“Esports Takes to Another Level”: When the Karmine Corp Fills and Burns the Accor Arena

A first in many ways. On Tuesday night, it wasn’t music fans or basketball supporters flocking to the Accor Arena, but thousands of ultras who came to defend the colors of their team, Karmine Corp, and their discipline, l e-sport. In a sold-out crowd, 12,000 spectators took their seats for the second edition of his “KCX”, a show lasting more than 3h30, hosted by the two leaders of the organization, the streamer Kameto and the rapper Prime. On the program are two official matches of “Valorant” and “League of Legends” interspersed with a musical interlude.

Hours before the doors open, hundreds of white and black KCorp jerseys parade in the forecourt of the legendary theater in Paris’ 12th arrondissement. These lucky few obtained places for at least 40 euros on June 10, eleven days before the event. Inside, the mood begins to rise. The first part of this KCorp-stamped evening is devoted to a game “Valorant”, a first-person shooter (or FPS) video game, in which Karmine takes on the Vitality team.

An atmosphere worthy of a football match

While waiting for the arrival of the players, the songs of supporters follow one another. From the famous “Paris! Paris” to “Karmine! Carmine! » accompanied by blue clapperboards in the colors of the Blue Wall, the association of KCorp ultras, everything is reminiscent of the atmosphere of a football match. “It’s nice to be the first ultras,” said Martin, a 21-year-old business student, enthusiastically. People are not ready and are shocked to see 12,000 geeks coming to such an event. But when they see the images, they will understand that it is close to football.”

Just like in the stadium, a ceremony cannot take place without its master. And for this second Karmine Corp Experience – the first KCX brought together 3,500 supporters at the Palais des Congrès in Paris in July 2021 – streamer Doigby, dressed in a blue suit, will perform. “It’s historic what we’re going through tonight, esports is taking it to another level thanks to the KCorp! shouts the Twitch star, also a musical artist.

Historic because for the first time in France, an audience fully committed to the cause of its team gathers to attend the regular season matches of “Valorant”, and especially of “League of Legends” (LOL), the pinnacle of the show. If the FPS game was just the aperitif, which was disappointing from a sporting point of view with a 12-3 defeat for the locals, it was the LOL game that got these young supporters, mostly men in their twenties, moving and 130,000 brought people into contact with each other. Kameto’s chat.

The crowd hysterical at the arrival of Rekkles, the “Messi” of LOL

“I generally prefer small rooms because when the players come they are more determined, but we feel a different energy there,” comments Lilian, youtuber who came especially from Montpellier to attend this evening event. An energy that is literally transferred by the vibrations of the room, so many decibels rise at the time of the presentation of the LOL teams.

To warm up a crowd that never misses a chance to give a vote and wave huge flags, the KCX2 lives up to the Fête de la Musique. Rappers Green Montana, Kekra and of course the host of the evening, Prime, are invited to a musical show between the parts of the two video games. The company is perfect. Fans gather on stage to cover Prime’s national anthem, “Kelawin”.

“Que la win”, only the victory, this is what the Blue Wall eagerly awaits, materializing at the players entrance through a wall of blue signs in the sky. A wave later, the Accor Arena went into a frenzy when Cabochard, Saken and especially Rekkles, considered the “Messi” of LOL, split the crowd on their computers.

Concentrated during the tense passages, the Blue Wall rises as a single man with each murder of the Karmine. Unfortunately for the fans, the evening ends in a loss to Misfits as part of the regular season of LFL, the French League. But the scale of the event goes beyond the purely sporting framework.

“Since I started playing video games, I’ve never seen such a strong community behind a single team,” says Miloria, 21. This teaching assistant for students with disabilities even took a day off to fulfill her role as an ultra. fulfill. “Tonight remains a big French step in e-sports”, she is convinced. A postulate shared by Martin for whom, like many supporters of his team, the main thing is not so much in the performance of the evening, but in “the love of the jersey”.