A first in many ways. On Tuesday evening, it wasn’t music fans or basketball fans who flocked to the Accor Arena, but thousands of ultras who came to defend the colors of their team Karmine Corp and their discipline l e-sports. In a sold-out venue, 12,000 viewers took their seats for the second edition of his “KCX,” a show that lasted more than 3:30 and was hosted by the organization’s two leaders, streamer Kameto and rapper Prime. The program includes two official matches from “Valorant” and “League of Legends”, interrupted by a musical interlude.
A few hours before the doors open, hundreds of white and black KCorp jerseys are already parading in the forecourt of the mythical theater in Paris’ 12th arrondissement. On June 10th, eleven days before the event, these lucky ones secured seats for at least 40 euros. Inside, the mood begins to rise. The first part of this KCorp-themed evening is dedicated to a game of Valorant, a first-person shooter (or FPS) video game that pits Karmine against Team Vitality.
An atmosphere worthy of a football game
While waiting for the players to arrive, the fans’ chants follow one another. From the famous “Paris! Paris” in “Karmine! Carmine! » Accompanied by blue flaps in the colors of the Blue Wall, the club of KCorp Ultras, everything resembles the atmosphere of a football game. “It’s nice to be the first ultras,” enthuses 21-year-old business administration student Martin. People are not ready and are shocked to see 12,000 geeks coming to an event like this. But when you see the pictures, you will understand that it is close to football. »
As 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 is serving in a blue suit. “What we are witnessing tonight is historic, eSports reaches a new level thanks to KCorp! calls the Twitch star, also a musical artist.
Historical because for the first time in France, an audience totally committed to the cause of their team comes together to take part in the regular season games of “Valorant” and in particular of “League of Legends” (LOL), the highlight of the show , to participate. If the FPS game was still just the aperitif, sportingly disappointing with a 3:12 loss for the locals, it was the LOL game that moved these young fans, mostly males in their 20s, and 130,000 people joined Kameto’s chat .
The crowd goes hysterical at the arrival of Rekkles, LOL’s “Messi”.
“In general, I prefer small spaces because when the players come they are more determined, but there we feel a different energy,” notes Lilian, a YouTuber who traveled all the way from Montpellier to attend this evening’s event. An energy that is literally transmitted through the vibrations of the room, so much the decibels rise in the presentation of the LOL teams.
To warm up an audience that never misses an opportunity to raise their voices and wave giant flags, the KCX2 honors the Fête de la Musique. Rappers Green Montana, Kekra and of course the evening’s host Prime are invited to a musical show between the parts of the two video games. The community is perfect. Fans gather on stage to cover Prime’s anthem, “Kelawin.”
“Que la win”, only victory, the blue wall is waiting impatiently for this, which materializes at the entrance of the players by a wall of blue signs stretched into the air. A wave later, the Accor Arena went totally hysterical as Cabochard, Saken and most notably Rekkles, who are considered the “Messi” of LOL, divided the crowd onto their computer.
Concentrated in the most tense passages, the Blue Wall rises like a lone man with each kill of the Karmine. Unfortunately for the fans, as part of the regular season in the LFL, the French league, the evening ends in defeat to the Misfits. But the dimension of the event goes beyond the purely sporting framework.
“I’ve never seen such a strong community behind a single team since I’ve played video games,” says Miloria, 21. The educational assistant for students with disabilities even took a day off to fulfill her role as an Ultra. “This evening will remain a big French step in e-sports,” she is convinced. A postulate that is shared by Martin, who, like many supporters of his team, cares less about the performance of the evening and more about the “love of the jersey”.