Renault 1st F1 team to enter eSports arena


CANNNES: Renault Monday became the first Formula 1 team to join the world of eSports, announcing a tie-up with Europe’s best-performing French team, Team Vitality, which boasts many international titles.

This association with Team Vitality sees Renault forge new ways to engage with an all new audience including eSports fans and players.

The partnership creates an all-new entity dedicated to motorsport-based games - Renault Sports Team Vitality.

Renault Sport Team Vitality will participate in this year’s Rocket League Championship Series Europe, which features car-based sports action and which boasts more than 25 million players. 

The team will be spearheaded by the following players:
Philip Paschmeyer - Paschy90 (Rocket League)  
Victor Locquet - Fairy Peak! (Rocket League)  
Sandro Holzwarth - FreaKii (Rocket League)

Renault is also in discussion with F1 to compete in the Formula 1 eSports Series.

Renault Sport Racing will provide the team’s players with access to its Formula 1 factory in Enstone, England, to train with drivers and technical staff. Team members will also have an opportunity to meet experts who are accustomed to working in the demanding environment of F1 paddocks. In exchange, Vitality will bring to the table its expertise as a multiple European and World champion in a variety of categories, to assist the new squad’s professional players on an everyday basis.

In entering eSports, Renault joins major brands like adidas, Omen by HP, Volvic and Canal+ as an official partner of Team Vitality, with branding visible on players’ team clothing at League of Legend and Fifa tournaments.

“This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for the Renault brand to be exposed to new and younger audiences,” says Bastien Schupp, vice-president Global Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications, Groupe Renault. “The combination of Vitality’s eSports vision and expertise with our successful history in motorsport is a great partnership. As a discipline, eSports have a promising, far-reaching future and we’re looking forward to connecting people from Renault Sport Racing to these young gamers and being a part of it.”

“Vitality’s DNA is to be seen as a French front-runner that is competitive in the international arena,” said Fabien Devide, aka Neo, Team Vitality’s founder and chairman. “Our partnership with Renault is a natural match, not only because we share the same values and colours but also because we all want to make it to the very top of the European and international scenes. At Vitality, we stand to learn a great deal from Renault Sport Racing and how it prepares for Formula 1 races. At the end of the day, many of its methods are the same as those we employ in eSports, namely data and performance tracking, physiotherapy, fitness training and mental training.” 

"The ties that exist between motorsport and gaming are obvious. Both call for mental strength and physical fitness in a highly competitive environment,” underlines Cyril Abiteboul, general manager, Renault Sport Racing. “Last year’s exciting launch by FOM of the Formula 1 eSports Series has accelerated the convergence of these two worlds and created opportunities for collaboration. Our drivers, and especially those who form part of the Renault Sport Academy programme, and Vitality’s own champions will be able to trade best practices. In this area, as in F1, our objective is to build a team for the long term that is both respected and feared by its opponents!”

The first Formula 1-based eSports competition (Formula 1 eSports Series), which was launched in 2017, brought together players and fans from across the globe to reveal the world’s fastest virtual F1 racer. The eSports economy is currently enjoying unprecedented growth and generated revenue in excess of $900 million (Source: Newzoo) as of the end of last year. Investment is buoyant and, in 2017, brands contributed $517 million to the economy, with this figure expected to double by 2020.

The scale of the international competitions that are held across the globe is growing all the time, with tournaments broadcast on television and streaming platforms such as Twitch. Public interest in eSports is gaining impressive ground, too, with an estimated 385 million aficionados as of the end of 2017. The exceptional following enjoyed by professional players on social networks represents a community worthy of the biggest influencers.