11F has been one of the first companies to harness Luxembourg’s esports and gaming potential. Their flagship esports competition, which started as a small FIFA tournament five years ago, is now Luxembourg’s biggest esports league.
Image Credits: 11F Media
Founded in 2013, 11F started out as a Luxembourg-based Facebook page about football, at which was around the same time that the social network premiered its new pages feature. Today, 11F Media employs 10 people across three companies and as many areas of activity: 11F Sports, 11F Movie and 11F Gaming.
The group hosts Luxembourg’s biggest gaming convention, LGX (Luxembourg Gaming Xperience) which had 15,000 entries at the fourth and last edition held in 2019 at LuxExpo The Box. 11F is also the organiser of the Post Esports Masters, an esports tournament played on three games (FIFA, Clash Royale, and League of Legends) and with a total prize money of €20,000.
From traditional sports to esports
Very reactive to feedback from its community, 11F transitioned into the gaming and esports world very naturally. While it was focused on traditional sports at its inception, the page started organising FIFA tournaments following the suggestion from its community. What started as a small tournament with 64 players quickly developed over the years. Indeed, the event grew so large that it was eventually hosted at the shopping centre Belle Etoile with 256 players. This drew a lot of attention and allowed 11F to find new partners.
Today, 11F’s flagship tournament, the Post Esports Masters, is Luxembourg’s biggest esports league. The first two editions took place in 2020 and 2021, despite the technical challenges they faced.
“Some esports disciplines will overtake some traditional sporting disciplines.”
“It’s more complex to organise an esports tournament than a traditional sports tournament such as handball or football tournament because the technical aspect much more important” says Fabio De Aguiar, founder and CEO of 11F. “For example, for a League of Legends tournament, with 5v5 players, you need 10 high end PCs, a super internet connection, the connections between mouse, keyboard and headset need to work, you need to prevent players to hear the players from the opposite team. You can make many more mistakes (in esports).”
Despite this complexity, the development of esports in Luxembourg and abroad seems unstoppable. “Esports is still at its infancy, especially compared to sports such as football that have existed for more than 130 years. It took football quite a long time to achieve revenues that reached billions of euros worldwide” says De Aguiar. In fact, there is still a lot do in terms of education around esports. While many people have heard about it, there is still a lot of ignorance and misunderstanding concerning the phenomenon.
Is esports a sport?
“Esports is not a subcategory of sports but is running in parallel” explains De Aguiar. “The same way that basketball, handball and football are subcategories of sports, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Rocket League, etc are subcategories of esports. Esports runs horizontally to sports, not vertically. If you place esports next to sports, you don’t need to ask the question. Sports has been around since the Ancient Greeks, and esports has been created in the 21st century and will overtake traditional sports. When you see that stadiums are filled with 60.000 people, like in Korea during the League of Legends World Cup, it’s already very close to a Super Bowl, the biggest one-shot event.”
Can esports overtake traditional sports in terms of interest?
“Some esports disciplines will overtake some traditional sporting disciplines” answers De Aguiar. In 2019, for example, the League of Legends championship finals reached a record number of 100 million viewers, surpassing the number of TV viewers for that year’s Super Bowl, which reached 98.19 million.
As for 11F, after pioneering Luxembourg’s esports landscape five years ago, the organisation will continue to contribute to its development, as it is already planning the third edition of the Post Esports Master.