the LFL. Competition record.
Peak at 300,000 spectators
“I am convinced that our strength lies in our desire to always connect via OTP as a group of talented friends who share a passion,” analyzes Antoine Rabhi, the company’s president in charge of the commercial segment. Thus, the channel finds its formula, maintains its audience, and last spring it ruffled counters again on the occasion of the European Masters final, gathering nearly 300,000 spectators.
A new record driven largely by the presence of the very famous Carmine Korb from singer Kamal “Kamito” great in this final. “We were a little lucky to get into a game like League of Legends, with the world championships, and a lot of streamers participating in the popularity of the game, Chips said. We cleared the way, but there are a lot of people involved in building the building.”
According to the announcer, these characters are exactly what other games lack to compete with League of Legends’ dominance. “French broadcasting on LoL is very dynamic, in particular due to the fact that we have a lot of great influencers, he analyzes. People need references and personalities to follow. If it doesn’t happen that often in other disciplines, there won’t be huge audience catalysts and people who will make sure that Unify the scene on high numbers.”
When the esport stirs the crowds
Karmine Corp’s young French team built a base of “Ultras” supporters in less than two years, becoming a true phenomenon in the sector. We saw it during the rematch against Gerard Pique’s team on January 8 in Paris.
To support his point, Chips takes the example of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is ranked number two in the world according to Esport charts (410.8 million hours watched outside China in 2021) which also has a dense and organized international circuit… but struggles to generate the same Enthusiasm: “There are no big Counter-Strike influencers in France, however the game is exciting to follow, there’s a great scene, great players…”
see what comes out
With its audience and experience, is the OTP intended to contribute to the emergence of these smaller viewers? “Doing something else is always at the back of our minds, we look at what comes out, we don’t hold ourselves back, emphasizes Antoine Rabhi, who remembers that the OTP is working with the Pro Football League to produce eLigue1 on FIFA. But we believe that the necessary conditions to be met are many. Very, the right game, with the community, at the right time…”
Chips supports: “If we can take part in initiatives that go in this direction, we will always be happy to do so, and then, I don’t get up in the morning and say to myself ‘I have to make sure that the esport shines more.
Today’s Web TV priority remains “maintaining that momentum of enthusiasm” that defines the broadcaster, who plans to release its own streams from time to time to have its own “little personal platform”. The team also wishes to perpetuate “watching parties” with its fans, as it did with about thirty of them in Paris on April 2-10 during the finals of the Korean and European Championships. And it plans to export to comment, right away, on some competition, Longtime Chips wishes: “This remains one of our OTP goals, it’s something we want to do, we’ve never been able to do in ten years of picking!”