How France-Spain became one of the internet’s greatest rivalries

As evidenced by the soccer match between French and Spanish broadcasters, the online rivalry between the two border countries is growing. A good-natured battle that no one takes lightly.

For some, the announcement of a France-Spain evokes football, basketball or handball. For others it is now synonymous with online combat. From e-sports to social media and now in real life, French and Spanish internet users are waging a merciless battle.

A rivalry that has been going on for several years, but which intensified a few months ago, carried by leaders determined to win the game “Who will be the Internet master of the country?”

E-sport, a trigger

Whether in friendly matches or international competitions, France and Spain have been competing in e-sports for many years, especially in League of Legends, the most watched game on the Internet. However, athletes challenge each other through clubs rather than nations. There is neither a French national League of Legends nor a Spanish team.

But these clubs, such as Vitality Bee or Karmine Corp, have nevertheless gathered in the French League of Legends (LFL). Established in 2019, the league now has 10 professional teams. On the Spanish side, the Super Liga is much more established, with a championship established in 2012 and 12 teams competing each season.

These two leagues, which can be compared to Ligue 1 and the e-sports version of La Liga, are today extremely advertised and most coveted by players. Thus, a rivalry was gradually created, also helped by the geographical proximity of the two countries.

Broadcasters have also gradually become true representatives of each nation. On the French side, we find in particular Kameto, co-founder of Carmine Corp.. On the Spanish side, it’s Ibai Llanos, followed by nearly 12 million people on Twitch, who serves as the Spanish webmaster.

Pixel War, battle 2.0 on an incredible scale

The rivalry took on another dimension last spring. Pixels that constantly change color, broadcasters on the verge of a nervous breakdown and finally a disproportionate digital job: The Pixel War, or pixel war, was all the rage on April 1, 2022. Internet users around the world gathered on Reddit to create a collaborative pixel art mural.

The goal, to color the pixels of a giant virtual canvas, even if it means stepping on others. With a strict rule – you could color a single pixel every five minutes – it was only through collective and coordinated actions that real images could emerge.

And in the heart of the chaos and relentless hours trying to capture his little piece of virtual space, two countries unexpectedly collided again: France and Spain. French broadcasters were strongly mobilized to try to reclaim as much pixelated territory as possible. We can thus discover the Arc de Triomphe, the croissants, the Louvre, Thomas Pesquet but also Zinedine Zidane in this fresco, before the Spanish decided to counterattack.

The Iberian broadcasters really thought the French were using bots or cheat codes to speed up the modeling of some graphics. Attempts at negotiation were even organized by the meddling Twitch, led by Kameto and Ibai. Based on strategies and alliances, the other countries participating in the fresco even had to choose their camp.

The Spanish broadcasters had only one obsession in the end: to destroy the French constructions, judging that they took up too much space in the work. The battle of pixels thus turned into a battle of egos, pitting massively followed Spanish videographers like Rubius (20 million Twitter followers) against French stars with far fewer followers (662,000 at the time for Kameto). The result: overwhelming victory for the French.

The return match to physics

The next Pixel War should take place in just five years. But the French and the Spanish have not decided to bury the hatchet in anticipation of the deadline. And is on a football field where the second match will take place between the French and Spanish networks. However, there will be no competition in the game. FIFA but in real life, at the Jean Bouin Stadium in Paris, on November 19.

The event, called “Eleven All Stars”, will join 21 players in the French squad, including Michou, Carlito and Inoxtag. The team will be primarily led by Kameto. And the Hispanic team will be led by Ibai. It couldn’t happen otherwise…

And beyond the Twitch sphere, 19,000 people will be present in the stands of the stadium to support French content creators. Just imagine a fire similar to the one created by Squeezie a few weeks ago for his GP Explorer at Le Mans.

The record for views on a French-speaking Twitch channel may be beaten, as the rivalry between France and Spain has become one of the most unifying gags on the internet.

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