TDS: Going All-In to play in LFL

TDS

FINANCE

Esports

18/01/2024 - 3'

"This is the project of a lifetime."

This year, Team du Sud (TDS) joins the ranks of the French League of Legends (LFL). After breaking every record in 2023 in Division 2, the team founded by YouTubers and streamers Andreas "Slipix" Ergas and Maxime "Sixen" Tchoroukian is gearing up to face the best French teams.

TDS's journey to LFL is quite unique. In Division 2, they positioned themselves among the league's top budgets (with a total budget around €100,000) with clear ambitions of victory. Now, they span the budget spectrum from the podium to the the smallest in the league. Despite financial constraints, the team decided to embark on the LFL adventure with almost a month and a half delay in the transfer market compared to their competitors.

However, not playing this season was not an option. Reaching LFL was the dream of these passionate League of Legends enthusiasts. Those who used to attend LFL matches to cheer for their favorite teams will finally be able to do so with their own banner.

Financial Dilemma? Not for the South

To enter LFL, Slipix and Sixen had no other choice but to invest personal money to fund the team and staff's construction. In order to afford a competitive transfer market and, most importantly, to have no regrets, they had to set aside several personal projects.

Slipix points out that when you're an influencer, and you want to make money, you don't venture into esports. Today, the majority of the revenues from their respective streams are reinvested in the club. It's a project that costs them a lot, but this "sacrifice" is nothing compared to the glory it gives. For Slipix, TDS is a life project.

"When you put so much money into a project that is dear to you, you'll cherish every moment. The emotions are eight times stronger whether it's a victory or defeat, and that's what makes it beautiful. Today, TDS is a bit of my pride. I'm thrilled to receive all this support, and I can't wait to see the LFL matches," he says.

Only One Sponsor in LFL?

Starting a season with a budget twice as high as the previous year may seem huge, but for the first European regional league, it's relatively modest. Fortunately, TDS was able to rely on an upward renewal from its sole sponsor, Holy Energy. It's surprising for a structure of this enthusiasm to have only one sponsor, and Slipix indicates that he doesn't quite understand this situation. At present, TDS is reportedly in discussions with several other brands, but nothing has been signed yet.

The club has also turned down several partnerships that didn't align with their values. As Slipix puts it: "Anything related to betting sites, online casinos, crypto or NFTs, it's not for us, even if the sums are staggering. We've already turned down a contract of about €200,000 per year because it didn't match our values, and these values are the heart of TDS," he emphasizes.

Community Growth as the Growth Engine

Even though TDS can only rely on Holy Energy to date, they still have the growing TDS fan community as a financial resource. Thanks to sales of the new 2024 jerseys, the team has generated enough money to meet the club's demands for the next few months.

With Tropik's help, they recently introduced a product in two colors, white and navy blue. This release was an unexpected success, and in total, almost a thousand jerseys were sold, with 53% white and 47% navy blue.

Like their jerseys, TDS has something unique, endearing, and sincere. Good vibes and entertainment reign in their Twitch livestreams. According to Slipix, the key to success is simply to stay true to oneself and give it your all.

In the future, Team du Sud aims to organize more and more IRL events and plans to base their business model on entertainment and community development. For now, the club has between 500 and 700 Twitter users using the TDS tag, and this number could very well increase with the club’s entry into LFL.

Return on Investment and Personal Project Development

Originally, TDS benefited greatly from the visibility of its founders. However, the project is also starting to create visibility for Sixen and Slipix's personal channels, creating a virtuous cycle of audience diversification between casual League of Legends and esports enthusiasts. The CEO describes this effect as a "reward" for their respective investments in the Team Du Sud project.

During Division 2, Slipix admits he didn't expect such a competitive result and enthusiasm from the public, as evidenced by important matches like the Up&Down finals, reaching over 10,000 viewers on their personal channels.

With the launch of the new LFL season in the horizon, the club expects seven to eight times more visibility and sees this new opportunity as an expected return from their personal financial

- Dymey -