How France-Spain has become one of the biggest rivalries on the internet

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

For some, the France-Spain announcement evokes football, basketball or handball. For others it is now synonymous with fighting on the Internet. From e-sports to social networks and now in real life, French and Spanish internet users are fighting a ruthless battle.

A rivalry that has lasted for several years now but intensified a few months ago, carried on by leaders determined to win the game of “Who will own the Internet?”

E-sports, one trigger

Whether it’s friendly matches or international competitions, France and Spain have been competing for many years in e-sports, especially in League of Legends, the most watched game on the Internet. The athletes, on the other hand, compete for clubs and not for nations. There is neither a League of Legends French national team nor a Spanish team.

But these clubs, like Vitality Bee or Karmine Corp, are still united in the French League of Legends (LFL). Created in 2019, the league now has 10 professional teams. On the Spanish side, the Super Liga is much more established, with a league created in 2012 and 12 teams competing each season.

These two leagues, which could be compared to Ligue 1 and the e-sport version of La Liga, are today highly publicized and most coveted by players. A rivalry has therefore gradually been created, also helped by the geographical proximity of the two countries.

Even streamers have gradually become true representatives of each nation. On the French side we find in particular Kameto, co-founder of Karmine Corp. On the Spanish side, it is Ibai Llanos, followed by almost 12 million people on Twitch, who acts as the head of the Spanish Internet.

The Pixel War, battle 2.0 on an exceptional scale

The rivalry took on another dimension this past spring. Constantly changing color pixels, streamers on the verge of a nervous breakdown and finally a disproportionate digital work: the Pixel War raged on April 1, 2022. Internet users from all over the world gathered on Reddit to create a collaborative pixel art fresco.

The goal, to color the pixels of a giant virtual canvas, even at the cost of invading the others. With an iron rule – a single pixel could be colored every five minutes – it was only through collective and coordinated actions that real images could appear.

And in the heart of the chaos and the incessant hours trying to grab his piece of virtual space, two countries collided once again without premeditation: France and Spain. French streamers had mobilized strongly to try to recover as much pixelated territory as possible. We could thus discover the Arc de Triomphe, the croissants, the Louvre, Thomas Pesquet but also Zinedine Zidane on this fresco, before the Spaniards decided to fight back.

In fact, the Iberian streamers thought that the French used robots or cheat codes to speed up the modeling of certain graphics. Negotiation attempts were even organized by interposed Twitch, led by Kameto and Ibai. By dint of strategies and alliances, the other countries participating in the fresco also had to choose their own camp.

In the end, the Spanish streamers had only one obsession: to destroy the French constructions, judging that they occupied too much space on the work. The battle of the pixels thus turned into a battle of egos, pitting popular Spanish videographers like Rubius (20 million Twitter followers) against French stars with far fewer followers (662,000 for Kameto at the time). Result: crushing victory for the French.

The return game in physics

The next Pixel War should only take place in five years. But the French and Spanish didn’t decide to bury the hatchet while waiting for the deadline. And it is on a football field that the return match between the French and Spanish webs will be played. However, it won’t be about competing on the FIFA game but in real life, at the Jean Bouin stadium in Paris on November 19th.

The event, called “Eleven All Stars”, will bring together 21 players from the French team, including Michou, Carlito or Inoxtag. The team will in particular be coached by Kameto. And the Hispanic team will be coached by Ibai. It could not be otherwise…

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

The viewership record on a French-speaking Twitch channel could be broken, as the rivalry between France and Spain has become one of the most unifying gags on the internet.

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