The Automobile Club de l'Ouest has launched its own dedicated
Le Mans Esports Series on Forza Motorsport 7. The competition made its debut in
Silverstone this weekend to coincide with the latest round of the 2018 World
Endurance Championship and will offer drivers the chance at battling it out for
up to $160,000 in cash prizes.
The Le Mans Esports Series, which is played exclusively on
Microsoft’s latest racing game for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, is composed of six
different events and a grand finale that’s slated to take place at next year’s
24 Hours of Le Mans. The championship is available worldwide and is divided
into three major regions: EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa), the Americas (North
America and South America), and Asia and Oceania regions.
Upon registering for the championship, you’ll be able to
choose the region that you reside in, which determines who you’ll be racing
against in qualifying events. Each qualifier is divided into two stages, including
hot-lap qualifications with specific cars, tracks and weather conditions, as
well as races that are surprised by marshals from esports event organizer Glory4Gamers.
There will also be ranked races based on hot-lap qualifications, and the Automobile
Club de l'Ouest says all events have been designed to reflect the spirt of endurance
and the World Endurance Championship.
The first qualifying event celebrates the 6 hours of Silverstone
and begins on August 19th, followed by Fuji (Suzuka Circuit) on October 14th, and Shanghai (Bathurst) on
November 18th. Then in 2019, the Le Mans Esports Series continues with
Autosport International (Brands Hatch) between January 12th-13th, the 1,000 Miles of Sebring
on March 15th, and the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 4th. It then all
concludes with the ‘Super Final’ at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from June 15th-16th.
All the hot-lap qualifying rounds will be played online on
Forza Motorsport 7, whilst two of the six qualifier race events will be played
onsite with the best drivers of their respective regions. The 10 best Asian
drivers will compete in Fuji, Japan at the end of the qualifiers, whilst the 10
best drivers of EMEA will compete at Autosport International in Birmingham, England.
All other races and qualifying events will be played online,
but two places will be reserved for drivers present onsite who will be able to
qualify just before the final race by competing on simulators with steering
wheels in a three-lap race event. The Le Mans Esports Series does note, however
that “last chance places are in low numbers and the access to simulators is not
guaranteed,” advising competitors to try their best to qualify earlier by taking
part in the online events.
Drivers can qualify for the finale at the 24 Hours of Le
Mans in 2019 by directly winning one of the six qualifiers in their regions or
achieving enough team points rankings at the end of the six stages of the
championship. Like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, all competitors can create or join
teams, and team points are the combined total of those accumulated by the team’s
drivers. Therefore, choosing your teammates will be important. The more events
you compete in, the more points you’ll be awarded. Additionally, two teams will
also be invited to the finale by the LMES Organization as wild cards from
competing on the onsite simulators, as mentioned earlier.
In total, 36 drivers will be grouped into 12 teams to compete
in the finale at next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is only the first season of the Le Mans
Esports Series, and it’s open to both professional and amateur drivers. All you
need is a copy of Forza Motorsport 7 with an Xbox Live Gold membership, a
reliable broadband internet connection, and of course, an Xbox One console or a
Windows 10 PC that meets the game’s system requirements. Beyond that, you’ll
need to seek out your teammates and register to compete over on the official website of
the Le Mans Esports Series, which is where you can stay up-to-date with the
event schedule and the current competition rankings.
With $160,000 in cash prizes, the Le Mans Esports Series
will reward players with $10,000 after every qualifying event divided across
all three main regions, whilst $100,000 will be awarded to winners at the Le
Mans Super Final following next year’s official 24-hour race. An exact
breakdown of the prize structure has yet to be released.
Further details of the program can also be found on the official
website of the Le Mans Esports Series, including a detailed rundown of the six
different qualifying events, as well as a rundown on how
you can qualify for the final onsite event at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next
year. In addition, you can also review the official terms and conditions of the
competition in the official
rulebook of the Le Mans Esports Series.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.