VALORANT

Riot Games commits to esport in EMEA

Recently, Riot Games has released some information about its plans for esport VALORANT and League of Legends in the EMEA region. In particular, the studio unveiled the Riot Games Arenaa new show venue. With this site, Riot is making a further commitment to the development of esports.


The new Sports Arena from Riot Games

For several years now, the LEC Studio in Berlin hosts League of Legends EMEA Championship matches. This iconic venue is now drawing to a close, as it will no longer exist by 2024. In fact, it won't be disappearing altogether - the American group is simply giving it a facelift and a new name. Goodbye LEC Studio, hello Riot Games Arena.

Riot Games recently unveiled its plans for the future of esports in the EMEA region. The least we can say is that the company is thinking big. A good thing for the industry! Behind the studio's renovation lies Riot's desire to make it the best it can be. "a pioneering, flexible and dedicated esport facility, servicing all current and future Riot Games esports products hosted in the region". In future, the venue will be open not only to LoL fans, but also to fans of other Riot games.

From 2024, the site will be home to all LEC-related events at the Valorant EMEA League. And that's not all. The studio adds that various events, such as Ascension EMEA, competitions on TFT and the Masters EMEA, will also take place there.

When planning the renovation, we put the needs and desires of players and fans at the centre of our decisions. On site, we want to offer an experience that brings them into our worlds, immersing them more fully in the worlds of Riot Games. As a large proportion of our fans watch from home, we also needed to focus on the quality and diversity of our broadcasting and production to enhance their personal viewing experience.

Sarah Joynt BorgerHead of Media House for Riot Games EMEA.

Fans, whether they're there or behind their screens, will be able to enjoy an even more immersive and high-quality experience. Not only does Riot Games appear to have redesigned the entire stage, but will also improve the site's broadcasting and production capacityto keep everyone happy.

More than just a hardware upgrade, the Riot Games Arena is a large-scale project that will is part of a long-term approach. As explained by Alberto GuerreroHead of esport EMEA "The creation of a site of this scale demonstrates our long-term commitment to continuing to develop the future of esport in EMEA for our fans, teams and their players, and this site will enable us to achieve further success in the years to come."


Is France a major player in esport in Europe?

It is interesting to see that entities such as Riot Games are deploying colossal resources to perpetuate esport throughout the world. In reality, there are many other players who are doing their bit, particularly in France, a country where public interest in esport is growing year on year. According to France Esports Barometer figuresthe number of fans has risen from 7.8 million in 2020 to 10.8 million in 2022.

Today, France is even a breeding ground for talented teams and players. Some of these teams, such as Mandatory, Team Vitality, Gentle Mates and the iconic Karmine Corp.


Karmine Corp at the Evry-Courcouronnes Arena

Founded in 2020, Karmine Corp is now one of France's biggest sports clubs. You're probably familiar with the name, and with good reason: it is four-time EMEA Masters champion on League of Legends.

And let's face it, KCorp has not finished making France shine! Not only because it has acquired a slot in the LECBut above all because the group is investing even more in esports with an ambitious new project. As unveiled last September, the structure will move to the Agora Arena in Evry-Courcouronnes.

By welcoming the Karmine, the Arena will become "the first venue and largest esport centre to be managed by a public entity". A first for Europe, and it's happening in France!


And what about the government?

As you can see, France is already making a name for itself in esports, and could well become a major player in Europe in the future. Influencers and structures are not the only ones battling to make France an example in the field: the government is also making a commitment on its own scale.

In 2019, the "Assises de l'esport" (esport conferences) launched an initial reflection on the structuring of the French sports ecosystem. More recently, on 16 January 2023, the Ministers for Sport, Digital Transition and Culture announced that they wanted to speed things up in order to make the domain more attractive.

The Esport 2020-2025 strategy therefore focuses on four main points, all of which contribute to the same objective "To make France the European leader in this sector by 2025.. If you would like to know more about this subject, please refer to the dedicated article available at the official website.

  • Axis 1: Promote the development of responsible and socially valued sporting activities,
  • Area 2: Support the creation of a relevant training pathway, particularly for top-level players,
  • Area 3: Implement a policy to support the development of French esport players,
  • Priority 4: Promote the attractiveness of France, its regions and its esport ecosystem to players in the industry and investors,

We are already seeing some innovations in the region. For example, the Lycée Pierre de Coubertin Nancy - which already has a number of sports sections - opened the very first section dedicated to esport in France. There are only fifteen students in the class at the moment, but it's an encouraging first step!


Whether it's thanks to the investment of big groups like Riot Games, or to the actions of governments, coupled with those of content creators, it would seem that esport has a bright future ahead of it in Europe and beyond!

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