Jake Tucker . Business . Monday 21st August 2017 . 12:10
Gfinity has announed today that it is the first official esports partner for Formula 1.
Gfinity will be delivering the Formula 1 Esports Series, a first for Formula 1 that will see players from all over the world duke it out to prove themselves the best virtual F1 drivers in the world.
The competition, kicking off in September, will have three distinct stages. In September, qualification events will mark out the fastest 40 drivers from the competition, with them progressing to live semi-final events in October, held at Gfinity’s Esports Arena in London.
Finally, the top 20 drivers will go into the finals, which will be broadcast live at the Yas Marina as part of the 2017 Adu Dhabi Grand Prix, which takes place on the 24-25 November.
Formula 1 are planning to take the series multi year, so 2017’s winner will be the defending champion for 2018, entering F1 2018 as a character in the game and earning automatic qualification for next year’s semi-final stage to defend their crown.
Sean Bratches, managing director, commercial operations at Formula 1 said: “This launch presents an amazing opportunity for our business: strategically and in the way we engage fans. First, it’s a growing category with tremendous fan engagement that we’re entering in a big way; and we are proud to have Codemasters and Gfinity joining us on this ride. Of course as we do in Formula 1, we’ll continue to evolve and innovate in the way we run this virtual counterpart to the F1 Championship to ensure we provide the most exciting and enjoyable experience we can for our fans.”
Neville Upton, CEO, Gfinity added: “Formula 1 entering esports is a powerful endorsement to how vital it is for cutting edge organisations to consider esports in their digital offering in order to reach the elusive and lucrative millennial fan base. Gfinity has developed a unique & proprietary technical platform, which coupled with our in-depth experience enable us to deliver a world-class turnkey solution for our global partners. We’re very much looking forward to working with Formula 1® on this exciting project”
With a bold step into esports Formula 1 are making their intentions clear. There’s already a keen competitive racing scene which has so far been somewhat underrepresented in video games. If they can capture the market, they could have a solid competition on their hands, with digital immortality proving to be a hell of a prize.