eSport is coming to Formula One! F1 has launched its own eSports series that will run for the remainder of the season, and it looks set to attract new fans.
Formula 1 Launches eSports World Championship
eSports have got the world in their grip and just about everyone is jumping on the competitive gaming bandwagon. Now, Formula One has joined the fray and will crown its first virtual champion at the end of season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It has been announced that F1 will launch their own eSports series that will run from September to November, and fans are thrilled with this new development.
This new F1 eSports series will run in partnership with Formula One, the game developer Codemasters and the competition specialists Gfinity.
An Exciting New Avenue to Explore
The F1 eSports series will run in 3 stages and will kick off with the qualification events in September. The qualification rounds will determine the 40 fastest virtual drivers and will run on Xbox One, Windows PC and PlayStation 4 platforms.
Live semi-final rounds will be held at London’s Gfinity Arena on the 10th and 11th of October, with the top 20 drivers heading through to the 3 race finals at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on November the 24th and 25th. Whoever is crowned as the first F1 eSports champion will automatically qualify for the following years semi finals. At present there are many sportsbooks offering eSports bets, and it is safe to say that sports betting NZ punters and those around the globe will be keeping a keen eye on whether F1 eSports bets will be accepted.
Moving with the Times
F1 is one of the biggest spectator sports globally and the brand’s managing director Sean Bratches has said that the new eSports series represented an absolutely incredibly opportunity for the business, both on a strategic level and the way in which they engage with fans.
Formula One has undergone notable changes over the years and technology has played a huge role in these. From engine changes to the way drivers are monitored during the race, every facet has undergone something of a transformation. With eSports becoming so popular it is only natural that F1 should branch out into this arena too.
The US based company Liberty Media who took over the marketing of Formula One in january is 100% behind the new venture, as they have targeted gaming as a growth vertical and are keen to drive revenue for this sector and connect with younger audiences. F1 is somewhat universal in appeal, but younger fans are always a target market as they build the next generation.
Many of F1’s teams are embracing the eSports angle, and Mclaren has even gone so far as to say that all teams may end up having their own virtualized counterpart. In May Mclaren launched a World’s Fastest Gamer initiative, ahead of the official F1 eSports challenge, and they were looking to recruit a driver for a simulator from those who excelled at virtual racing.
Many of the current F1 drivers, including Red Bull’s wunderkind Max Verstappen, are avid gamers and this step into the world of eSports is sure to be a welcome one.
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