Formula 1 is revving up for the launch of the F1 Esports Pro Series 2018 presented by New Balance, where the official F1 Esports teams will battle it out to be named this year’s F1 Esports Series Teams’ and Drivers’ World Champions on Codemasters’ F1 2018 videogame.
The Pro Series will be held as a series of three live events at London’s Gfinity Esports Arena on October 10th, October 31st and the Grand Finale across November 16th and 17th. The events will be streamed live on Facebook and broadcast globally on selected TV networks, bringing the excitement and exhilaration of Formula 1 to a new generation of fans across the globe.
Having undergone an intensive selection process, the drivers will race for nine of the teams competing in the 2018 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports, Red Bull Racing Esports Team, Hype Energy eForce India F1 Esports Team, Williams Esports, Renault Sport Team Vitality, Haas F1 Esports Team, McLaren Shadow, Toro Rosso Esports Team and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports Team.
The Pro Series is the exciting climax of the award-winning F1 Esports Series, which has seen 66,000 players compete over four online qualifying rounds earlier in the year to secure a coveted place in the inaugural F1 Esports Pro Draft in July. Completing 1.1 million laps in F1 2017, the official game of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and PC.
Just 16 of the most talented gamers from nine countries secured places on the official F1 teams at the Pro Draft in July, which reached over 1 million people around the world. They will now race alongside established racers for a coveted prize fund of $200,000, allocated to the teams based on their positions in the team standings. You can catch up on all the action behind the inaugural Pro Draft on YouTube.
The teams and drivers, confirmed so far, that will go head to head and compete in this year’s Pro Series are:
Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 eSports Team
Allert van der Wal (Netherlands), Sonuc Saltunc (Great Britain), Salih Saltunc (Great Britain)
Haas F1 Esports Team
Martin Stefanko (Czech Republic), Michal Smidl (Czech Republic)
Olli Pahkala (Finland), Bono Huis (Netherlands), Enzo Bonito (Italy)
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports
Daniel Bereznay (Hungary), Brendon Leigh (Great Britain), Harry Jacks (Great Britain)
Red Bull Racing Esports Team
Joni Tormala (Finland), Graham Carroll (Great Britain)
Renault Sport Team Vitality
Kimmy Larsson (Sweden), James Doherty (Great Britain), Sven Zurner (Germany)
Toro Rosso Esports Team
Cem Bolukbasi (Turkey), Patrick Holzmann (Germany), Frederik Rasmussen (Denmark)
Tino Naukkarinen (Finland), Alvaro Carreton (Spain), Alex Hanses (Germany)
As global momentum builds behind Esports, F1 also welcomed footwear and lifestyle brand New Balance as the Title Sponsor of this year’s F1 Esports Series. New Balance will provide footwear for the drivers, while F1 also retains its existing sponsors DHL and Fanatec.
The F1 Esports Series is operated in partnership with Codemasters, the developer and publisher of the official Formula 1 video game franchise and Gfinity, one of the world’s leading esports companies.
“The launch of the Pro Series is a pivotal moment for the F1 Esports Series," said Julian Tan, Head of Digital Growth & F1 Esports at Formula 1. "In a short space of time the drivers have come together from all around the world to join their official F1 teams, and will now take their passion for motorsport and gaming from home all the way to the podium. With the F1 teams involved we have been able to combine the power of Esports with the magic of Formula 1, establishing an adrenaline-fuelled series that has been streamed across the globe. Now it’s time for the teams to deliver their best performances, and we can’t wait to crown this year’s Teams’ and Drivers’ Champions.”
“We’ve been impressed with the skill and dedication shown by our player community with F1 2018 across PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC," said Jonathan Bunney, VP Publishing at Codemasters. "The Pro Series takes gaming talent to a new benchmark and is set to make history for F1 and gaming fans alike.”
“It is a privilege to welcome some of the very best gamers in the world to the Gfinity Esports Arena for the F1 Esports Pro Series," said Mark Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer at Gfinity. "We’re braced to see a competition quite unlike any other as our hugely talented drivers battle it out head-to-head to be named this year’s F1 Esports champion. For aspiring gamers watching around the world, the event is sure to be nothing short of exciting.”