A couple of months back, Team VVV attended the first ever F1 Esports Pro Draft and today sees the announcement of the next step in the official launch of the F1 Esports Pro Series 2018, ‘where the official F1 Esports teams will battle it out to be named this year’s F1 Esports Series Teams’ and Drivers’ World Champions on Codemasters’ F1 2018 videogame.’
Details of the times and dates for the upcoming events have been revealed, ‘the Pro Series will be held as a series of three live events at London’s Gfinity Esports Arena on October 10th, October 31st and the Grand Finale across November 16th and 17th. The events will be streamed live on Facebook and broadcast globally on selected TV networks, bringing the excitement and exhilaration of Formula 1 to a new generation of fans across the globe.’
The Pro Draft was an intense experience for the players following an equally intensive selection process, ‘over 66,000 players have competed over the four online qualifying rounds to secure a coveted place in the inaugural F1 Esports Pro Draft in July. Completing 1.1 million laps in F1 2017. Just 16 of the most talented gamers from nine countries secured places on the official F1 teams, they will now race alongside established racers for a coveted prize fund of $200,000, allocated to the teams based on their positions in the team standings. You can catch up on all the action behind the inaugural Pro Draft on YouTube.’
Interesting that the prize money is allocated to the teams in the same way as the actual Formula One constructors prize fund. The down side to this is the lack of transparency that affects the motorsport, also carries across to the Esport. Let’s hope those fears are unfounded and we get more clarity, either way it is very exciting to see an actual established prize pot distributed in that way and could make it more interesting for the teams in terms of investment and kudos.
F1 Esports also outlines their new title sponsor; ‘footwear and lifestyle brand New Balance as the Title Sponsor of this year’s F1 Esports Series. New Balance will provide footwear for the drivers, while F1 also retains its existing sponsors DHL and Fanatec. The F1 Esports Series is operated in partnership with Codemasters, the developer and publisher of the official Formula 1 video game franchise and Gfinity, one of the world’s leading esports companies.‘
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Growth & F1 Esports at Formula 1 said:
“The launch of the Pro Series is a pivotal moment for the F1 Esports Series. In a short space of time the drivers have come together from all around the world to join their official F1 teams; and will now take their passion for motorsport and gaming from home all the way to the podium. With the F1 teams involved we have been able to combine the power of Esports with the magic of Formula 1, establishing an adrenaline fuelled series that has been streamed across the globe. Now it’s time for the teams to deliver their best performances, and we can’t wait to crown this year’s Teams’ and Drivers’ Champions.”
Jonathan Bunney, VP Publishing at Codemasters said:
“We’ve been impressed with the skill and dedication shown by our player community with F1 2018 across PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC. The Pro Series takes gaming talent to a new benchmark and is set to make history for F1 and gaming fans alike.”
Mark Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer at Gfinity said:
“It is a privilege to welcome some of the very best gamers in the world to the Gfinity Esports Arena for the F1 Esports Pro Series. We’re braced to see a competition quite unlike any other as our hugely talented drivers battle it out head-to-head to be named this year’s F1 Esports champion. For aspiring gamers watching around the world, the event is sure to be nothing short of exciting.”
It’s all shaping up to be a very exciting tournament, building on the potential of promise demonstrated last year. No doubt Codemasters are working hard to iron out any last remaining bugs in making the gameplay experience as stable as possible and in return developing the most accurate crossover to real motorport ever seen on this scale. We’ll be keeping a close eye on proceedings and expect to see more coverage on the site in the coming weeks.