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F1 Esports Series Returns For 2018, Now With F1 Teams Participating

All F1 teams except Ferrari join in the fun

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F1 Esports Series is returning for 2018 after debuting last year. But this time, the structure is much more different thanks to the involvement of the real-life F1 teams.

The first F1 Esports saw individual players duke it out, with all cars and teams are balanced to same level of performance. Brandon Leigh, driving a Torro Rosso, won the inaugural season.

For 2018, the game of choice is still F1 2017, but prospective players need to be drafted into F1 teams. All of this season’s F1 team bar Ferrari, the only team not participating, will pick their players in the Pro Draft.

The first event of the qualifiers, starting April 13th, will see players take on Valteri Bottas in the last five laps in the Chinese Grand Prix where they need to push for a podium from sixth place on a wet but drying track.

The other three qualifiers will be some form of challenge rather than standard time trials, with the top 10 drivers for PS4, PC and Xbox One move to the next stage. These 10 drivers of respective platform will then race in a livestreamed event, with the podium finishers rewarded with a spot on the Pro Draft. There will also be a wildcard stage.

40 players will reach the Pro Draft, in which 9 of the participating teams will select their drivers. From there, the second half of the season kicks off where the teams and drivers compete for the Esports Series Teams’ and Drivers’ World Champions. A prize pool of at east $200,000 is promised.

F1 is taking a similar approach to the NBA 2K League where the traditional sport teams involve heavily with the esports. However, The Esports Observer reports that for the players to participate in the F1 Esports this season, they must not be signed under any other endemic organisation. So Esports+Cars, Redline, the Fernando Alonso-backed G2 Racing Team, and more namestay organisations in the sim racing scene are ineligible to participate.