The Formula 1 Esports Series is back for its second season –
and this year, the official teams of F1 will be setting up their own dedicated
esports teams to compete in the event.
The 2018 season of the Formula 1 Esports Series will be
divided into two segments. The first will see online racers given the chance to earn
a place on the official esports driver line-up for one of the official Formula 1
teams, whilst the second will see drivers race on behalf of their official
teams as they compete to become the champions of the 2018 F1 Esports Series.
The participating teams in the F1 Esports Series includes 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
The F1 Esports Series will be played on F1 2017, the
official game of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and the latest entry into
the long-running annual racing franchise from Codemasters, and will be open to
those on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
“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,” said Frank Sagnier,
CEO at Codemasters. “We strongly believe that Esports is a platform that allows
us to engage with a wide, diverse audience in addition to our traditional
Racers will battle it out in an effort to win a place in the
first-ever Pro Draft in July. This is where the official Formula 1 teams
involved in the F1 Esports Series will choose their drivers for the second part
of the season. Each participating team will be required to select at least one
of its drivers from the Pro Draft.
The first of four qualifying events will be live in F1 2017
from April 13th. The first event sees competitors take control of Valtteri
Bottas' Mercedes in Shanghai as he hunts down a podium finish from sixth place
with five laps remaining on a wet, but drying, track. The ten players to
complete this challenge the fastest on each platform will then race in a broadcasted
event final with the top three on each platform qualifying for the Pro Draft.
At the end of the four qualifying events and the Wildcard stage,
the Pro Draft will be held where the top 40 drivers in the world will be
eligible for selection by the official Formula 1 teams for their respective
The esports drivers chosen from the Pro Draft will then
represent their teams in the second half of the season as they race and compete
in three live events that will determine 2018 F1 Esports Series Teams' and
Drivers' World Champions – with a prize fund of at least $200,000.
The return of the Formula 1 Esports Series follows a
successful inaugural competition last year, which saw British racer Brendon
Leigh crowned as the first ever champion in Abu Dhabi.
“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,” said Julian Tan, Head of
Digital Growth and F1 Esports at Formula 1. “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.”
“We are excited to be retained by Formula 1 as the events
partner,” added Neville Upton, Gfinity’s CEO. “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 this year’s season, Formula 1 has renewed its
partnership with F1 game developer Codemasters and esports organizer Gfinity. DHL
has also been named as an official sponsor of the F1 Esports Series as part of an
extension of their partnership with Formula 1.
Expect more details on the F1 Esports Series as the season
progresses. We’ll be covering it all here on FullThrottle, so be sure to check
back for all the latest. You can find the official rulebook for the 2018 season
of the F1 Esports Series over on the official
Formula 1 website.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.