2019 F1 Esports season’s prize pool gets a huge boost!
When it comes to esports, racing games aren’t necessarily the most popular genre out there. Not only are shooters and MOBAs more popular with players but also with fans who like to watch streamers and content creators. That isn’t to say that racers don’t have their fans as well – this is more than obvious when it comes to this year’s official esports championship of the most popular motorsport in the world.
The F1 New Balance Esports Series as it’s called is going to have a prize pool of half a million dollars. Starting next Monday on April 8th, it is expected to be bigger and better than ever before – with over 5.5 million viewers last year, that’s a pretty tall order.There are some changes from last year – a longer qualifying portion, an additional life event and of course the increased prize pool for the participating players. New Balance – a sponsor – is going to kit out the drivers along with Fanatec, the sim racing hardware manufacturer responsible for the equipment used during the events.
The whole thing is broken up into stages – the first one from April 8th until May 29th is the qualifiers. Players can participate by playing F1 2018 either on PS4, Xbox 1 or PC. Some 66.000 players tried their luck last year, and even more are expected this year. All you need to do in order to qualify is to register on the official site and link your gaming account. The final three days of the qualifiers will pit the best drivers against each other and determine who will move on to Stage 2, the Pro Draft – one lucky qualifier will also win an all-expenses paid trip to said Pro Draft as well as the British Grand Prix!
As for the second stage – the nine participating F1 teams are going to select the sim racers they want to represent them for the series. Each team has to select one driver from the Pro Draft, but is allowed to pull drivers from other places too, as McLaren has done by picking up Igor Fraga.When that is done with, the third stage rolls around – the live events. Here, there will be four separate events between September and December. Although exact details aren’t known yet, fans have high expectations – the drivers and teams will follow the same point structures as are used in real races, plus a new bonus point that is given out for the fastest lap in each race this season!
The last two years in a row, British player Brendon Leigh has held the title, and fans are eager to find out whether he’ll be able to hold on to it this year as well – he races for Mercedes, who, if you keep up with that sort of thing, are also the championship winners in the real world race!