F1 eSports is set to get underway on the 13th of April amidst a complete revamp of how the series works
Formula 1 has announced innovative and ambitious plans to make the F1 eSport series bigger than ever coming off the back of an incredibly successful first season.
Much like Formula E’s Vegas eSport final, Drivers will gain the opportunity to represent a team from the Formula 1 Championship (excluding Ferrari) through online qualifiers, This decision rules out the chance of Sim-Racing & eSport organizations entering the series.
Adding to the controversy of this is Rule 3.6 of the F1 eSports sporting regulations which states that drivers are ineligible to compete if they are “Bound to any contract or agreement which prevents them honouring a contract” This rules out a significant number of professional drivers penned down to contracts including finalists from last season who were signed by Fernando Alonso’s eSports team FA G2 Racing.
It is possible for these professional drivers to qualify for the final however, But it has not yet been made entirely transparent by F1 on how they would achieve this, leaving alot to guess work.
The Pro Draft:
The Pro Draft is the final cut of drivers who will battle eachother for a place in the final. The qualifiers to gain a spot in the Pro Draft consists of a series of challenges put together by Formula 1 for the F1 2017 Game that will test drivers in different scenarios. The first one will require drivers to take control of Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes in Shanghai hunting down a podium finish from sixth place with five laps remaining on a wet, but drying, track.
The fastest ten drivers from Playstation 4, Xbox One & PC will then face eachother in a live-streamed event final with the top 3 from each platform gaining a place in The Pro Draft.
The teams in the series must select atleast one of their drivers from the Pro Draft, meaning that qualifying for this final cut will significantly improve your chances of representing; Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Force India F1 Team, Williams, Renault Sport F1 Team, Haas F1 Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso or Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team
At the end of these 4 qualifying events The Pro Draft will be held where the Top 40 ranked drivers will be eligible for selection by one of the above teams.
These drivers will then represent their teams for the second half of the season where the F1 eSports Driver’s & Team’s world champion will be decided and the share of a $200,000 prize pool will be delegated.
Following the success of the last F1 eSports series which saw Brendon Leigh win the title, Formula 1 has announced that F1 Games by Codemasters and GFinity will remain partners for this year, Whilst DHL Joins the series as a sponsor.
Julian Tan, Head of Digital growth & F1 eSports was quoted on F1eSports.com saying: It has always been our goal to get the teams involved as soon as possible and we are delighted that they have recognised the potential of the F1 Esports Series at such an early stage. Last year’s series was a great success and demonstrated that there is a clear audience and interest in this innovative, exciting form of racing. We will continue to invest in the Esports Series as we feel it is a great way for us to interact and engage with a new audience.”
The F1 eSports series begins on Friday the 13th of April, On a day that’s unlucky for some who will come out on top? Stay tuned to Overtake Motorsport for all of our coverage of the 2018 F1 eSports series.