22 teams, five drivers per team, racing on three racing simulation platforms to find out who is the one ultimate esports racing team. Here’s all you need to know about the Esports Racing World Cup.
Image credit: VCO Esports
Coming up on the 28-30 January is one of the most important and intriguing virtual motorsport events in a long time, the Esports Racing World Cup by VCO. But what’s special about it?
Esports racing has been around for a very long time, and in that time it has created great races for people of all demographics to both participate in and watch as a spectator. We see a lot of drivers having to race plenty of different combinations of car, track and even racing game, all of which require very different approaches.
It’s time for ERWC I, the first-ever Esports Racing World Cup held on 3️⃣ platforms!— VCO 🕹🏎 (@vcoesports) January 25, 2022
22 teams, more than 100 drivers, fighting for 50,000 US dollars💰
🗓️ Fri, Sat & Sun at 19:00 CET
LIVE at https://t.co/pXd2BPMOMj#vcoesports #erwcI #vcoerl @iRacing @AC_assettocorsa @rFactor2 pic.twitter.com/tMW5FZvTfO
That is something that the ERWC aims to encapsulate. By having the drivers compete across iRacing, rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa Competizione, it will truly demonstrate which drivers have the most transferable skills. A competitor who races exclusively on ACC may not automatically be quick on either of the other two simulators.
How will it work?
Each team must nominate five drivers, with three per platform. The drivers competing are designated to race on either one, two or all three of the sims to bring the best result possible for their team. Some drivers will choose to remain on their happy hunting grounds, whilst others will aim to balance their efforts on more than one.
Take powerhouse sim racing organisation Team Redline for example. They have the likes of former British F4 racer Chris Lulham and former F1 Esports competitor Patrik Holzmann on iRacing duties only. Le Mans Virtual winners like overall victor Jeffrey Rietveld and GTE class winner Kevin Siggy are set to double up on rFactor 2 and ACC.
Then you have Siggy’s teammate in that race, Enzo Bonito. He will be racing across all three titles, and has proven to be exceptional on all of them so watch out for Bonito across all three days.
On all three days, there will be five stages. The first stage features the heats, which will see two groups of eleven teams race in two 15-minute long races, both of which will be preceded by a qualifying session. Two of each team’s three cars are eligible to score points for their overall tally, and the top five placed teams in both races will progress into the quarter finals.
Every other team will be entered into a last chance race. Those remaining twelve teams then compete in a single 10-minute race, with a qualifying session run beforehand in order to set the grid. Once more, it is each team’s two best-placed cars at the end that will score their team’s points. The top teams from this race will join the ten teams who have already qualified for that next stage.
Then there are the quarter finals, in which the 12 qualified teams will race another 15-minute race and the highest scoring six teams will progress into the Semi Finals. The semi finals follow the format of the quarters, but with only the top two teams making it to the Finals.
The Final is then made up of three 10-minute races at most. Qualifying sets the grid for the first race, then the second race’s grid is determined by reversing the results of the first race. There will only be a third race if the two teams are level after the first two races. That theoretical third race will have another qualifying session to set the grid, and then whichever team wins will have won the day’s proceedings.
At the end of each day, the best placed team earns a maximum score of 22 points, with each subsequent team earning one fewer point. Then, at the end of day three, these points will determine who has won the inaugural VCO Esports Racing World Cup.
We cannot wait to get #erwcI started on Friday with 2⃣2⃣ amazing teams from around the world 🌎— VCO 🕹🏎 (@vcoesports) January 26, 2022
🗓️ Fri, Sat & Sun at 19:00 CET
LIVE at https://t.co/pXd2BPMOMj#vcoesports #erwcI #vcoerl @iRacing @AC_assettocorsa @rFactor2 pic.twitter.com/U6ZDuEpcVW
We’ve already mentioned Redline, but there are also the likes of Williams Esports, Burst Esport, R8G Esports, Rocket Simsport, Team Fordzilla, Jean Alesi Esports Academy, Veloce Esports, BS+COMPETITION, Apex Racing Team and even our very own René Buttler’s team Buttler-Pal Motorsport.
There’s also mainstream esports outfit Unicorns of Love participating, who are aligning with longtime sim racing organisation NetRex Grand Prix. With UoL being primarily an ACC team and NetRex being primarily an rFactor 2 team, it will be fascinating to see how they perform on iRacing in particular.
As far as drivers are concerned, along with the aforementioned Redline lineup, you also have the likes of Erhan Jajovski of R8G, Martin Stefanko, Nikodem Wisniewski and Jakub Brzezinski of Williams, and Burst will have Jernej Simončič and Michi Hoyer amongst their roster.
Veloce returned to esports racing under their own name only two weeks ago for the 24 hours of Le Mans Virtual, and their ERWC effort will be fronted by James Baldwin. Veloce come with two entries as Veloce-affiliated YAS HEAT are also taking part with OverTake Dream Team Series competitor Emily Jones.
While the event is team-based, there will be a prize given out to the MVD (Most Valuable Driver), that being the driver who scores the most podium finishes throughout all three days across all platforms. Whoever wins this will certainly be the most versatile and capable driver who will be competitive across all three platforms.
The ERWC might be a team competition. Still we want to reward the 𝙈𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙑𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝘿𝙧𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙧 – the 🅼🆅🅳— VCO 🕹🏎 (@vcoesports) January 27, 2022
The one with the most podiums will receive extra prize money🙀 You can contribute via @FundRazr and get an #erwcI Pin!
👉👉 https://t.co/aXexRvXLtj#vcoesports pic.twitter.com/bqA4EYUWyB
How can we watch?
All three days will be broadcast across VCO’s official YouTube and Twitch channels at 7pm CET. 28 January will see all teams competing with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo 2020 on Assetto Corsa Competizione, 29 January will see racing take place on rFactor 2 in the Formula Pro and finally on 30 January the competitors will be tackling the beast that is the Supercars Holden ZB Commodore on iRacing.
Also, you can get involved in the outcome of where the teams will race. Stay tuned to VCO’s official Twitter as you can influence the circuits that will be raced at on each day. From 3pm to 5:30pm CET, a poll will go up with two tracks that you can vote on and that is where they will end up racing! Carrying over from the VCO ProSIM Series in an attempt to eliminate the advantage of teams and drivers practicing way more than any of their competitors.
Be sure to tune in on all three days to watch the definitive virtual motorsport tournament, and find out which organisation will be crowned the ultimate esports racing team.
Who do you think will win the Esports Racing World Cup? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!