SBC News Formula E has an esports eye on Las Vegas

Formula E has an esports eye on Las Vegas

AlejandroAgagFormulaE
Alejandro Agag, Formula E

The second season of the FIA Formula E championship, the world’s first all electric motor racing series, has just two races left this campaign with the Renault e.Dams team currently occupying top spot.

Formula E has fully embraced esports with open arms this year and back in Easter a deal between it, the ESL and Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios has seen an esports championship run alongside the Formula E races.

Now Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has announced the company’s intention to step this up a gear by setting up an event in Las Vegas to form part of season three. The event will coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show between January 5th and the 8th.

Speaking to Reuters, Agag had this to say on the matter: “Depending on how it goes I could envisage that some of these virtual races could give points for a championship in the future, but not now.”

“We think esports is a huge opportunity and we want to be the first ones fully immersed in that. This will be the first virtual race with 20 professional drivers of a racing championship on a big stage and with a very large prize fund.”

The prize amount has not been revealed but Agag did state that it would be “significantly plus of six figures.”

Just as the ESL and Turn 10 Studios partnership saw professional racers testing their mettle on games consoles, this Vegas event too will offer gamers the chance to play and beat the pros. Five gamers will have a chance to qualify to compete, with details to be announced later this year.

The track itself will only be disclosed to players on the morning of the event.

Agag said: “It’s going to be like the real Formula E. You come for the first time to a city and race in a city, you never practice before.

“Gamers are normally better at games than drivers. On the other hand, drivers are better than gamers at quickly getting the feel of a racetrack.

“It’s going to be an interesting competition.”

Lucas di Grassi is the current Formula E championship leader and he has backed the series’ further push into esports.

Di Grassi told Autosport: “I think it’s great because the future of motorsport is more and more about interaction between the virtual world and the real world.

“A lot of people race online that perhaps haven’t raced cars on real tracks because of the financial difficulty of starting in motorsport. To give a fan the chance to come and race the real drivers is something really, really special.”

If you want to get a taste for Formula E prior to this Vegas event then there are two races remaining of season two, and both are in London on July 2nd and 3rd respectively.

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