Formula 1®, the pinnacle of motorsport, today announced that the second season of the Formula 1 Esports Series will start on April 13. The teams who compete in this season’s FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ will set up their own esports outfits to compete in the F1® Esports Series 2018.
This season will be split in two parts a qualifier and a Pro-series. In the first, online racers will be offered the incredible opportunity to earn a place on the official esports driver line-up for one the official F1 teams; Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Force India F1 Team, Williams, Renault Sport F1 Team, Haas F1 Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team will all be offering positions in their esports driver line ups.
The F1 Esports Series will see the world’s top online racers battle it out on F1 2017, the official game of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, in an effort to win a place in the first ever Pro Draft in July. This is where the official Formula 1 teams will select their drivers for the second part of the season. Every team must select at least one of its drivers from the Pro Draft.
F1 2017 players on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and PC will be able to enter the first of the four qualifying events from 13 April. The first event sees them take control of Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes in Shanghai hunting down a podium finish from sixth place with five laps remaining on a wet, but drying, track. The fastest ten players on each platform will then race off in a live-streamed event final, where the top three will qualify for the Pro Draft.
At the end of stage one, the top 40 drivers in the world will be eligible for selection by the Formula 1 teams for their respective esports teams (Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Hype Energy eForce India, Williams F1 Esports Team, Renault Sport Team Vitality, Haas F1 Esports Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.)
Stage two, which launches in September, will see the official esports drivers represent their teams in the second half of the season, as they race in the three live events that will determine the 2018 F1 Esports Series Teams’ and Drivers’ World Champions with a prize fund of at least $200,000.
Following the success of the inaugural competition last year, which saw Great Britain’s Brendon Leigh crowned as the first ever champion in Abu Dhabi, Formula 1 has renewed its partnership with Codemasters and Gfinity for the 2018 F1 Esports Series. Also, DHL have joined the Series as an official sponsor as part of the extension of their partnership with Formula 1.
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Growth & F1 Esports at Formula 1 said:
“It has always been our goal to get the teams involved as soon as possible and we are delighted that they have recognised the potential of the F1 Esports Series at such an early stage. Last year’s series was a great success and demonstrated that there is a clear audience and interest in this innovative, exciting form of racing. We will continue to invest in the Esports Series as we feel it is a great way for us to interact and engage with a new audience.”
Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters said:
“Codemasters is extremely proud to be involved in the F1 Esports Series. The quality of the racing we saw during last year’s series was spectacular and the integration of the teams for the coming season is going to take the competition and its promotion to the next level. We strongly believe that Esports is a platform that allows us to engage with a wide, diverse audience in addition to our traditional gaming community.”
Neville Upton, CEO at Gfinity said:
“We are excited to be retained by Formula 1 as the events partner. F1 and Codemasters maximised the true potential last year by fully integrating the F1 Esports Series into the final Grand Prix weekend in Abu Dhabi through both their linear TV partners and streaming platforms and we look forward to building on that success in season two with more events and broadcast opportunities.”
For more information on the F1 Esports Series visit www.f1esports.com.
Notes to editors:
Norman Howell, Director of Communications, Formula 1
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About Formula 1®
Formula 1® racing began in 1950 and is the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition, as well as the world’s most popular annual sporting series. The 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to November and spans 21 races in 21 countries across four continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of Formula 1 and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.
Formula1 is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LSXMA, LSXMB, LSXMK, BATRA, BATRK, FWONA, FWONK) attributed to the Formula One Group tracking stock.
The F1 FORMULA 1 logo, FORMULA 1, F1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trade marks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula 1 company: All rights reserved.
Codemasters, the award winning videogame developer and publisher, has a 30 year heritage. With titles distributed globally, Codemasters is a leading developer and publisher of driving and racing entertainment games including DiRT, GRID and the official BAFTA award-winning FORMULA 1™ series of videogames. The company is fully controlled by Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd. (RBEL). For more information on Codemasters’ product portfolio, please visit www.codemasters.com. Join in the conversation with @codemasters on Twitter or Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/codemasters.
Founded in 2012, Gfinity has established itself as one of the world’s leading esports companies. The London-based business enjoys strong relationships with game publishers, players and the wider esports community and has built a solid reputation for delivering high quality competitions, both on-line at www.gfinityesports.com and off-line, in addition to producing industry leading esports broadcasts. The Gfinity Esports Arena at Fulham Broadway, London is the home of UK esports showcasing regular tournaments across the full range of competitive games. Beyond its own tournaments Gfinity provides a full turnkey solution for brands wanting to create their own esports tournaments and has staged premium esports events around the globe for leading publishers and brands including Formula 1, Microsoft, Activision, EA, Xbox, Gillette and HP.
Esports (electronic sports) is watching or playing competitive video gaming. Leading titles include League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Defence of the Ancients 2 (DotA 2), Call of Duty and Rocket League. The industry is growing rapidly, with new communities developing around more and more titles. The global esports market generated US$493 million of revenue in 2016 and is expected to make $1.5 billion by 2020. The global esports audience in 2017 was 191 million people, 80% under the age of 35 and 70% male (source: Newzoo). Online streaming channels Twitch and YouTube command the biggest audiences, although esports events are also now being broadcast on conventional TV. The 2015 League of Legends Championships finals in Berlin were watched by 36 million people, with a peak concurrent viewership of 14 million viewers, while at DotA 2’s flagship annual championship ‘The International 2016’ competitors from around the world competed for a prize pot of over $20 million.
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