A new esports league rolls in
When it comes to esports, there are two big categories and a few smaller ones. The big ones are, of course, the shooters – countless shooter-style games have successfully launched esports leagues and tournaments. The other big group are the MOBAs – though not very many of them succeed as esports, between Dota 2 and League of Legends, their appeal is massive.
Of course, other genres also succeed as esports. Particularly car racing games are suited to becoming esports… except of course, that there are other kinds as well, ones that are too often forgotten about in between the big names.
Cycling games is one such thing – practically nobody would list ‘cycling games’ under ‘popular esports genres’, despite the fact that there are several very good ones (and in their niche, popular ones!) out there.
In order to make cycling as an esport a little bigger, a very popular game in this genre has just announced that they are launching their own dedicated tournament series. Zwift, easily one of the most popular cycling games out there, has partnered with KISS in order to launch the KISS Super League, complete with unique in-game team jerseys!
In case you aren’t familiar with it – Zwift has users ride an indoor bicycle. The data from said bicycle is then transmitted to the game, where players can, for example, compete with Tour de France participants in simulated 3D tracks.
Last year, 65 of the 176 professional Tour de France riders declared themselves to be Zwift users – in total, the game has close to a million users, though Zwift does not reveal how many of them are active users and how much time they spend biking. That said, there is already significant interest in the new esports league that Zwift and KISS are launching.Although small, this league will feature professional cycling teams. So far, only four teams have been announced. Their names may seem a little… odd to seasoned esports fans, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make for fun tournaments! The first four teams are: Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka U23, Hagens Berman Axeon, Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes, and the odd one out, name-wise: Team Wiggins.
More teams will be announced later, in time for the launch in January next year. More specifically, on the 23rd of January the full details of the league will be released, right along with the first race taking place. This first league will be made up of men’s pro teams, with a women’s elite league and amateur leagues to follow later on.
This new league is actually a first in cycling esports – it’s the first dedicated competition featuring pro cycling teams. There is plenty of cash to back it all up as well – though only part of it will go towards the esports tournament itself, Zwift just completed their second funding run and amassed a cool $120 million. That’s a pretty spectacular budget, and if even a fraction of it is spent on this new league, this could really end up big!