American agricultural and construction company John Deere has ploughed its way into esports by entering the Farming Simulator League.
The company will field a seven-person German roster in the league, starting with FarmCon 19 on July 27-28th.
An official announcement states that John Deere plans to expand its in-game presence through its “virtual machine fleet”, which could possibly mean that players will drive branded-vehicles throughout the competition.
Ralf Lenge, Manager of Public Relations at John Deere discussed the venture: “The reasons for John Deere’s entry into e-sports are obvious: first and foremost the attractiveness of the detailed Farming Simulator within the agricultural sector and far beyond. This is accompanied by the high level of acceptance of John Deere products in Farming Simulator and the ever stronger interlocking of the real with the digital world.”
The inaugural season of Farming Simulator League will take place across 10 events in Europe over the next year, boasting a total prize purse of €250,000 (£224,315). The €100,000 (£89,735.48) championship finals will take place next summer at FarmCon 20.
German games publisher Astragon Entertainment sponsored a Farming Simulator League team earlier this month, meaning it will have representation as ‘Astragron Hektar Helden’.
So far, Giants Software has partnered with several companies for its Farming Simulator League: Corteva, Logitech G, Intel, DLG, Nitrado, and noblechairs.
Esports Insider says: We hope that John Deere will be outstanding in its field and that it doesn’t bale after the first season. We’ve certainly got no beef with non-endemic companies entering the industry and the Farming Simulator League is certainly a unique way in doing such a thing. We can’t say it doesn’t make sense, though.