The F1 ESports Series have confirmed the 40 online racers that’ll qualify for the Pro Draft, which will take place on Monday 9 July at the Gfinity Esports Arena.
Over 66,000 players took part in a bid to earn a place in the pro draft on the F1 2017 game by Codemasters Studios via four scenario events set within the game.
Out of the 40 players that have made it through to the pro draft, six came through the Open Qualification phase: four online events on the F1 2017 game followed by four sets of races on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Two more players qualified through the Online Qualification Wildcard and will be joined by last year’s series second and third place players, Fabrizio Donoso Delgado and Sven Zürner.
As part of the build up to the draft, all racers will be at the British Grand Prix, where they’ll undergo some tests, interviews and assessments with teams to demonstrate why they should be drafted into the series.
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Growth & F1 Esports at Formula 1, said that the success of last year’s series and the level of competition that qualified for the event should make this year’s series more exciting.
“Last year’s series was a great success and based on the level of those who have qualified for this year’s Pro Draft, the 2018 season is shaping up to be even more exciting.” said Tan.
“The drivers will now battle it out for what is a truly incredible opportunity. With the F1 teams involved we have been able to combine the power of Esports with the magic of Formula 1, establishing an authentic series that builds on what we have on the grid. We can’t wait to watch the action unfold.”
The draft will see the players be selected by nine esports teams, represented by the official F1 teams. Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Hype Energy eForce India F1 Esports Team, Williams, Renault Sport Team Vitality, Haas F1 Esports Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso Esports Team and Sauber F1 Team will be offering positions in their line up as part of the series.
Once the drivers are selected, they’ll represent their teams for three live events that’ll decide the 2018 F1 Esports Series drivers and teams world champions. There will be a prize fund of $200,000 allocated to the teams based on their positions in the standings.
Paul Jeal, Formula 1 Franchise Director at Codemasters, says he cannot wait for the series to kick off with close competition from the 40 racers and the opportunity for gamers to represent a real Formula 1 team is incredible.
“We have been incredibly impressed with the speed and race craft that we have seen from our players during online qualification.” said Jeal.
“We have 40 outstanding racers ready for the Pro Draft, with a near equal split on returning finalists and semi finalists from last years competition, and new drivers who are ready to experience the thrill of the live events for the first time.
“For our gamers to have the opportunity to join a real Formula 1 team is an incredible opportunity and we cannot wait to see them perform on the biggest stage on F1 2018.”
The series are partnered with Codemasters, the developers of the Formula 1 game franchise and GFinity, known for being one of the popular leading Esports companies.
Mark Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer at Gfinity, said that they’re looking forward to hosting the pro draft at the Gfinity Esports Arena in London on the 9th July.
“The online tournament has seen a record number of competitors and the competition has been incredibly competitive.” said Brittain.
“We now look forward to welcoming the top players and their potential Teams to the Gfinity Esports Arena for the Pro Draft as we enter the second phase of our activation.”