“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye! » In unison, the public takes care of escorting Telmo Trenado to the locker room, expelled and forced to leave the lawn of the Jean-Bouin stadium. The spite on the Hispanic faces contrasts with the broad smile of the Blues, deserving winners (2-0) of the football match between influencers organized by the streamer Amine this Saturday evening. Total success, by its record audience on Twitch as much as the result on the pitch, this victory is a new chapter in the great history of the Internet rivalry between France and Spain, which has grown enormously in recent months.
A new audience record
The meeting had an impressive impact: at its peak, Amine’s stream, which broadcast the event live on Twitch, brought together 1,150,000 spectators, an absolute record in French on the platform. On the ground, the players really gave substance to this national game, well helped by the 20,000 spectators present (including a small Hispanic kop) in the Parisian enclosure, where the songs in favor of the Bleus d’un soir resounded almost without downtime for 90 minutes.
The spectators had reason to give their voice: although of a fairly low physical intensity, the opposition proved to be bitter. “It’s energetic because it’s France-Spain, summarized Zack Nani at halftime. They talked a lot, they got on our nerves a lot, we answered. It shows in duels. » They did not have the slightest stake, however, but everyone had to preserve their honor: before kick-off, players from the Spanish selection, led by youtuber Mario Alonso “DjMaRiiO”, joked about their fear of “not being able to go home” in case of defeat.
“A natural adversary”
During the press conference the day before the match, bringing together the two captains for one evening in front of the press, the tone had already been set. ” I just have a question, DjMaRiiO had inquired. The referee of tomorrow, what nationality is he? ” ” He is French, recognized Amine with a burst of laughter. But he is trained by the FFF, very serious and impartial, there will be no problem. And in any case, there will be a VAR referee. “And the referee in the VAR truck, what nationality is he?” “Uh…Basque!” »
In this pre-match, the two camps had not ceased to spoof each other, returning the label of favorite. “ I wouldn’t say they are the enemies of the French Internet, it’s still good-natured, but it’s a natural adversary, explained Amine. There have been Pixel War recently but even before, on esports games, there was a rivalry between the two countries. In addition, it is a border country, we are two big football countries, it was normal to face them. »
A rivalry passed from sport to esport
Exacerbated in the world of esports and streaming, this rivalry is also indirectly inherited from team sports, where France-Spain clashes have helped shape the imagination of an entire generation. Whether in basketball, where Tony Parker’s speech in the semi-finals of Euro 2013 is remembered, but also, of course, in football, the subject of all the evening debates. “We have not forgotten Zidane’s hook on Puyol (in eighth of the 2006 World Cup) », blew Amine before the meeting.
But if the France of sport has other hereditary enemies, such as England or Germany, that of the Internet has clearly designated Spain as its preferred scapegoat. For almost always, the towel has been burning between the two countries, which are among the largest bases of gamers in Europe. In the early 2010s, communities were already clashing on Minecraft, in often stormy and controversial events. Since then, the rivalry has shifted to social networks, including Twitter, and esports, including League of Legends, where the teams of the two countries fight each other.
The Pixel War as a backdrop
Two personalities in particular have crystallized this antagonism over the past two years: Kamel “Kameto” Kebir, on our side of the Pyrenees, and Ibai Llanos, on the other. Both streamers with huge communities (1.5 million followers on Twitch for one, 12 million for the other), they recently founded their esports clubs, Karmine Corp and KOI and organized between them friendly clashes in front of packed houses at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona (17,000 seats) and at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris (1,000 seats sold out in 30 seconds). Above all, the two influencers were the generals of the Pixel War, an event during which Internet users from all over the world fought to draw a digital fresco, last April, and which generated a huge commitment.
Logically, the troop leaders were the “selectors” of this revenge to Jean-Bouin. Their instructions, however, probably had trouble being heard by the players on the lawn, as the public, very young, gave voice, particularly during the two goals of the meeting, signed Sacha Borg (26th), with a pretty uncrossed head, then Bruce Grannec (76th). Wildly acclaimed, the two videographers gave themselves an adrenaline rush that they will remember all their lives and allowed to inflict a derailed deserved to the Spaniards. One more.