ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), the holding company behind esports tournament organiser ESL Gaming, has unveiled a new sim racing competition in collaboration with sim racing platform RENNSPORT.
ESL R1 will see 12 teams, ranging from notable esports organisations to car manufacturers, compete for a share of €500,000 (~£438,998) in prize money.
The 12 teams will each consist of four divers. In the initial line-up, eight of the 12 sides have been named ESL R1 partner teams with four wildcard competitors also participating. The tournament features seven regular-season races, starting at the IEM Expo from February 10th-12th.
The 12 teams competing in the inaugural ESL R1 are:
- G2 Esports
- FaZe Clan
- Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team
- R8G eSports
- Apex Racing Team
- BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION
- Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team
- Mercedes-AMG Team Williams Esports
- Team Redline
The ESL R1 season will feature a Spring and Fall season. Each season, the top 24 drivers qualify for the ESL R1 Major which determines the eventual champion.
The creation of ESL R1 marks ESL FACEIT Group’s first foray into sim racing alongside RENNSPORT. The platform is aiming to launch a closed beta this month before a full release in December.
Sim racing continues to expand at an impressive rate following its initial boom during the COVID-19 pandemic where real-world motorsport utilised numerous platforms to host virtual events. Since then, the likes of F1 Esports and the Le Mans Virtual Series host annual seasons with the latter attracting names such as two-time Formula One world champion Max Verstappen.
Roger Lodewick, President of Sports Games at ESL FACEIT Group, spoke on the ESL R1 launch: “The sim racing space is one of the key esports verticals in the sports gaming field.
“With ESL R1, we’re taking our first major steps into this exhilarating world. Doing this together with our ambitious partner RENNSPORT as well as with renowned esports and traditional racing brands is a unique opportunity. We’re thrilled to serve the sim racing community in our usual bold and spectacular way.”