Formula 1’s New Balance Esports Series is ready to advance – Pro Draft complete!
Perhaps the biggest name in racing (games) in the world is, of course, Formula 1. The top competition worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of fans itself carried much of its popularity over to gaming. While racing games aren’t as popular as, say, certain shooter or MOBA titles, they are still successful as esports. In the case of this esports series, there are more fans watching than ever before!
As part of the selection process for the actual competition, the aspiring racing drivers first had to go through a draft process. At the end of this Pro Draft, ten lucky and talented drivers were selected by the ten teams that are participating in this season. This is a first – it’s never been so many before!
The teams in question are all well-known names:
- Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports,
- Ferrari Driver Academy,
- Haas F1 Team Esports,
- McLaren Shadow,
- Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports,
- Red Bull Racing Esports,
- Renault Sport Team Vitality,
- Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports,
- SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports Team
- Williams Esports.
These teams have all now selected their drivers from the Pro Draft pool. Said drivers will join their line-up for the Pro Series.
These ten were selected from an overall pool of 109.000 participants (another new record!) across the globe. 41 of them made it to the final competition and participated in a series of high-difficulty race-offs to determine the cream of the crop.
The eleven slowest were eliminated while the rest went on to be the candidate pool for the F1 teams to select from. The ten drivers are:
- Simon Weigang from Germany, chosen by Renault Sport Team Vitality,
- Floris Wijers from the Netherlands chosen by Haas F1 Team Esports,
- Isaac Price from the UK chosen by Williams Esports,
- Nicolas Longuet from France chosen by Red Bull Racing Esports,
- Lucas Blakeley from the UK chosen by SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports Team,
- Allert van der Wal from the Netherlands chosen by the McLaren Shadow,
- Kimmy Larsson from Sweden chosen by Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports,
- Daniel Shields from Australia, chosen by Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports,
And finally, not one but two Italians!
David Tonizza and Manuel Biancolilla were chosen by the Ferrari Driver Academy and Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports respectively – two out of ten is a pretty great cut, especially given that esports in Italy aren’t as big as they could be yet… of course, clearly that’s now changing! Only Italy, the Netherlands and the UK saw two of their country-men qualify.
All ten drivers are now joining their teams in order to prepare for the twelve races that will be part of the Formula 1 New Balance Esports Pro Series. The four events with three races each will take place on September 11th, October 2nd, November 6th and finally the Grand Finale on December 4th.
A total of $500.000 are up for grabs here – that’s more than double what it was last year! Now, if you would like to try your luck for next year’s 2020 series, a quick heads up – given the incredible success and popularity of this year’s event, sign-ups are starting early. Qualifying rounds are opening on July 22nd and will be running till the end of this calendar year in five different rounds. In order to participate, you need a copy of F1 2019. Qualifiers are open globally, and you can find more info on www.f1esports.com.
Good luck to all drivers!