The Le Mans Esports Series (LMES) sim racing competition has launched its second season with a $200,000 (£153,864) prize pool.
Sim racers will compete on Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One, with professional esports teams able to sign up to compete in the LMES until the November 7th.
The Le Mans Esports Series is a joint venture between the ACO, FIA WEC, and Motorsport Network. The series will wrap up with the 24 Hours of Le Mans Super Final held at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 13-14th.
The Pro Team Super Final and Pro-Am Super Final boast a prize pool of $100,000 (£76,890) and $50,00 (£38,423), respectively. The new qualifying format will see professional and amateur sim racers divided into separate divisions, aptly dubbed ‘Pro Division’ and ‘ProAm Division.’
Gérard Neveu, CEO of FIA WEC commented on the upcoming season: “After a positive start to the Le Mans Esports Series, and an excellent Super Final at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June this year, we are all looking forward to the start of Season 2. We are passionate about bringing motorsport, and especially endurance racing, to life for both our competitors and viewing audiences.
“We believe that the innovative and exciting new format, the increased prize fund and, of course, another Super Final at one of the world’s biggest motorsport events will take esports to the next level.”
The ProAm division is open to all drivers that aren’t signed to a professional team. 18 professional drivers will be chosen from six online qualifiers starting on November 15th, with nine amateur drivers from special events also joining the Pro Division.
Esports Insider says: Doubling the total prize pool from the inaugural season and putting a significant amount of that into the Pro-Am Super Finals should bring in quite a few new competitors. By adjusting the qualifying format, the Le Mans Esports Series allows amateur sim racers to progress from racing in their rooms at home to competing at the Circuit de la Sarthe – not bad!