Heavyweight French organization shuts down all esports operations

The oldest active esports team in France, Team LDLC, will be ceasing all esport operations after almost 13 years this coming July, according to an announcement on May 16. 

Founded in 2010 by the electronics retailer LDLC, Team LDLC is best known for its CS:GO lineups, with the organization consistently holding teams in the game for over a decade.

During this time, the organization marked its name in the Counter-Strike history books by winning the DreamHack Winter 2014 Major with a lineup that included several legendary players, including Richard “shox” Papillon, Vincent “Happy” Cervoni Schopenhauer, and Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt. LDLC remains one of only 13 organizations to win a Major championship in CS:GO.

Related: All CS:GO teams qualified for BLAST Paris Major playoffs

Just three months after winning this tournament, the team was sold to Team EnVyUs, who went on to also win the DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 Major making it France’s most successful team to date.

Team LDLC has also been represented by many other massive CS players, including Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire, Kevin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans, and Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub.

Outside of CS, Team LDLC currently also includes two FIFA players and a French League of Legends lineup, which earlier this year won the French League tournament for the third split in a row after previously winning the European Masters in Spring 2020. 

In January 2020, Team LDLC partnered with the French soccer team Olympique Lyonnais, better known as Lyon, and rebranded to LDLC OL.

Lyon had been running its own esports division since 2017 called OL eSports, which had been competing primarily in FIFA. The merger between the two brands was at the time hailed as a major move in French esports, with Lyon announcing plans to host major international esports tournaments at their planned 16,000-seater multi-purpose arena.

Just over three years later, this partnership has ended, and with it, LDLC has decided to end its involvement in esports. 

In a press release on May 16, translated from French the LDLC Group said, “While the teams benefit from a considerable reputation and recognition among gaming enthusiasts, they have not, despite their best efforts, managed to carve out a sufficient positioning among the general public.”

“As such, the LDLC Group and OL Group have decided on the early termination of their LDLC OL partnership with effect from the end of July 2023. The end of this partnership will also mark LDLC Event’s withdrawal from the e-sport scene and the cessation of its operational activities in this sector.”

While LDLC does have a remarkable esports history, the organization has slowly been withdrawing from titles over the last five years to be left with just their FIFA, CS, and LoL lineups after previously having a presence in Overwatch, Fortnite, Call of Duty, Starcraft 2, the eSports World Rally Championship, and Heroes of the Storm.

Furthermore, in Counter-Strike its team missed almost every high-level competition since 2018 when they were relegated from the ESL Pro League tournament. 

Now ahead of Team LDLC’s exit from esports in July, its CS team will be focused on their relegation battle to remain in the ESL Challenger League from June 8 to 11. The LoL team, meanwhile, have no scheduled games until the Summer Split of the LFL 2023 season starts, which will likely also be in early June. 

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Haydar Gohar

Freelancer for Dot. Previously covered Rainbow Six for SiegeGG while earning an economics degree. Am now hooked on VALORANT and RDR2.

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