We finally know the details of the new sim racing championship held on Rennsport and organised by ESL.
Image credit: ESL / Competition Company
For a while, rumours have been swirling about ESL and Rennsport‘s upcoming collaboration. Now, we finally have official details. ESL R1 is a new esports league organised by one of the leading esports organisers in the world and is ESL’s first venture back into the world of sim racing since their own tournaments held on Live for Speed.
Pairing up with the developers of the brand new racing sim Rennsport, it was believed that ESL would attract a large number of teams both from the sim racing space but also from mainstream esports. So it has proved.
So, without further ado, here are all the things that have been revealed about this new landmark sim racing championship.
ESL R1 Format
ESL R1 will adopt a structure similar to that of more traditional forms of esports, with two seasonal splits consisting of eight events. There are twelve teams with four drivers each, with the top 24 qualifying for the Major.
Each round consists of seven races: four quarterfinals, two semifinals and a final. The first event of ESL R1 will be the Spring Season Launch which will consist of two rounds from 11-12 February and will be held onsite at the Intel Extreme Masters Expo in Katowice, Poland. This will be the start of a nine round championship with the next seven rounds being held online on Mondays.
After the final online round, the top 24 drivers from the season will qualify for the first ESL R1 Spring Major in Munich, Germany on 27-28 May. It will be held at the same facility that held the first Rennsport summit on the one year anniversary of that event.
The second season will be the Fall season, with the Season Launch event being held remotely in August 2023 as the first once again of eight rounds, and the Fall Major will take place onsite again at DreamHack Winter from 23-25 November.
The prize pool sits at a very healthy €500,000 which puts it only behind F1 Esports in terms of current sim racing championship pay-outs. With a wider range of teams able to enter, this has effectively become the sim racing championship every major team wants to compete in.
First, we have the organisations familiar to us sim racing fans. It’s no surprise to see Team Redline involved. Along with them are R8G Esports, Apex, Williams, Coanda, BS+COMPETITION and even Mercedes themselves.
Moreover, though, it seems that ESL R1 is the dawn of a new age of competitive sim racing. G2 Esports are a mainstream esports team that has already been involved in sim racing for quite some time, and are involved in ESL R1. But so many other big orgs have now joined in on the fun.
From this announcement, there is FaZe Clan, FURIA, MOUZ and Heroic who are all known names in the world of mainstream esports and competitive gaming. ESL R1 is their first venture into sim racing, and whilst we know the possible identity of one driver joining one of these teams, there is little known otherwise about who will be racing for them.
For those wanting to follow this championship, they have their own Twitch and YouTube channels so it’s perhaps safe to assume it will be broadcast across both. The Spring Season Launch from IEM Expo takes place 11-12 February.
Are you excited for ESL R1 to begin? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!