Just a few days after the ESL R1 Major in Munich crowned the first ever champion, ESL announced the date for R1’s next event, which offers the joint biggest prize pool ever seen in sim racing.
When ESL R1 was announced on Rennsport, it featured a year round prize pool of €500,000 split across two seasons. That made it the second highest prize pool in any sim racing competition, with only F1 Esports ahead of it. But the most that has ever been offered in any single sim racing event was $1,000,000 for the 2017 Vegas eRace. Now that will be matched by a one-off ESL R1 event.
From 27-30 July, ESL R1 will host a one-off onsite event at the Gamers8 convention with a prize pool twice that of R1’s current two seasons sum total. Gamers8 aims to be one of the world’s most prominent esports and gaming festivals. Rennsport will be just one of the games to hold a competition during the event, alongside Rocket League, Rainbow 6 and Fortnite.
How Will it Work?
With the event being held as a one-off, it’s currently unknown how it will be structured. It doesn’t start the Fall Season (which is currently scheduled for the following week) and it’s not a Major that concludes a season. Therefore the format will have to be contained all in one weekend.
The twelve teams from the Spring Season are expected to be represented by four drivers each. There are even some suggestions that more teams will be joining for the event.
Some of the drivers that have been competing in R1 – including Major champion Marcell Csincsik and Mercedes drivers James Baldwin, Marko Pejic, Bono Huis and Graham Carroll – were originally aiming to qualify for the Formula E: Accelerate finale that weekend. Now with this R1 event at Gamers8, they will have to prioritise one over the other.
As the first R1 champion, Csincsik earned €45,000 individually. The team’s champions were Team Redline, also earning €45,000.
Considering the €45,000 for both driver and team champions is from half of the year-round €500,000 prize pool, maybe we could see a driver earning nearly €200,000 for winning the whole thing at Gamers8.
This gargantuan prize pool is a figure we never expected to see again in sim racing. The Vegas eRace was a one-off event that unfortunately never returned, so a seven figure sum seemed like it would probably never happen again. But with R1’s connections to the wider esports space, who knows what the ceiling could be.
With this event ESL and Rennsport could single handily bring sim racing esports to a whole new level. Even further than with the R1 series on its own.
What are your thoughts on the Gamers8 ESL R1 event? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!