Aymeric Magne from Disneyland Paris: Competition is a part of the show
Aymeric Magne: "Competition is the part of the show."
MDL Disneyland® Paris Major finished last week with the spectacular victory of Team Secret, and we have interviewed a key event organizer, who is responsible for most of what you saw and experienced.
Aymeric Magne is the Global Events Director at Disneyland® Paris, he has 15 years of experience in organising sports and entertainment events. He is a passionate and creative person with a business focus.
Can you describe the best events you organized or were a part of?
— In terms of the latest events, we organized, for example, the Run Disney for the families.
When we are hosting an event, our idea is to create new experiences for our guests at Disneyland® Paris. So it's fully immersive. For example, runDisney is a different run from 5K, to the half marathon, plus kids races. And what is very different in this run is that you have met and greet with all the different characters of the Disney world throughout the run. It's the slowest run in the world (laughing) because everybody is stopping to see the characters. This is fun.
We also have organized an electronic music festival. And it's not only a festival because it's a vast experience. It's a 3D event inside the Park, where the attractions are open, and we have the best DJ coming to make some music inside the Park, and people can enjoy the music, but also can enjoy the attractions, and in some of our events meet and greet with some of the characters, etc.
If I happened to travel to MDL Disneyland Paris Major from another city or another country, what would I get there besides Dota 2?
The idea of making esports — to make this event, was also to create an immersive experience. So, you're coming to a destination - Disneyland® Paris. You'll be a part of the full experience of the Park. You can come to the event to enjoy the games, and I don't know if you see that in the streaming, but we've tried to push different music, some animation about Disney. And on top of that, you could have access to the various Parks, and also to the Disney Village, and also you can stay in Disney Hotel. You're in the Disney World. So, it's totally different from going to a typical arena. You're free to experience Disney and Dota 2 at the same time.
Can you share some insights into how Disneyland Paris became the host of a Dota 2 Major? Did MDL come to you, or did you guys contact Valve and receive an invitation from MDL?
- It's a combination: we met, and it was the perfect fit. I mean, we're an international park. We would like to have a new experience here for the consumer. And Mars Media would like to have an amazing Major, totally different from the others, which is a different experience. I think, we met - it fit, and we got together to organise this great event.
Can you describe how different it is to organise sports events from esports?
There are some similarities in the organisation and the operation. The main difference is, in my opinion, the technical part. Esports demand enormous investments in technology and the internet. And also the time of the event is longer, which means you have, for example, 14 hours of competition per day. In sports it's like 2 or 3, or a maximum of 4 hours. It has totally different dynamics. This is the two main differences: technology and timing of the event. And also you have the public, which is a little bit different.
We've heard a lot of talk about esports in the Olympic Games. Do you have an opinion on the issue? Should esports games be a part of the Olympic?
It's a very specific issue. I have a personal opinion and a professional opinion. I think esports is really similar to sports in some ways, but I would say, that it's a totally IOC's (Comité International Olympique) decision to go into esports or not. Every esports entity needs to adapt to others. So, IOC needs to evaluate a lot, and they're doing it. Esports needs to be adapted to the IOC requirements. It will take time, but it's something that could happen in the future.
So, we're ways away from esports coming to the Olympics, is that right? It's not possible this year?
No, I didn't say that. I think this question is not as simple.
Most esports fans like to stay at home and watch streams online rather than going to the venue. As someone who hosted both sports and esports events, do you see the difference in the audience?
Yes, the audience is different because it's not exactly the same person. But, honestly speaking, there is an enormous difference between watching the stream and live experience. And really, coming to an event is amazing. You'll never forget about going there. Specifically, when the event is focusing on the guests, what will stay in their memory, what they will share with the others around them. You can hear a lot of noise next to me [the audience in the background was screaming — WePlay!]. Look at that, just right now! It's a community.
The community is all together celebrating the lovely competition. We have a lot of immersion in the games, around all the Disney animation in a nice place. So, it's totally different. Streaming is important, but you'll have totally different emotions from going to an event. You can do both, but you cannot replace the live experience. It's like when you're going to a concert. You can see a concert on Youtube, but when you're at a concert - the emotions are totally different. And for esports - it's the same. There is a lot of passion, and we feel that, and it's very exciting.
What do you think would encourage people to visit LANs more often?
I think the organisers need to think about the guests. In Disney, we're always trying to fit with the guests' needs and expectations. We want to do more: to create some magic and emotion. If you don't create these emotions around an event, I would say, I understand why do people stay at home to watch a stream. If you compare to what they get at an arena, and what we're doing at Disney - it's totally different. We're not selling a ticket to a venue, we're offering both - destination and experience. And this is the way that people get out of the house to come to an event. And this is, I think, the way that the public will love.
So, it's up to the organiser to think about the audience and guests and to offer them an experience, which is better here than in their house. I prefer to have fewer people all very happy than having twenty thousand to fulfil an arena that at the end of the day, just came for a competition. We're not only here for a competition. Competition is a part of the show. We have a different mindset, and this is the objective of MDL to become a reference in terms of entertainment for esports.
I'm sure there are thousands of youngsters watching the Paris Disneyland Major right now, and many of them would do anything to get your job one day. Can you give them a piece of advice?
You need to believe in your dreams. You need to be motivated and never give up.
A couple of simple questions for the end. Which Disney character would you want to see in Dota 2 the most?
(laughing) I will refer the question to the public: what would they like to see in Dota 2. And I'm working for the public. Sorry, but it's really my answer. I'm here to deliver the best for my guests and for my audience. Come here and ask them.
Do you have a favorite video game?
FIFA, because I come from sports. It's a good game. It's a classic one, though not very original.
What about Dota 2?
I'm a fan of all the games, but if I should choose — I would say FIFA.
Thank you very much for your time!