Motor Racing Simulations have become so advanced that in the past few years they’ve not only been used by professional racing drivers to familiarise themselves with new tracks, but to also find and train aspiring drivers. Nissan and PlayStation have been running the GT Academy for the last 10 years, using the Grand Turismo games to down-select and convert gamers into real racing drivers who have then gone on to compete at international events such as the 24 hours of Le Mans. More recently Formula E held a ‘Road to Vegas’ virtual race series in the U.S.A. that selected 10 gamers to compete in a final Vista Vegas virtual race against 20 Formula E drivers in Las Vegas!
Now the world’s biggest motorsport has stepped into the esport arena, with Formula 1 announcing the launch of the Formula 1 Esports series, based on the upcoming F1 2017 game, in partnership with Codemasters, the leading racing game developer and publisher and Gfinity, the global leader in esports events and competitions.
The inaugural 2017 F1 Esport Series will be the first year of an annual competition, and will launched to coincide with the release of the official F1 2017 game. Releasing worldwide on August 25th for the PlayStation4 and Xbox One gaming consoles and for Windows PC (DVD and via Steam), the new F1 Esport Series will be open to F1 2017 players on all three platforms. It is available to pre-order now in the F1 Store.
Competitors will race through three different stages. Qualification events will take place throughout September to determine the quickest 40 drivers: these will progress to the live semifinal events, to be hosted at the Gfinity Arena in London on October 10th and 11th. The top 20 will progress to the Finals, which will take place at the Yas Marina as part of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 24th and 25th. At the end of a three-race event, the first Formula 1 Esports World Champion will be crowned on the same weekend as the final 2017 Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The winner will also be named the Formula 1 Esports Champion Expert for 2018 and will automatically qualify for the semifinals of next year’s Formula 1 Esports Series. The first winner will also be offered the opportunity to live the full experience of a Formula 1 race by attending one of the 2018 Grands Prix, as well as becoming a character in the F1 2018 game!
All the details about the Formula 1 Esport Series and how to compete visit F1Esports.com.