Roland-Garros e-sport version
To mark the 2018 edition of Roland-Garros, BNP Paribas is to open an international e-tennis tournament in collaboration with the Fédération Française de Tennis. This is a first for Grand Slam tournaments, and gives e-sport real credibility. In fact, electronic sport is now being truly recognised and it will even have a marginal presence at the 2018 Olympic Games.
It was obvious that BNP Paribas should be involved in the organisation of this e-sport competition alongside Roland-Garros, since the Roland-Garros E-Series by BNP Paribas was born out of a combination of two of the Group’s major commitments:
- BNP Paribas is the historical partner of tennis in all its forms, and its involvement increased in 2011 with the launch of We are tennis, which now has more than 2 million enthusiastic followers.
- The Group has made innovation and digital technologies an essential focus of its strategy.
E-sport is gaining ground
Formerly regarded as a solitary activity, often associated with laziness and lack of physical effort, e-sport is now experiencing growing success throughout the world, to such an extent that sporting bodies at the highest level are starting to take an interest: in Europe, some major football teams have their own e-sport programmes and the International Olympic Committee has recently declared that electronic sport competitions “could be considered as a sporting activity, [because] the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports”.
It therefore appears that e-sport increasingly resembles other so-called “traditional” sporting activities: with competitions in packed stadia, support teams, star players on exorbitant incomes, etc. An e-gaming school “specialising in e-sport businesses” has even opened in Paris.
In November 2018, in Beijing, a live e-sport competition was attended by 40,000 spectators… and by more than one hundred million internet users!
An international final on 25 May
The Roland-Garros E-series by BNP Paribas is an international tournament: qualifying took place in as many as 8 countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Tennis World Tour, at the heart of the tournament
The virtual encounters of the Roland-Garros E-Series by BNP Paribas are organised using the “Tennis World Tour” game from publisher Big Ben, sponsored by Gaël Monfils. Participants will have the chance to play on a virtual clay court in Roland-Garros colours on a preview demo version of the game, whose eagerly-awaited official release date is 22 May 2018.
In France, more than 500 entries were recorded in the first week. Eventually, 64 participants selected at random from among the hundreds of entries took part in the qualifying tournament organised in Paris on 25 April. The next stage for the winner: the grand final on 25 May, between 8 finalists from the 8 national tournaments.
This final will take place at Roland-Garros at the same time as the official launch of the Tennis World Tour game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC, and in the presence of the game sponsor Gaël Monfils.
The final will also be broadcast live on Francetvsport.fr.
45 years of commitment
For the last 45 years, BNP Paribas has been the partner of world tennis. This historic commitment is reflected in a variety of initiatives celebrating tennis in all its forms: tournaments, fan academies, solidarity programmes, etc. BNP Paribas works side-by-side both with beginners and with the biggest world tournaments, supporting singles and doubles, wheelchair, family and university tennis… and now virtual tennis.