ESL, Formula E and Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios partner up for esports championship

Sam Bird, Formula E Driver

Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios, the brains behind Forza Motorsport 6, has teamed up with Formula E and ESL to launch a global first esports motorsport championship.

The Race Off Pro Series will take part in parallel to four races in this current Formula E season. Those in London, Berlin, Paris and Long Beach will also feature online rounds with the esports action being played out on Forza Motorsport 6 on Xbox One.

There’s a prize pool of €15,000 (£11,711) in prize money to be shared across the top ten finishers of the season. Qualification for the competition gets underway this week on March 24th, when a new Rivals event will open on Forza Motorsport 6.

This partnership will also see gamers get the chance to test their skills against Formula E drivers. At an event this Saturday at the ESL Studios in Leicester Formula E drivers Sam Bird and Jerome D’Ambrosio will face off against one another on the virtual track, and against some top Forza Motorsport 6 drivers.

At 11:59pm on March 31st the fastest 10 players worldwide will be invited to compete in a live Pro Series final, which will take place on April 2nd. The top two from each Pro Series final will then be invited on an all-expenses paid trip to London, where they’ll compete against the other finalists to contest the inaugural Race Off Pro Championship, and win a share of the prize pool and Forza bragging rights.

David Hiltscher VP of Gaming Communities at ESL said: “I’m confident that the Race Off Pro Series is just the beginning. The future is bright for competitive motorsports gaming, and we’re already working on how to evolve and grow the current model with both Formula E and Forza Motorsport 6.”

Alejandro Agag, Formula E CEO stated: “We have shown with initiatives such as the eRace in Mexico and the Race Off exhibition events that Formula E is committed to embracing the world of esports, and the creation of this championship takes this to the next level.”

He continued: “Putting fans at the centre of the championship is part of our DNA, which is why we created FanBoost, and allowing the best video gamers to race on the same stage as our world-class drivers further enhances this. As always we are working with world-class partners to achieve this, including Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios and ESL.”

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(Article first appeared on MCV courtesy of Games Press)