Yesterday (September 11) saw the start of the 2019 Formula™ 1 New Balance eSports Pro Series, featuring some of the world’s most skilled eSports drivers representing ten official F1™ eSports teams.
Renault’s presence at the Pro Series takes the form of Renault Sport Team Vitality made up of Dutchman Jarno Opmeer (a three-time Karting Netherlands Champion and former Renault Academy driver) and German-born Cedric Thomé (an Apex Online Racing Xbox Champion and F1™ eSport 2017 Finalist). The two experienced drivers are joined by newcomer Simon Weigang.
Weigang, also German, was one of ten talented eSports racers who made the Pro Draft final on July 17 and was signed on professional terms by Renault as an official F1™ eSports driver for the Pro Series.
Now in its third season, the Pro Series consists of 12 races contested over four live events at London’s Gfinity eSports Arena, starting yesterday, then continuing on October 2 and November 6, with the final to be held on December 4. The series sees drivers compete for a share of a huge $500,000 prize fund – more than double that of last year.
In the competition Renault Sport Team Vitality faces off against nine other teams playing F1™ 2019, the official F1™ video game developed by Codemasters in the biggest, most ambitious Pro Series season yet.
The other teams are: Ferrari Driver Academy, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports, Red Bull Racing eSports, Alfa Romeo Racing F1 eSports, McLaren Shadow, Haas F1 Team eSports, Scuderia Toro Rosso eSports, SportPesa Racing Point F1 eSports Team and Williams eSports.
The Renault Sport Team Vitality trio will have to be at the top of their game in the series where other racers include two-time F1™ eSports Series champion Brendon Leigh (Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports), as well as sim racing star Enzo Bonito (McLaren Shadow), who outpaced professional racing drivers earlier in the year driving a real life racing car at the 2019 Race of Champions.
The three remaining events will be streamed online between 19:00-21:00 (BST) on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch, as well as broadcast on global television on channels such as Sky UK, Ziggo (Netherlands), MTV (Finland) and Fox Australia, among others.
Let the games begin - and may the best team win. Good luck Renault Sport Team Vitality!