Solary in front of the readers of L’Équipe: “The fans are the heart of our project”

Accustomed to speaking or commenting on competitions daily in front of thousands of people, five representatives by Solary, one of the biggest esports clubs in France, had the opportunity to face a much smaller panel this Friday. After pausing their game on the latest Pokémon and taking a train to Paris, they were able to answer questions from nine readers of The Teamgathered at the newspaper’s headquarters, to discuss the news and the future of their structure.

This meeting comes at a pivotal time for Solary. Founded in 2017 by a group of streamers who have become shareholders, the club has just celebrated its fifth anniversary and announced a change of model, since its WebTV on Twitch will no longer broadcast 24 hours a day. A turning point for the organization, which has long built its identity around the creation of content, and which now puts esports at the heart of its project. Present on several games, including Rocket League, FortniteWhere Super Smash Bros: Ultimate (with William “Glutonny” Belaïd, best player in Europe), it will therefore be expected at the turn in 2023 in terms of results.

An ambitious transfer window

Inevitably, the subject of the transfer window on League of Legends, which is currently in full swing, was quickly brought to the table by fans. For now, only the extension of Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi, the captain, has been formalized. Present during the interview, the latter said to himself ” satisfied “ of the identity of his new teammates. “We did it much earlier this year, which means that we were able to approach the best profiles more quickly. We were able to quickly secure good players and as soon as you have them, it’s easier to attract others.”confirmed Diego “Taipouz” Mames Andres, sports director at Solary.

While the names of the new players have already been circulating insistently on social networks for a few days, information leaked during the interview: none of the newcomers to Solary will be French. “We initially started with five French players, but there was no chemistry, so we started with other profiles, admitted Sakor “LRB” Ros, president of the club, addressing the concerns of 22-year-old Alexander. We still have a French captain, the technical staff who will be French. “It’s not Soccer Managerwhat, where you can stack the names you want”had fun Alexandre “Narkuss” Mege, streamer and shareholder.

A growing interest in esports

Anyway, the new five aligned to LoL by the “team of friends” should be the most ambitious in the history of the structure, even though the budget allocated to it is “slightly below” from that of last year. This reflects a higher ambition for Solary as its sector, esports, grows. “We feel that the attraction for the environment is much stronger, valid Baptiste Doussaint, general manager of the structure. Brands like Cetelem or Aldi turn to us to communicate and reach different audiences. Before, there were a lot of brands related to gaming or esports, now they are completely uncorrelated. »

We also thought about working with the Tours football club, we even met people to…

Alexandre “Narkuss” Mege, streamer and shareholder of Solary

What to obtain funds to launch on new games? Asked about the subject by Yann, 58, LRB did not dodge the question, citing his “appetite” natural for fighting games, but also the possibility of an arrival on counter strikeWhere Valorant. “We follow all the opportunities, all the outings, but we prefer to solidify on those on which we are already in place. It’s also a question of budget, you have to take small steps. » “The logic of Solary is to say that from the moment you like something, you can get started on it, abounds Narkuss. We’ve already thought about taking a chess player for example, but it didn’t happen. We also thought about working with the Tours football club, we even met people for…”

A planned move

Installed there since its creation, the club has indeed a strong anchorage in the Loire Valley, where all the shareholders are installed. But the current search for new premises could force them to change air. “We would love to stay in Tours, but the city does not help us, deplores Baptiste Doussaint. No one at the town hall has any interest in esports, we are not helped for premises or events. It becomes very blocking to develop. “Many competitors are funded by regions and cities, it creates unfair competition, sorry Taipuz. But a move needs to be considered, because it’s a choice that commits us for five to ten years. »

In front of a captivated audience, Solary wanted to end with a thank you for his fans, more and more dedicated, and now able to meet in large numbers in the stands. for competitions in physics. “Since I joined the team (in December 2020)there have always been the ultras behind us, even in defeat, greeted Steelback. It’s super important, because sometimes you don’t succeed and people keep encouraging you, it pushes you. » “Structures that have been around for years and don’t have a fan base, I don’t know how they do it, Taipuz concluded. Our fans are what drives us forward, the heart of our project. » Went back home with a smile, their selfie and their autographed jersey, those who were there can testify to that.

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