NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami, a weekly esports competition coming to NASCAR Heat 3, developed by Monster Games.
The competition will span the 2018 NASCAR Playoffs, Heat Champions will feature weekly prize pools of more than $10,000(£7,700). The finals will see competitors compete at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the Ford Championship Weekend with over $500,000(£390,00) in prize money.
Players can compete online starting September 10th, running through to November 11th. Players will compete in weekly tournaments which will alternate on a weekly basis between Xbox One and PlayStation®4. Three more finalists will be chosen at the Homestead-Miami Speedway live final.
Ed Martin, President of 704Games, spoke about the news: “Fresh off the launch of NASCAR Heat 3, NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami launches our first esports tournament so fans can literally play along with the real-world NASCAR Playoffs. NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami is the first NASCAR esports competition of its kind on video game consoles, accessible to NASCAR fans across the U.S., making it a true one-of-a-kind experience.”
NASCAR Heat 3 released on September 7th on the PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC via Steam, although the esports event will only feature on console.
Blake Davidson, NASCAR Vice President of Consumer Innovation, added: “As we strengthen our position in the esports arena, tournaments like NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami continue to enhance fan engagement with our sport. Fans will get a thrill from weekly competitions and finalists get to share this championship event with the best drivers in the world at Homestead, one of the most anticipated race weekends of the season.”
As an added bonus, if the winner of the esport event is able to predict the total race time of a particular car, they will win an additional $500,000 (£390,000).
Matthew Becherer, Homestead-Miami Speedway President, commented on the news: “For the past 17 years, Homestead-Miami Speedway has been synonymous with NASCAR champions. And now the 2018 Ford Championship Weekend will have one more champion to crown in 704Games’ NASCAR Heat 3. Not only will we have the Championship 4 drivers in each national series vying for a title, but NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami, will bring us 12 additional finalists competing to win it all. The battle to make it to Miami should be an exciting one.”
Esports Insider says: Sim racing and racing game esports, in general, are seeing a large spike in popularity of late. With the F1 Esports league, Forza and now NASCAR, some of the biggest names in both racing and simulated racing are taking note of esports. While this NASCAR event won’t be for everyone, we bet it will be aiming to reach a demographic often not touched by esports.