From F1 Esports to eNASCAR, there are plenty of esports racing spectacles for fans to feast their eyes upon. Here are six of the most significant tournaments to pay attention to in 2021.
Photo credit: Jacob Hancox
Sim racing can be tough to get into at times. Interested prospective viewers and fans often don’t know where to look first to find the highest quality, most prestigious events to follow. To help with this, we have compiled a short list of what we reckon are six of the most important esports racing events of 2021. This is not the be all and end all of sim racing – consider this a brief overview of some of the biggest and best that the racing esports world has to offer!
6: eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series
First on our list is the (almost) all-American eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series 2021 season. Comprising of a total of eighteen races across the whole season, including playoffs, eNASCAR pits forty drivers against each other in NASCAR machinery on iRacing. Nick Ottinger is currently the reigning champion of the series having taken the overall victory in 2020. However, 2021 has seen the arrival of new challengers. Casey Kirwan, who finished down in nineteenth last season, is currently leading the way after four races. A total prize pool of $330,000 is a hefty chunk of change for the field to fight over, so the stakes are high in this series.
5: VCO ProSIM Series
VCO’s VCO ProSIM SERIES blends simracing expertise with real world racing talent, putting a talented simracer and a mainstream driver in a team together to compete for the title. While this season technically started in 2020, it is ending in March 2021, so it is allowed on this list. The involvement of such superstars as Max Verstappen entices interest from broader circles than the dedicated sim racing crowd, and the existence of an esports tournament in which real-world drivers seriously compete is a boon for the perceived legitimacy of sim racing on a wider scale.
4: V10 R-League
2020 saw the initiation of the V10 R-League, with eight teams competing in a unique head-to-head style of racing tournament. This series uses specially designed cars on Assetto Corsa with V10 engines to provide a huge amount of grunt. The first season included such heavy hitters as Red Bull Racing Esports Team, Williams Esports and Team Redlineand , and season two will feature an increased roster including McLaren Shadow and R8G Esports . On top of this, the prize pool has been increased to £120,000 for the series’ second season. The unique format combined with the television presence and the gravitas of the competitors is enough to gain the V10 R-League a place on this list, and the prize tag helps as well!
3: Formula E: Accelerate
The new kid on the block for 2021 is the Formula E: Accelerate 2021 championship. Most of the inaugural season has already been completed at the time of writing, with only one race to go on March 25. Famous sim racing names from various disciplines make up the twenty-four-driver grid for the series, which takes place using Formula E machinery on rFactor 2. From F1 Esports hotshots such as Jarno Opmeer and Frede Rasmussen to established sim racing veterans such as Kevin Siggy and Graham Carroll, Formula E: Accelerate has plenty of talent to root for and get behind. The direct involvement of the real-world Formula E teams and the prize pool of $100,000 is enough to make this one of the most significant esports events of 2021.
2: Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC)
Porsche’s esports edition of the 2021 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup is iRacing’s premier offering to the world of sim racing tournaments and competition. Not only does it feature an enormous roster of established talent and prestigious teams, it draws in large crowds for its YouTube broadcasts and boasts a very healthy prize pool of $200,000. The tournament in its various forms has been a mainstay of the sim racing world for many years now, and as such it is an established aspect of the esports calendar here in 2021. Sebastian Job of Red Bull Racing Esports is the reigning champion, but Coanda Simsport driver Joshua K Rogers is aiming to dethrone him this season.
1: F1 Esports Pro Series 2021
Even though details of the F1 Esports Pro Series season are yet to be revealed, it is impossible not to put this at the very top spot of the list. As with Formula E: Accelerate, the actual Formula 1 teams are directly involved in the series, with each fielding a line-up of three drivers. The unabridged finale to the 2020 season is currently sitting at over 350,000 views on YouTube, and other F1 Esports races have upwards of one million views at the time of writing. Add in the likes of Brendon Leigh, Jarno Opmeer, David Tonizza and many more along with the whopping 2020 prize pool of $750,000 and you get the most important sim racing tournament of 2021, hands down.
What do you think is the most important sim racing tournament of 2021? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!