Esports: entrepreneurship wins the game

Esports: entrepreneurship wins the game
Esports: entrepreneurship wins the game

Everything happens online but the success is very real. In one year, the esports sector, which includes competition organizers, professional teams, service providers, content producers and broadcasters, saw its revenues double, reaching 141 million turnover. Good health which entrepreneurs are pleased with, like the leader in France, Karmine Corp, present in the games League of Legends and Fornite. “Gaming doesn’t make people stupid! On the contrary: it makes them passionate and creative. It’s a market where we start almost from zero, there is everything to do.”, enthuses its CEO, Arthur Perticoz.

With nearly 11.8 million players or consumers in France, companies must compete in ingenuity to satisfy players. According to the CIC Esport Observatory with Harris Interactive, 80% of French people consider that the sector is at the forefront of innovation and that it has nothing to envy of traditional industries. An issue at the heart of the CIC Esport Days 2024, organized on May 21 and 22 in Paris. “Banker of one in three SMEs in France, CIC has entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in its DNA. We were one of the pioneering partners of the esports sector, recognizing early its potential as a true industry rich in opportunities”, greets its deputy general director, Claude Koestner.

A bet that makes more than one enthusiast dream: 48% of them are ready to consider getting into esports. “We are creating a sport around a passion that touches most French people. The market is enormous,” explains Alexandre Malsch, winner of the Entrepreneur prize at the CIC Esport Makers Awards. After creating Melty, the first French global digital media group for millennials, he is now at the head of FULLIFE, a streetwear brand aimed at all video game enthusiasts. According to him, esports is one of the most accessible sports: “There are players who go from their bedroom to the stadium!”

Among the key players, independent content creators occupy a decisive place, thanks to the enthusiasm of their online community. One of them, Marc Lesage Moretti, displays a journey that runs counter to classic trajectories: a former trader at Goldman Sachs who became a master (0.5% of the world’s best players) on the game League of Legends, he now runs his company of content creation, Jokariz Corporation. “Everything is possible thanks to platforms. It’s a technological and economic revolution.”

While on American soil the sector is slowing down, France is doing well and remains ahead of its European neighbors. A round table on this subject during the CIC Esport Days provided arguments for this thesis. “We have strong teams, present on the international scene and infrastructures which allow us to host large-scale events”, specifies Bathilde Lorenzetti, vice-president of Paris La Défense Arena, which welcomed nearly 30,000 fans in September 2023 at a Karmine Corp. event.

“And brands continue to invest,” adds Kelly Marini, co-founder of ZQSD Productions.

To succeed in your entrepreneurial project, experts recommend knowing how to get support and not moving too quickly. “Be careful of projects with high technological dependence and data that does not belong to you” warns Matthieu Dallon, founder of the Trust Esport VC Fund, the first investment fund dedicated to the seeding of esports startups. Will the next French unicorn come from esports? “I wish them!” says Denis Masséglia, Renaissance deputy and president of the video game study group at the National Assembly. Esports has a bright future ahead of it.

Sources: CIC Esport Observatory with Harris Interactive | Esports Economic Observatory 2024 | France Esports Barometer 2023

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