By Paul Nicholson
January 8 – Olympique Lyonnais (OL) are the latest European Big 5 league club to formalise and expand its professional e-sports operation to compete under the club’s name on a variety of game platforms as well as the FIFA platform.
Joining with French eSports leaders LDLC Event, operator of Team LDLC for Groupe LDLC, the club said the new partnership “are now demonstrating a unique strategic commitment to French esports and will give the new team a major lift.
“In particular, OL Groupe will contribute its business acumen for developing partnerships and team performance and will also broadcast esport news to a wide audience through club media.”
the OL eSports team was launched in 2017 and plays in FIFA competitions, and won the Orange e-Ligue 1 French championship in 2018. Two OL eSports players, Aero and CocoVBastos, will play in the 2020 FIFA eClub World Cup. The OL team has also included Lyon EDG, a Chinese team composed of five top players who compete in the FIFA Online 3 – 4 circuit.
Team LDLC is the oldest, active professional esport team in France having been on the podium in more than 180 domestic and international competitions since launch in 2010. The team competes in a dozen different esports and has trained more than 30 currently active international professional players.
Groupe LDLC was founded in 1996, and is a leader in IT and high-tech e-commerce in France, employing more than 920 people and generating annual sales of €507.5 million. With the partnership launch the name of the team changes to LDLC OL and will be based at the heart of a brand new eSport facility in Lyon.
The LDLC OL professional esport team will play home matches played at the new esport facility expected to open in the first quarter of 2020 and housing the team’s training centre, in partnership with the Tony Parker Adéquat Academy.
A 16,000-seat arena opening near the Groupama Stadium is being designed to enable the expanded esports business to host major international esport competitions.
Laurent de la Clergerie, President of Groupe LDLC, said: “Entrepreneurship is like playing a video game. In both cases, you need tactics, anticipation, decision-making moxie, pleasure and passion. Like any player, I’m always looking to improve.”
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