If you follow eSports you will know that the Formula 1 Pro series is set to become one of the most prestigious competitions in the world. Sports sims may not have the reputation of some other gaming titles but this newly adapted contest will bring Formula 1 onto the big stage with the likes of FIFA and NBA2K. At the recent pro-draft, the names of the ten talented drivers who will compete in the contest signed pro-contracts and were announced.
There are ten teams competing in the Formula 1 series this year: Mercedes-AMG Petronas eSports, Scuderia Toro Rosso eSports, Alfa Romeo Racing F1 eSports, Ferrari Driver Academy, Renault Sport Team Vitality, Haas F1 Team eSports, McLaren Shadow, Mercedes-AMG Petronas eSports, Red Bull Racing eSports, SportPesa Racing Point F1 eSports Team and Williams eSports. Each team has grabbed at least one driver from the draft.
There may have been 10 positions to vie for but the competition was stiff. The winners had to stave off more than a hundred thousand other competitors just to qualify for last nights pulsating, nail-biting event. The 10 who were selected faced a real test even on the night as there were 41 competitors at the draft event. The first stage saw the 11 slowest drivers eliminated before the final 30 were able to compete later in the evening. The event was screened live on Facebook, Twitch and YouTube.
The drivers selected were:
David Tonizza (Italy) Ferrari Driver Academy
Simon Weigang (Germany) Renault Sport Team Vitality
Floris Wijers (Netherlands) Haas F1 Team eSports
Isaac Price (UK) Williams eSports
Nicolas Longuet (France) Red Bull Racing eSports
Lucas Blakeley (UK) SportPesa Racing Point F1 eSports Team
Allert Van Der Wal (Netherlands) McLaren Shadow
Kimmy Larsson (Sweden) Alfa Romeo Racing F1 eSports
Manuel Biancolilla (Italy) Scuderia Toro Rosso eSports
Daniel Shields (Australia) Mercedes AMG Petronas eSports
It was nice to see a couple of UK drivers get into the mix. eSports is on the rise here in the UK but we are a long way behind being a force to be reckoned with, we aren’t even the best gaming nation in Europe!
From here the drivers will meet up with their new teams and start prepping for the 2019 championship. Not unlike its real-life counterpart, it will comprise of several races over the course of a season, 12 to be exact. These will be contested on 4 separate live events culminating with the final on the fourth of December.
Prizes in Formula 1
The stakes are high for the drivers. This year’s competition has a staggering prize pot of five hundred thousand big ones. That is more than double the prize pool for last year and puts it on par with other sport-related eSports.
Formula 1 growth
The big prize money is a direct reflection on the growth in popularity. With that increase in popularity comes a sizeable amount of potential drivers disappointment to have not made the cut. So with that in mind, the qualifying rounds for the 2020 draft have been brought forward. This earlier start will hopefully allow even more gamers to have a shot at glory. What’s more, anybody who has a copy of the game and an internet connection can have a bash.
The team from Codemaster were effusive in their praise for the contest and how the game has developed as an eSport with Julian Tan, who is in charge of that department stating that the project is helping to break down borders and bring the sport to a new set of fans. The CEO of Codemasters added that the process had seen them select the very best drivers that the world has to offer.