Whilst the F1 2020 season is well underway, attention has also turned to the virtual world as the F1 Esports Pro Series presented by Aramco returned for the fourth year tonight.
Organisers say it’s set to be the biggest and best season yet, as teams battle it out for a $750,000 prize pot, in 12 races across four events.
The first round of races kicked off this afternoon (Wednesday October 14th), with a double-header at the Bahrain International Circuit, and the new Hanoi Street Circuit in Vietnam, as F1 visits Vietnam for the very first time.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 14, 2020
Thursday’s action will see drivers go wheel to wheel on the Shanghai International Circuit, as they look to finish the opening round of the season with a flourish.
UK racers involved include James Baldwin of McLaren Shadow (pictured) and Brendon Leigh of Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports Team.
The live shows will be streamed online via F1’s official channels on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast on TV by international partners such as ESPN (US), Sky (UK) and Ziggo (Netherlands).
Qualifying show content will be streamed exclusively on Twitch and Huya (China).
Thursday content will be shown as follows:
|Qualifying Show 2
(featuring Qualifying 3 live)
|15:30 – 16:45||Twitch / Huya|
|Evening Show 2
(featuring Quali/Race 1 and Quali/Race 2 highlights, Quali. 3 highlights and Race 3 live)
|19:30 – 21:00||TV & Online|
What the UK racers say
Brendon Leigh, of Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports Team, said: “F1 esports has grown massively since 2017 in the Gfinity Arena for the semi-finals and even in Abu Dhabi for the Final. Numbers are bigger, but also the production from Gfinity themselves, the sporting side from Formula 1 and also the hosting from Codemasters have improved massively.
“Going forward I can only see it getting bigger and bigger and bigger and being a prominent esports series for the near future.
“I’m massively confident about being able to replicate results from previous seasons. But the past is the past and the future is now. I’m looking forward to being the best version of me that the public has ever seen.”
James Baldwin of McLaren Shadow added: “McLaren Shadow have given me a great opportunity and trusted me to represent them in the series. I feel that me and my teammates have done a really good job in prep for the first round, I feel that we’re surprisingly quick. I would say that we’re not the favourites if you asked everyone on social media which is good as we’re under the radar. I think we will turn a few heads which is really exciting.
“The team to beat has got to be Alfa Romeo. Statistically they’ve got the best team because Dani Bereznay, Jarno Opmeer finished third and fourth last year. Having those two in the same team sounds like a strong combination.”
Watch Event 1 of the Esports Pro Series presented by Aramco on October 14-15th live on F1’s official Facebook, YouTube and Twitch channels. For full info on how to watch visit https://www.f1esports.com/
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.