ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and partners Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios and Formula E are set to launch the first ever virtual motorsport championship of its kind with Forza Motorsport 6. The Race Off Pro Series is to be held alongside its ‘real’ ground-breaking electric-powered Formula E season: four online rounds will serve as a preview to the on-track action in Long Beach, Paris, Berlin and London.
Esports competition will be played out on Forza Motorsport 6 on Xbox One and award €15,000 in prize money across the top ten finishers of the season. The first event starts at 12pm GMT on March 24, when a new Rivals event will open in Forza Motorsport 6. Entrants will have to set their fastest lap around the Long Beach East circuit in an unmodified Formula E car.
The time trial will close at 11:59pm GMT on March 31. The fastest 10 players across the globe will then be invited to compete in a live Pro Series final, which will be held on April 2. The top two from each Pro Series final will then be invited to London in an all-expenses paid trip, where they will race off against the successful finalists from all the other events to contest the inaugural Race Off Pro Championship, and win a share of the €15,000 prize pool and more.
“I’m confident that the Race Off Pro Series is just the beginning,” said, David Hiltscher, VP of Gaming Communities at ESL. “The future is bright for competitive motorsports gaming, and we’re already working on how to evolve and grow the current model with both Formula E and Forza Motorsport 6.”
“We have shown with initiatives such as the eRace in Mexico and the Race Off exhibition events that Formula E is committed to embracing the world of esports, and the creation of this championship takes this to the next level,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO at Formula E. “Putting fans at the centre of the championship is part of our DNA, which is why we created FanBoost, and allowing the best video gamers to race on the same stage as our world-class drivers further enhances this. As always we are working with world-class partners to achieve this, including Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios and ESL.”