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French SC2 Scene

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E-sport have a rather confidential hearing in France. Even though there are many teams and organizations involved at an international level, the general public is not interested in the topic. Moreover, the mainstream medias and the politicians often pillory the practice of video games. However, several players, teams and organizations have managed to become competitive over the years, with forefront players such as Elky in StarCraft: Brood War, ToD in Warcraft III, Stephano in StarCraft II…

Background: StarCraft: Brood War[edit]

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Background: Warcraft III[edit]

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Background: StarCraft II[edit]

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Year One[edit]

Summary of the Season[edit]

Results in Major National Events[edit]

ESL Pro Series France

ESL Pro Series France IX
France  SarenS
France  AureS
France  TuZeR     France  MoMaN

eGG-one Starleague

eOSL Winter 2010 eOSL Summer 2011
France  SarenS
France  TuZeR
France  MoMaN     France RouaF
France  SarenS
France  AureS
France  ToD     France  Origine

French Master Series

PxL-Lan #28 Azerty Party 2010 Spirit Lan 8
France  Adelscott
France  MoMaN
France  KenZy     France  Stephano
France  Adelscott
France  MoMaN
France  Stephano     France FreD
France  Adelscott
France  ToD
France Qwerty     France  KleeneX
Atomic Re-SO 2011 MaXlan 2011 Gamers Assembly 2011
France  ToD
France  Adelscott
France  Stephano     France  Origine
Sweden  LaLuSh
France  Stephano
Poland  DieStar     Finland  Naama
France  Adelscott
France  AureS
Germany  HasuObs     Ukraine  Strelok
NeXeN 2011 Master Series Finals
France  Adelscott
France  KenZy
Switzerland  biGs     France  effecto
France  Stephano
France  KenZy
France  AureS     France  MoMaN

Notable Transfers[edit]

Date Player Old Team New Team References
2nd Quarter 2010
2010-05-03May 3, 2010 France  MoMaN
Millenium [1]
2010-06-17June 17, 2010 Canada  HuK vT Gaming Millenium
3rd Quarter 2010
2010-08-24August 24, 2010 Sweden  LaLuSh
Millenium [2]
2010-08-24August 24, 2010 France  KleeneX
Millenium [3]
2010-09-25September 25, 2010 Canada  HuK Millenium Team Liquid [4]
4th Quarter 2010
2010-10-07October 7, 2010 France  Stephano
Millenium [5]
2010-11-23November 23, 2010 Poland  Tarson RAGE Gaming Millenium
2010-12-17December 17, 2010 Poland  Nerchio
aAa [6]
2010-12-23December 23, 2010 France  MoMaN Millenium Cyber Nation [7]
1st Quarter 2011
2011-01-09January 9, 2011 France  ToD
Millenium [8]
2011-01-10January 10, 2011 Poland  DieStar Team Empire Millenium [9]
2011-02-28February 28, 2011 Finland  Naama mousesports Virus Gaming [10]
2011-03-10March 10, 2011 Finland  elfi Power Gaming Virus Gaming [11]
2011-03-29March 29, 2011 France  SarenS aAa Cyber Nation [12][13]
2011-03-29March 29, 2011 France  KenZy aAa Cyber Nation [14][15]
2011-03-29March 29, 2011 France  FremAN aAa Cyber Nation [16][17]
2011-03-29March 29, 2011
Team disbanded
2nd Quarter 2011
2011-04-01April 1, 2011 Ukraine  Bly Team Empire Virus Gaming [20]
2011-04-03April 3, 2011 Poland  Nerchio
Team Empire [21]
2011-04-26April 26, 2011 Switzerland  biGs         MythiX.WeiRd aAa [22]
2011-04-26April 26, 2011 Belgium  Feast         Sypher aAa [23]
2011-04-26April 26, 2011 Lithuania  Fargo         Sypher aAa
2011-05-01May 1, 2011 France  ToD Millenium
2011-06-30June 30, 2011 Lithuania  Fargo aAa
3rd Quarter 2011
2011-07-06July 6, 2011 France  AureS Team
2011-07-06July 6, 2011 France  Origine Team
2011-07-09July 9, 2011 Team Created
eSahara [28]
2011-07-09July 9, 2011 France  cArn
eSahara [29]
2011-07-09July 9, 2011 Sweden  FuRy RAGE Gaming eSahara [30]

Year Two[edit]

The first months of the second year of the StarCraft II era saw several major players leaving French team. Indeed, from August to September 2011, Naama, elfi, ToD and biGs signed for foreign teams. ToD stated that he was planning to live and to practice in Korea for several months, in order to be competitive for the World Cyber Games 2011, in December. He will therefore become the second French player who trains in Korea, alongside cArn.

From August to September 2011, the French scene was the theatre of three major controversies. The first controversy was about ESWC committee's decision to ask for a participation fee for the players who qualified via the online qualifiers. As a result of this policy, several major teams including Fnatic, SK Gaming, and Evil Geniuses, decided to boycott the event.[1] Facing this contestation, ESWC committee eventually dropped this policy, leading some of these teams to change their minds.[2]

The second and most notable controversy took place on September 19, and was about the top Zerg player Stephano. Indeed, the American team compLexity Gaming announced during the night (in Europe time zone) that they picked-up Stephano as their new player,[3] which was confirmed by a news on Millenium website.[4] However, a few hours later, Millenium's CEO and manager stated that, even though Stephano actually signed a legal document which bound him to compLexity, he decided to ultimately turn down compLexity's offer, and to stay with Millenium for at least one more year.[5] Jason Bass, compLexity's CEO, later issued a statement in which he expressed his will to take measures in order to asserts his rights.[6] He then issued a second statement detailing the issue, and explaining that he will either take legal actions and/or work with eSports leaders in order to avoid that such a situation could happen again.[7] This was followed by a statement from Millenium giving their point of view.[8] A few days later, both parties released a common statement explaining that the case was settled with Stephano signing a proper contract with Millenium and having to pay a significant fine to compLexity.[9]

The third controversy was about Naama's claim that his former team, Virus Gaming, didn't pay him his due wages while he was under contract with them. Naama also explained that the team made him false promises concerning the payment of hotel fees, and that he was unsure of whether Virus's sponsors actually gave money to the team or not.[10] Such allegation had been made before by former member of the team, in April 2011.[11]

The French scene was later highlighted again, this time for a meliorative reason, when Stephano and his former teammate ToD took respectively first and second place of the SCAN Invitational #1.

In October, Stephano competed in two premier events within a week: the IGN ProLeague Season 3, and the Orlando. During the first tournament, for which he qualified by defeating the Korean progamers Puzzle and MMA in an online qualifier, he realised his best achievement as to date. Indeed, after performing well in group stage with 2-0 victories over the former MLG and DreamHack champion HuK and the Brood War legend BoxeR, he mercilessly made his way through the playoffs, knocking-out several Korean progamer such as viOLet and TheStC, and eventually faced another one, Lucky, in finals. He swept his opponent 4-0, therefore claiming the $30,000 winner prize and becoming the first French player winner of a premier event. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't redo the same performance one week later in the Orlando, after his defeats at the hand TheStC and BoxeR, who were taking their revenge for the IGN ProLeague.

On October 14, the city of Arles welcomed the first event of the French Master Series 2011 - 2012, the PxL-Lan #31. With Stephano still in the USA for the 2011 MLG Orlando, and Adelscott absent as well as SarenS and AureS, ToD was regarded as the heavily favorite of the tournament. Indeed, a week before, he had won the Samsung European Championship 2011 in Poland, defeating Nerchio in finals. There were also expectations around MoMaN, who had reached the final rounds of several weekly cups during the previous weeks.

ToD proved that his status as a favorite wasn't usurped by reaching the grand finals with only one game loss in the whole tournament. However, the most highlighted player was an unknown amateur Protoss player, Kamikaze, who managed to defeat the veterans MoMaN and KleeneX before falling to ToD in both winners bracket finals and grand finals, therefore taking an unexpected second place. The event was also marked by KleeneX's and FremAN's best results in an offline event so far, with their respectively third and fourth place.

On October 18, Pomf & Thud released a trailer concerning the event they had been working on for several months: the O'Gaming 2. Conceived as a multigaming giant barcraft, the event will be held in the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, and will feature StarCraft II with ThorZaIN, HasuObs and SarenS, as well as Super Street Fighter IV AE tournament cast by Ken Bogard, and a League of Legends tournament.

Three days later, the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011 began in Paris, with 48 players from all around the world. This premier event, which included a StarCraft II tournament for the very first time, was featuring five French players: Stephano, AureS and KenZy who earned their spots by reaching the podium of Master Series Finals 2010/2011, cArn, who was invited as Morocco's representative, and MoMaN, who was invited at the last minute to compensate the absence of Seiplo, who couldn't attend. Even though the French delegation had more representatives than any others, only one of them, Stephano, made it to the playoffs. The poor performance of cArn, who went 1-4 in his group was particular upset, since he had been training in Korea for several months before this event. Though, it should be noted that it was his first appearance ever in an offline premier event. On the other hand, Stephano came undefeated of his group, therefore proceeding to the playoffs where he knocked-out Axslav and ClouD. He then faced the Korean Terran player MarineKing, regarded as a TvZ expert, but was still able to overwhelm him in order to proceed to the finals. His final match in the ESWC 2011 was against MaNa, with whom Stephano is used to practice with. The French player eventually won the series 3-1, therefore winning a second premier event in a month.

On October 27, aAa once again parted ways with several of its members, the managers Dao and BoKuRa as well as Feast and Reave. Indeed, a few days before, Feast had expressed his will to join another team, and canceled his participation in PxL-Lan #31 at the last minute, while his trip expenses had already been paid by his team, therefore leading aAa's staff to end his contract.[12] Two days later, Feast was announced as the new Millenium player.[13]

On October 29, two weeks after the PxL-Lan #31, the second event of the French Master Series 2011 - 2012 was held in the city of Pau. None of the major French players competed in the Azerty Party 14, hence leaving the field open for less highlighted players. Kamikaze, the PxL-Lan #31 runner-up was attending, as well as the remains of aAa, and KleeneX as the sole Millenium's representative. effecto managed to reach the grand finals without losing a single game, and faced KleeneX for the win of the tournament. He defeated him 3-1, therefore winning an offline event for the first time, while his teammate Wolf (French player) took the third place. This time, Kamikaze failed to reach the top 4, being eliminated by another relatively unknown player, BsK.

On November 1, several website reported that Virus Gaming had disbanded its line-up.[14] Virus's former manager, ShiBa, explained that his players hadn't been paid in months, and that the team owner, Skyboot, didn't keep his promises, which caused the players to look for new teams.[15]

Summary of the Season[edit]

Results in Major National Events[edit]

ESL Pro Series France

ESL Pro Series France X
France  ToD
France  Adelscott
France  TBD     France  TBD

Electronic Sports World Cup

Electronic Sports World Cup 2011
France  Stephano
Poland  MaNa
Korea (South)  MarineKing      Netherlands  Grubby

French Master Series

PxL-Lan #31 Azerty Party 14 PxL-Lan #32
France  ToD
France  Kamikaze
France  KleeneX     France  FremAN
France  effecto
France  KleeneX
France  Wolf     France BsK
France  MiNiMaTh
France  Wolf
France  Dayshi     France Toto
SC2 Arena #1 Spirit Lan 9 InsaLan #7
France  NeOAnGeL
France  MarinLorD
France  Dayshi     France Censure
France  Adelscott
Poland  Tarson
France  KenZy     France  Dayshi
France  SonG
France  Toto
France  Gartok     France  eRaZz

eGG-one Starleague

eOSL Winter 2012
France  Stephano
France  SarenS
Switzerland  biGs     France  Adelscott

Notable Transfers[edit]

Date Player Old Team New Team References
3rd Quarter 2011
2011-07-07July 7, 2011 Bulgaria  Kalin ZZZZZ BLAST [31]
2011-07-07July 7, 2011 Poland  Tefel SFTO eSports BLAST [32]
2011-08-01August 1, 2011 France  AureS
Virus Gaming [33]
2011-08-01August 1, 2011 France  Origine
Virus Gaming [34]
2011-08-01August 1, 2011 France  MoMaN Cyber Nation Virus Gaming [35]
2011-08-18August 18, 2011 Finland  Naama Virus Gaming Fightline [36]
2011-08-29August 29, 2011 Portugal  sYz SFTO eSports BLAST [37]
2011-09-06September 6, 2011 Finland  elfi Virus Gaming Acer [38][39]
2011-09-08September 8, 2011 France  ToD Millenium Fnatic [40][41]
2011-09-09September 9, 2011 Sweden  FuRy eSahara
2011-09-15September 15, 2011 Switzerland  biGs aAa mousesports [43]
4th Quarter 2011
2011-10-02October 2, 2011 Romania  DeathAngel Alien Invasion eSahara [44]
2011-10-27October 27, 2011 Belgium  Feast aAa Millenium [45][46]
2011-10-31October 31, 2011 Finland  Naama Fightline eSahara [47]
2011-10-31October 31, 2011 Finland  Satiini Fightline eSahara [48]
2011-11-01November 1, 2011 Team disbanded Virus Gaming
2011-11-20November 20, 2011 France  AureS
aAa [51]
2011-11-23November 23, 2011 Poland  Romson ZZZZZ BLAST [52]
2011-11-23November 23, 2011 Lithuania  Krr ZZZZZ BLAST [53]
2011-11-28November 28, 2011 Korea (South)  Check
eSahara [54]
1st Quarter 2012
2012-01-04January 4, 2012 Korea (South)  Maka Prime eSahara [55]
2012-01-06January 6, 2012 France  MoMaN
Team [56]
2012-01-10January 10, 2012 Russian Federation  VERDI eSahara
2012-01-10January 10, 2012 Denmark  BabyKnight
eSahara [58]
2012-01-15January 15, 2012 Korea (South)  HongUn
eSahara [59]
2012-03-06March 6, 2012 Korea (South)  Dragon TSL Millenium [60]
2012-03-29March 29, 2012 Germany  Roof Serious Gaming BLAST [61]
2012-06-28June 28, 2012 Korea (South)  ForGG oGs Millenium [62]

Notable Tournaments[edit]

Electronic Sports World Cup[edit]

The ESWC is a yearly international gaming championship which features a StarCraft II tournament since 2011. The competitors have to go through national qualifiers in order to secure spots in the main event. The grand finals of ESWC 2011 took place on 21 to 25 October 2011 in Porte de Versailles, Paris.

The French players who want to compete in the national qualifiers have to participate in offline events sanctioned by the Master Series. In July 2011, Stephano, KenZy and AureS successfully qualified for ESWC 2011.

Master Series[edit]

The French Master Series of Video Games is a tour which consists of several offline events, and which intend to designate the three French representatives for Electronic Sports World Cup. Furthermore, those events are considered to be a good way to evaluate the level of French players.

The season 2010/2011 featured seven offline events, from October 2010 to May 2011. In addition to cash prize, the competitors earned points, based on their results, so the best-ranked players could compete in Master Series Finals (the foreign invites who competed in those events weren't eligible for the Master Series Finals). The finals of season 2010/2011, which were acting as ESWC France qualifiers, took place on 1 to 3 July 2011, in Lilles. There were controversies about the date of the event, which was held the same week-end as the World Cyber Games 2011 Qualifiers France and the finals of ESL Pro Series France X.

eGG-one Starleague[edit]

The eGG-one Starleague is a league which gathers the best French players for a 3000 to 4000 € prize pool. This event, organised by eGG-one, was noted for the uniqueness of its format in France. The two first editions, eOSL Winter 2010 and eOSL Summer 2011, were both won by SarenS.

MSI Pro Cup[edit]

The MSI Pro Cup is a monthly invitational tournament organised by Millenium. Since the third edition, some spots are granted via qualifiers dedicated to French-speaking players.

Cerberus 3D Cup[edit]

The Cerberus 3D Cup is a series of online tournaments organised by Origine-Online ans sponsored by Ceberus 3D. While the two first edition were merely miscellaneous tournaments, the third edition featured a notable prize pool, as well as a series of qualifiers.

GameCreds Cup[edit]

The GameCreds Cup is a weekly online tournament organized by since February 2011. The Cup features a 100€ prize pool, and takes place every Monday.

Notable Teams[edit]

Poland DieStar United States Goswser Sweden LaLuSh France Adelscott Belgium Feast France KleeneX France Dayshi South Korea ForGG

Millenium is the most prominent French StarCraft II team. Since the release of the game, the team gradually improved, eventually exceeding their main rivals, aAa, in early 2011. The most striking feature of this domination is the fact that Millenium's players won every offline tournaments of the Master Series. Even though the well-known players MoMaN and ToD left Millenium quickly after their arrivals (ToD cames back to Millenium few times later), the team has been able to remain competitive, thanks to their upcoming major players, such as Adelscott and Stephano. Millenium's prominence was recognized by Evil Geniuses, which subsequently invited them to Evil Geniuses Master's Cup Series V. The team went through difficult times during the summer 2011, losing its major player ToD, and being in the center of the Stephano controversy.[16] The second half of 2011 ran more smoothly, thanks to the international breakout of Stephano, who turned into one of the most successful foreigners. It was the only French team with a player under contract: Stephano.

France Eeel France BsK France FremAN France MarinLorD France MiNiMaTh France NeOAnGeL France Origine

against All authority is the oldest multigaming French team, and has a StarCraft II section since the beginning of the Beta. Even though the team was considered to be one of the two best team in France until the end of 2010, thanks to their recruits SarenS and Nerchio, managerial issues caused the roster to disband in March 2011. Since then, aAa has struggled to get back its leading position.

Notable Disbanded Teams[edit]

Germany roof Germany KraSs Portugal sYz Poland Tefel

Originally a relatively unknown team, BLAST stepped forward during the summer 2011, with the recruitment of Tefel, Kalin, and sYz. Consisting of several Grand Master players as well as promising French player, the team was looking for a first notable result. But recently, many players left the team which has no more French in her roster.

South Korea Check South Korea Maka Finland Naama Finland Satiini Russia VERDI Romania DeathAngel South Korea HongUn

eSahara is a French-Moroccan multigaming team that is most recognized for its Counter-Strike division, and which opened its StarCraft II division in July 2011. There was a lot of expectations around one player of its initial roster, cArn, who had been training in Korea for several months. However, his first appearance in a premier event at the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011 was regarded as an upset, since cArn didn't manage to reach the playoffs. Later in 2011, the team recruited several experimented players such as the DreamHack Winter 2010 champion, Naama, as well as the GSL competitor Check. eSahara eventually focused on the Korean scene at the end of 2011, with the recruitment of Maka, and with the sending of Naama and DeathAngel in Korea.[17][18]

Line-up at dissolution

France AureS France Laukyo France Origine France SonG France TuZeR Ukraine Bly
Ukraine Ukrainestar France MiNiMaTh France MoMaN Sweden Unleashed Ukraine White Ukraine Underdark

Virus Gaming was a little-known team before the release of the game, but had since recruited a lot of players, including Naama, Bly, and elfi. The team has been at the center of several controversies. Its player Laukyo was indeed banned three months by ESL, because he was caught getting help from his coach who was observer in a game counting for a Go4SC2,[19] and was then also banned by eGG-one for the same reason.[20] Later in 2011, several former members of the team blamed Virus's staff for having not paid them their wages, and publicly expressed their doubts about the sustainability of the team's business model.[10] The team was ultimately reported to have disbanded on November 1, with the wages issue and the staff's false promises mentioned as the reasons of the departure of the players.[14][15]

Line-Up at dissolution

France Lidwyn France FuNKaDeLiC France SarenS France Eeel France Hysteria France KenZy France Qwerty France FremAN

Cyber Nation is a cyber café located in Paris, which sponsors a StarCraft II team. As of July 2011, Cyber Nation competed only in national event, probably not wanting to get involved on the European scene. This orientation is also evident in the recruitment policy of the team, which includes only French players. The team was also known for having been the employer of the first fully-professional player in France, MoMaN.

Notable Players[edit]

Main Article - Adelscott

Benoît "Adelscott" Strypsteen is a Protoss player who mainly competes in offline events in France and Europe. He won five of the seven major French offline events of Master Series 2010/2011, and also got the third place of SteelSeries StarCraft 2 Challenge at Assembly Winter 2011.

Main article - AureS

Aurélien "AureS" Sannier is a Terran player who competes on French online and offline events. He came second of ESL Pro Series France IX, Gamers Assembly 2011, and eOSL Summer 2011. He is one of the three French representatives for ESWC 2011.

Main article - MoMaN

Emmanuel "MoMaN" Marquez is a Zerg player who mainly competes in US weekly tournaments and French offline events. He won Go4SC2 US April Monthly Finals and came second of PxL-Lan #28 and Azerty Party 2010. MoMaN was the only French player selected for the first season of NASL.

Main article - SarenS

Pierre "SarenS" Guivarch is a Terran Player who mainly competes in French online events. He won both eOSL Winter 2010 and eOSL Summer 2011, as well as ESL Pro Series France IX.

Main article - Stephano

Ilyes "Stephano" Satouri is a Zerg player who competes in EU weekly tournaments and French offline events. He won five Go4SC2 Cup, and came second of MaXlan 2011. But since October 2011, he's truly made a name for himself after winning both IGN ProLeague Season 3 and ESWC 2011 in a row. Furthermore, as of January 2012 he is the foreigner who has earned the most prize money and is undoubtedly the leader of the French SC2 scene.

Main article - ToD

Yoan "ToD" Merlo is a former Warcraft III legend and a Protoss player, who mainly competes in offline events. He won Atomic Re-SO 2011 and Winamax Millenium Cup, and will represent France in WCG 2011.

Timothé "SonG" Cynober is a French terran progamer playing for 2 years. He is mainly known in France for being a really creative player. He did top 3 on the "championnat francophone" beating dayshi 3-2. He played for team like mtw or virusgaming.

Notable Shoutcasters and VODs authors[edit]

In the French scene, the well-known shoutcasters are usually members of a team or of the organiser of an event. Among the most famous shoutcasters, we could mention Llewellys and YoGo from Millenium, ZeratoR formerly from GameCreds and now from Millenium, Krok and Aspeak from eGG-one and TheBesT formerly from aAa and now retired. However, the tandem of shoutcasters who gets the most viewers, Pomf and Thud is independent. They are known for hosting the most watched YouTube channel dedicated to StarCraft II in France. They also live shoutcasted several offline events, such as the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011 and the World Cyber Games 2011 Qualifiers France and the famous Iron Squid. Note also that they have been the topic of articles in the mainstream medias, which is pretty rare in France.[21][22]

See also[edit]