A new world champion will be crowned at the Abu Dhabi Grand prix – after F1 bosses launched their first ever global video games tournament.
Racing rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel won’t be the only ones vying for title glory when the F1 roadshow rolls into the capital in November, with the inaugural Formula 1 Esports Series World Champion set to reach a thrilling finale in the city.
The video games bonanza, set up by Formula 1 in partnership with racing game developers Codemasters and esports events company Gfinity, will kick off next month with qualifying events to determine the 40 fastest digital drivers on the new F1 game.
The semi-final showdown will be held at the Gfinity Arena in London on October 10 and 11, with 40 competitors whittled down to a top 20 who will book their tickets for the big final at Yas Marina as part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.
The console king will be crowned on the same weekend the F1 world champion gets his hands on the drivers’ prestigious title.
As well as having the honour of being the first ever title-holder, the winner will also be the Formula 1 Esports Champion Expert for 2018 and will automatically qualify for the semi-finals of next year’s Formula 1 Esports Series. The first winner will also be offered the opportunity to live the full experience of a Formula 1 race by attending one of the 2018 Grands Prix, as well as becoming a character in the F1 2018 game – leaving a lasting legacy of their achievement.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said: “This launch presents an amazing opportunity for our business: strategically and in the way we engage fans. First, it’s a growing category with tremendous fan engagement that we’re entering in a big way; and we are proud to have Codemasters and Gfinity joining us on this ride. Of course as we do in Formula 1, we’ll continue to evolve and innovate in the way we run this virtual counterpart to the F1 Championship to ensure we provide the most exciting and enjoyable experience we can for our fans.”
As if there wasn’t enough to look forward to it at this year’s Abu Dhabi extravaganza. Game on!