The first Esports Racing League season is over. Now the series is heading into uncharted territory with the first rendition of the ERL Masters. Here’s how it will work!
Image credit: VCO Esports
After the first running of the Esports Racing World Cup across three racing simulation platforms, the first Esports Racing League seasonal Cup quickly followed. Now this year’s ERL Spring Cup is done and dusted, and it was a case of déjà vu with the two undefeated leading teams Unicorns of Love and Team Redline excelling once again on their specialist platforms.
Unicorns of Love defeated Redline on Assetto Corsa Competizione in Round 1 of the Spring Cup in a manner reminiscent of their ERWC Day 1 performance against Veloce. Then in Rounds 2 and 3, Redline repeated their ERWC Day 2 and 3 escapades by winning on rFactor 2 against Burst and on iRacing against Apex.
But this doesn’t mean the action is over with just yet, as the best 12 teams from the ERL Spring Cup have qualified for the Spring Cup Masters. This event takes heavy inspiration from more traditional forms of esports with its team vs. team, 1-on-1 format.
With a prize pool of $10,000, all teams will be gunning for the best position every time. So without further ado, this is how the ERL Spring Cup Masters event will work.
Proudly presenting the teams that are qualified for the ERL Masters on 20 April:@TeamRedlineSim @r8gesports @uol_simracing @VeloceEsports @WilliamsEsports @BScompetition @yas_heat @EsportBurst @TRITONRacing @ArnageComp @TeamFordzilla @JeanAlesi_ESA #vcoerl pic.twitter.com/TyojZh1N8I— VCO 🕹🏎 (@vcoesports) April 6, 2022
The first rendition of ERL Masters will take place on Assetto Corsa Competizione, with the Summer Cup’s Masters being held on rFactor 2, and the Fall Cup’s Masters on iRacing. All teams will use the Mercedes-AMG GT3 just like in all the previous ERWC/ERL rounds on ACC.
Each team will go head to head in 10 minute long races. The teams are pitted against each other using a seeding system, from top to bottom in the standings. This means that the 1st place team will face off against the 12th place team, with 2nd against 11th, 3rd against 10th and so on. Spring Cup champions Team Redline will go up against Jean Alesi Esports Academy in Matchup 1.
Matchup 2 has runner-up R8G Esports and they will faceoff against Team Fordzilla and Matchup 3 will be the pink cars going against each other, with Unicorns of Love and Arnage Competition in contention. The remainder of the matchups will go like this; Matchup 4 will be Veloce Esports against Triton Racing, Matchup 5 is Williams Esports vs. Burst Esport and finally Matchup 6 sees BS+COMPETITION and YAS HEAT battling each other.
WHAT. A. FINAL. 🤯— VCO 🕹🏎 (@vcoesports) March 9, 2022
The decider comes down to the final lap with lots of drama!@EnzoBonito17 wins the race for @TeamRedlineSim, but the overall ERL win goes to: @uol_simracing! 💪🏼
Huge congrats! 🙌🏼#vcoesports #vcoerl #roadtoerwc pic.twitter.com/yM5WyXGjOw
The Upper Bracket
All six matchup winners will automatically progress to the Quarter Finals, and all the losing teams will compete in a second chance race. The two highest-scoring teams from that second chance race will join the other teams in the Quarter Finals. There will be four sets of races between the eight remaining teams.
Matchup 1’s winning team goes up against the leading team from the second chance race in Quarter Final 1 as will Matchups 2 and 3’s winners who will face off in Quarter Final 2. Matchup 4 and 5’s winners will be in Quarter Final 3 and finally Matchup 6’s winner will go against the second place team from the second chance race in Quarter Final 4.
Progressing to the Semi Finals, the winners of Quarter Finals 1 and 2 will face off against each other as will the winners of Quarter Finals 3 and 4. Then the two winning teams from the Semis will face off in the Finals, which will reflect the format currently utilised in the regular ERL rounds where there will be a best of three match to determine the overall victors.
These races will be decided by a points total scored by a team’s two highest-placed cars out of the three that will run in each race, as they have done for all ERWC/ERL races so far.
Who will win?
It’s a very safe bet to say that Redline and Unicorns of Love will be the ones to beat. These two teams are the only ones to have ever won an ERWC/ERL event so far. But, judging from the past ACC performances of Unicorns of Love, the team in pink ought to be the outright favourites. However, even on their weakest platform Team Redline have been strong, finishing third on ERWC Day 1 and runner-up in Round 1 of ERL Spring Cup.
Heat 2 is done! 🏁🏁🏁— VCO 🕹🏎 (@vcoesports) January 28, 2022
Congrats to James Baldwin and @VeloceEsports on winning the second race of the evening! 🏆 Well done! #erwcI #vcoesports #vcoerl @AC_assettocorsa pic.twitter.com/G37yqi1EYU
But the team that went up against Unicorns of Love on ERWC Day 1 will be heading into battle with an ace up their sleeves. After missing ERL Spring Cup Round 1, Veloce’s James Baldwin is back on his primary platform and will be looking to help his team get higher up in the pecking order. This will be a familiar type of racing for Baldwin, who starred in Season 2 of the V10 R-League that has a format very similar to the ERL Masters with its short races made up of two teams of three drivers each.
How to follow
The VCO Esports Racing League Spring Cup Masters will be broadcast at 7pm CEST on 20 April, watch the action across their YouTube and Twitch channels. There will also be options available for foreign language broadcasts, with VCO providing Spanish, Portuguese and Hungarian commentary.
Be sure to follow the ERL Spring Cup Masters to see if it will be business as usual or if there will be a team that will cause a big upset.
UPDATE 18/04/2022: VCO has rescheduled the ERL Spring Cup Masters to 18 May.
Who do you think will win the ERL Spring Cup Masters? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!