At first sight, Corentin Houssein, 26, is not impressive. He is not tall and he speaks in a soft voice. A cap hides the top of his face, a nascent beard nibbles down … But stick a mouse and keyboard in the hands of this discreet boy and the beast wakes up. Under the pseudonym Gotaga, Corentin accumulates the victims, the records and the titles in the video games of shooting, the blockbusters Call of Duty and Fortnite in mind.
His extraordinary reflexes in front of the screen earned him the nickname "French Monster", and 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube, plus 1.9 million on the Twitch platform , specialized in video games. He is considered one of the best e-sportsmen tri-color. And his notoriety allows him even today to invest theaters. There, the young man plays live with guests in front of an audience following the action on a giant screen. "Corentin has understood that video games can be a mix of performance, entertainment and entertainment," says Fabien Devide, says Neo, who has been working with him for six years. After La Rochelle, Marseille and Lille, the player will invest the Grand Rex, in Paris, on December 13, with his computers, his team and his fans to conclude his "Gotaga on Tour".
Always supported by his family
With a computer programmer dad, Corentin grew up surrounded by computers. At age 8, he received his first console, an XBox, and discovered combat games (Dead or Alive), racing (Need for Speed), shooting (Call of Duty 2, Gears of War, Ghost Recon, etc.) . In the early 2000s, the most passionate players clash at rallies, called LAN-parties, but also, with the Internet that develops, in online tournaments. Corentin joined a team, made his weapons on Ghost Recon and Gears of War. Serious: the console slipped into the suitcase, the teenager travels Europe, supported by his family. "Once, I missed the plane for a LAN. My dad took his day driving me to Amsterdam, "he recalls.
Addicted to competition – "I like winning less than I hate to lose" – Corentin especially understands the importance of an innovation appeared in 2005: YouTube. The young man soon begins to broadcast his own videos, filmed on the family TV show, once the parents are asleep. He broadcasts commented parts and, little by little, builds his legend on his image as a performer.
But, as the number of his fans increases, his grades in high school tumble. Daily training, YouTube videos and travel to tournaments every weekend leave little room for study. Corentin abandons his terminal to focus on his passion. At home, his parents cringe. "But my mother heard me laugh in front of my screen, I who am introverted. She saw that it was my world. "
Barely a major, he already lives his passion
The bet is risky but pays off. Publishers are investing more and more in e-sport, these video game competitions, and the sums involved in the tournaments are exploding. "When I started, we were fighting to win a single faceplate (Note: a console shell), remembers Corentin. Today, big tournaments are endowed with 3 million euros. "YouTube audiences and all Twitch, generating significant revenue for Corentin.
Barely major, he already lives his passion. Especially since he does not just tinker with his controller. In 2013, he cofounded Vitality, one of the best French e-sports teams. Since then, he has released his line of clothing, and even signed with sponsors like Red Bull and Adidas. "Whenever he undertakes something, Corentin federates people, surprised his friend Fabien Devide. It is a great leader, timeless too. I always knew him at the top. "
On Twitch, Corentin still animates what looks like a small TV channel in his name. The highlights take place on Mondays: he and his guests compete on Fortnite. At each game, the worst one gives a little money to a spectator drawn by lot. All these activities today bring Corentin Houssein to work a dozen people. To be on stage touring all over France is ultimately just another challenge for the prodigy. The subject is modest: "If I remained playing in my room, my life would be so monotonous …"