French online gambling operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) is entering the eSports market.
The French government-owned lottery and online gambling operator recently announced that it has partnered with online media company Webedia to organize eSports tournaments. Under the partnership, the two companies will launch three tournament series in the country.
The first is the FDJ Masters League, in which 32 professional eSports players will compete for a €20,000 prize pool. The Masters League will run twice a year, according to FDJ. The FDJ Open Series, meanwhile, will have more than 40 tournaments primarily available online, but will also include some live events. FDJ said the series is open to professionals and amateurs, and will consist of events that include games like Clash Royale.
The Masters League and the Open Series will air on JVTV or Millenium TV.
Completing FDJ’s tournament series is the FDJ Gaming Tour, which targets amateurs and will bring 24 events to different locations throughout France. All events will be take place live, according to the company.
Entering the eSports market is critical to FDJ’s 2020 Transformation Project, according to the company. The €200 million project aims to add a million new customers, gain a 10 percent market share of “break-even” games and 20 percent of digital sales.
“The ambition of the FDJ 2020 project is to create an offer with more entertainment, more interactions between players and addressing young adults. This is why FDJ wishes to invest in the development of eSports in France. This market in process of democratization covers a wide spectrum of games of expertise,” said FDJ President and CEO Stéphane Pallez.
FDJ’s decision to join the eSports market couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Market research firm Newzoo paints a rosy picture for the eSports industry, excluding eSports betting. It forecasted that eSports’ total revenue will grow from $325 million in 2016 to $1.488 billion in 2020—a CAGR of 35.6 percent. The forecast revenue totals include media rights, advertising, sponsorship, merchandise and tickets, and game publisher fees.