The 2018 F1 Esports Pro Series, presented by New Balance, will begin in October with $200,000 (£150,000) on the line. The series will take place at the Gfinity Esports Arena, London.
The series will begin on October 10th and run until October 31st with the Grand Finals taking place on November 16th and 17th. People who are unable to attend in person can catch all the action live on Facebook and selected global TV networks.
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Growth & F1 Esports at Formula 1, commented on the announcement: “The launch of the Pro Series is a pivotal moment for the F1 Esports Series. In a short space of time, the drivers have come together from all around the world to join their official F1 teams; and will now take their passion for motorsport and gaming from home all the way to the podium.”
Tan Continued: “With the F1 teams involved, we have been able to combine the power of Esports with the magic of Formula 1, establishing an adrenaline-fuelled series that has been streamed across the globe. Now it’s time for the teams to deliver their best performances, and we can’t wait to crown this year’s Teams’ and Drivers’ Champions.”
The series will feature nine of the current Formula 1 teams, with a number of teams partnering with existing esports organisations – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports, Red Bull Racing Esports Team, Hype Energy eForce India F1 Esports Team, Williams Esports, Renault Sport Team Vitality, Haas F1 Esports Team, McLaren Shadow, Toro Rosso Esports Team and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports Team. Currently, only Ferrari have not joined the series.
Mark Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer at Gfinity, added: “It is a privilege to welcome some of the very best gamers in the world to the Gfinity Esports Arena for the F1 Esports Pro Series. We’re braced to see a competition quite unlike any other as our hugely talented drivers battle it out head-to-head to be named this year’s F1 Esports champion. For aspiring gamers watching around the world, the event is sure to be nothing short of exciting.”
The game is played on the official Formula 1 title F1 2018, developed by UK developer Codemasters.
Jonathan Bunney, VP Publishing at Codemasters: “We’ve been impressed with the skill and dedication shown by our player community with F1 2018 across PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC. The Pro Series takes gaming talent to a new benchmark and is set to make history for F1 and gaming fans alike.”
Esports Insider says: The F1 Esports Series has been gearing up to this moment all year, there appears to be a good level of expectation around this year’s series. The F1 teams involved have really stepped up their game and partnered with strong organisations or gone it alone in a big way. A special mention has to go to McLaren and their Shadow project.