The 2023 Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas, the largest and most inclusive eTennis tournament, has concluded with William “Fozzy” Foster from the UK emerging as the champion. Defending his title from last year, Fozzy showcased his exceptional skills and determination, overcoming a staggering 400,000 participants to secure victory in the Grand Final held at the renowned Philippe-Chatrier Court in Roland-Garros, Paris.
Representing five countries including France, Great Britain, China, Colombia, and Israel, a total of eight entrants qualified for the highly anticipated Grand Final. The competition kicked off with a round-robin group stage, where each player faced off against one another. The top four players from the group stage advanced to the semi-finals, engaging in intense best-of-three single elimination matches to secure a spot in the finals.
In line with its commitment to inclusivity, the tournament also featured participants from partner-led qualifiers. Maricela Espinosa Villada and Rayann Chaghla achieved notable success in the Women in Games and Handigamers qualifiers respectively. These qualifiers represent the efforts of the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) to ensure the eTennis tournament remains as inclusive as possible.
Fozzy’s path to victory began with a fourth-place finish in the round-robin stage. Undeterred by this initial setback, he demonstrated his resilience by defeating Noam Abitbul from Israel in a thrilling match that ended with a score of 10-8, 6-10, 10-4. Fozzy then faced off against Shenghao “Kafe” He from China in the final, prevailing with a remarkable score of 10-8, 10-9, 10-8. Gilles Simon, a renowned former tennis player, presented the winner and runner-up trophies, along with the €5,000 prize money, which was split between the players.
Expressing his joy at the victory, William “Fozzy” Foster said, “It was a really hard-fought tournament, and though I didn’t have the best start, I just had to keep the faith and it somehow worked. I just tried to stay calmer and hold my nerve as that mental element of the game is key. It was very much like a chess match, but I’m ecstatic to have won the Roland Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas for a second year in a row. I’ve qualified for next month’s Olympic Esports Series, but I’ll definitely be back again next year to compete.”
The Grand Final of the tournament took place in a dedicated gaming space within the iconic Philippe-Chatrier Court in Paris. The event was live-streamed in French by popular streamers LittleBigWhale and Rivenzi, as well as Gilles Simon. With a staggering 160K live views, the stream highlighted the growing interest in eTennis. For the first time, the event was also live-streamed in English on the Twitch and YouTube channels of Tennis Clash.
Gilles Moretton, President of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), expressed his satisfaction with the tournament’s outcome, stating, “We are so pleased to have held yet another successful Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas, which exceeded all of our expectations in terms of viewership and participation. Congratulations to Fozzy on his victory, and we wish all the best to the eight finalists, who will undoubtedly strive to return next year. It is a tremendous honor to organize the biggest and most inclusive eTennis tournament in the world, and we eagerly look forward to reaching even more players and viewers in the years to come!”
The Grand Final held in the esteemed Philippe-Chatrier Court was a testament to the growing popularity of eTennis. The event not only showcased the skills and competitive spirit of the participants but also highlighted the increasing appetite for esports in the tennis community. With its live streaming in multiple languages and the collaboration with Tennis Clash, the Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas attracted a wide audience, bringing the excitement of virtual tennis to fans around the globe.
As the curtain falls on another successful edition of the Roland-Garros eSeries, William “Fozzy” Foster can revel in his remarkable achievement as the first back-to-back champion of the tournament. His impressive performance, coupled with the tremendous support from the organizers and partners, has solidified the Roland-Garros eSeries as a premier event in the world of eTennis.
Fans and participants eagerly await the next edition of the Roland-Garros eSeries, where new talents will emerge, and the competition will continue to push the boundaries of virtual tennis. With its unwavering commitment to inclusivity and the thrill of competitive gaming, the Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas remains a flagship tournament that celebrates the convergence of technology and sportsmanship.