This year seems to be the perfect year for fashion-loving nerds like us. One of the most famous luxury brands, Louis Vuitton has realized our dream: to have a skin on LoL entirely branded with the iconic LV. We interviewed Filippo Pedrini aka Esport Maestro to talk about this incredible breakthrough in gaming, video games, fashion industry, earnings, strengths and weaknesses of being a LoL streamer in 2019.
Who are you? And what do you do?
My name is Filippo Pedrini, aka eSport maestro. Keynote Speaker, contributor to the Gazzetta dello Sport (the most famous Italian sports newspaper).
ESports: what does it mean? Is it considered a true sport?
With eSports (electronic sports) we mean organized and professional videogame competitions, but only some specific “intensive” video games, not all of them. The question of whether or not esports are full-fledged sports is at the center of a very heated debate. They are not yet considered real sports by the public point of view, but it has been shown that some of the skills that pro players develop (for example hand-eye coordination, reflexes, stimulation of the motor cortex, etc) are quite similar to other sports like archery, clay pigeon shooting or target shooting. In addition, in 2017 the International Olympic Committee opened for the first time to esport, making people dream of a future in which real sports and virtual sports will be side by side at the Olympics.
Why is LoL still so famous nowadays?
In reality, LoL has been on the crest of the wave for some years. It is certainly one of the most famous esport titles in the world. Its secret is to be found in the global audience that it can generate, if a title like Fortnite works above all in America, a title like League of Legends instead is played everywhere: America, but also Europe and especially Asia, with China milling dizzying numbers.
I know this is a difficult question but can you tell us which is the average salary of a professional gamer/streamer?
Well every videogame has its own rule. Taking LoL as an example, the salary of a player who plays in the top division averages around 200.000€ a year, with much higher peaks for phenomena and stars. For streamers instead, it is different because they do not have a fixed salary received from their teams but they earn based on how many people follow them. Ninja, the most famous streamer in the world, claimed to have earned 10 million dollars in 2018, but he is an exceptional case, 99% of streamers earns much less.
It’s incredible that a videogame tournament can fill nowaday a football stadium. Is it an immersive experience like a football match?
ESport creates a mechanism of support and rivalry that is completely identical to traditional sport. Moreover, live export events know how to enrich the experience by adding show and entertainment elements like in wrestling for example. Add a non-prohibitive ticket cost and a 360 ° fan experience (possibility to meet your fans, photoshoots, gadgets for sale, etc) and you will have your explosive mix!
Every mainstream sport has a gambling section. Do E-sports have the same? If yes, how does it work?
Yes, it exists even in eSports, and just like in real sports, there have already been numerous match-fixing scandals. It works exactly like in sport, betting in advance on the result of some matches or on the details of the matches themselves. As a rule, since the audience of many video games is often underage the common feeling is not to encourage the practice of betting or to ban it completely.
Any words (good or bad) about Fortnite? How does it influence the underage audience?
I’m a big fan of Fortnite. I think he brought the gaming world to new mainstream heights by making everyone understand the potential of this industry.
We recently saw a collaboration between Louis Vuitton and LoL. It sounded awkward for us.
I mean, we know that we saw everything branded LV in the past but what do you think about this collab?
How it is possible that a huge classical brand that operate in fashion decided to invest in a new field as Esports?
I think this collaboration is absolutely brilliant because it doesn’t mortify the culture of luxury or gaming, but rather enhances them. Let’s settle for a moment: the LV x LoL collaboration is made specifically for the world championship finals to be held in France, the home of LV and the luxury fashion culture. The winning team’s cup, a symbolically very precious object, perhaps the most precious of exports, will be transported to the iconic travel case with LV monogram print embellished with “technological” elements inspired by the world of League of Legends. Finally, there will be digital skins (which the characters of LoL will be able to wear, almost like sketches of design) made by Nicolas Ghesquiere, in an extraordinary short circuit of real and virtual. Do you see how everything goes well without forcing? I think this is why this partnership works so well.
Do you think that in the future we will see more collaboration like this? Maybe a magical sword branded Balenciaga or a supercool Versace’s Joystick?
100% yes. The concept that real brands can have a presence even in digital/fictitious worlds is something very fascinating to me. In addition to the examples cited, imagine also Versace who designs the uniforms of a team of gamers, or who sponsors them. It happened in Italy with Armani Exchange that has become a sponsor of an Italian export team, or Adidas that is collaborating with exponents of the gaming world. I think we’re just starting.
5 favorite games that we should play and why:
Not all export titles. I make a mix
1) Red Dead Redemption: epic western of incalculable thickness.
2) Super Smash Bros Ultimate: a colorful brawl with characters from video game worlds. Unmissable
3) Monster Hunter: hundreds of hours to hunt monsters and forge armor. Brutal
4) Erica: an interactive thriller that mixes cinema and video game. Magical
5) Judgment: Action and investigation in a magnificently reproduced Tokyo. Japan lover