ESL R1 – the new esports sim racing league with €500k prize pool

After the recent rumors about ESL and Rennsport‘s incoming collaboration, the official announcement confirmed that the ESL R1 will be the new esports sim racing league. Here are all the details that have been revealed about this new sim racing championship.

Image Credits | ESL

ESL’s return to the world of sim racing

ESL has always been one of the leading esports organizers, with major events in CS:GO, Dota 2, Starcraft 2, as well mobile games. With the ESL R1, marks their return to the sim racing world, after they held their own tournament on Live for Speed, as well as official series for Forza Motorsport and Project CARS.

Now that they teamed up with the new racing sim Rennsport, there will be more space for esports teams in the sim racing space. Aside from the organizations that are already present in the sim racing world like R8G Esports, Team Redline, Williams, and Mercedes, there will also be the involvement of big “traditional” esports teams like G2 Esports, FURIA, MOUZ and Faze Clan. This might be the new era for competitive sim racing, where non-racing teams will also take part.

ESL R1 Championship Format

The Championship will adopt a similar structure similar to traditional esports, with two seasonal splits consisting of eight events each. There will be a total of twelve teams with four drivers each, so 48 drivers in total.

Every round will be made of seven races: four quarterfinals, two semifinals, and a final.  Each race is also preceded by a qualifying session to determine the starting order of each driver.

The first event of ESL R1 will be held at the Intel Extreme Masters Expo in Katowice, Poland, and will host the first two rounds on Feb. 11-12, with the remaining events all online. After the final online round, the top 24 drivers will qualify for the ESL R1 Spring Major which will take place in Munich, Germany on 27-28 May.

The second season, on the other hand, will be held remotely in August with the Season Launch event, with the Major of the Fall season in presence at the DreamHack Winter from 23-25 November.

With a total prize pool of €500,000 and 12 participating teams, this makes the new sim racing championship desirable to all esports teams. Even if the drivers haven’t been confirmed so far, below is the full list of the 12 teams that will participate in the first-ever ESL R1:

  • Faze Clan
  • FURIA
  • G2 Esports
  • Heroic
  • R8G eSports
  • MOUZ
  • Team Redline
  • Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team
  • BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION
  • Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team
  • Apex Racing Team
  • Mercedes-AMG Team Williams Esports

For those wanting to follow this championship, you can check out their Twitch and YouTube channels when the Spring Season Launch from will take place on Feb. 11-12.

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