F1 Esports: 2020 season to run remotely with record prize fund

The pinnacle of competitive Formula 1 racing returns with a higher bar of competition than ever before.

Toby Durant by Toby Durant
f1 esports pro draft prize dates

The F1 Esports Series, delivered by Gfinity, returns for 2020 in a slightly altered shape.

With the limitations of COVID still impacting live events and travel, the season will be operating remotely in 2020. Competitors racing from their own homes and team factories to ensure the safety of all the teams and drivers involved.

That hasn’t stopped record numbers of drivers attempting to qualify for the Pro Draft, or the Series having a record prize fund.

F1 Esports Pro Draft Reveal Show date

After a record 237,000 participants attempted to qualify, the Pro Draft Reveal Show will kick off the F1 Esports 2020 season on 27 August.

All 10 teams will announce their lineups for the 2020 season, and each team is required to add at least one qualifying draft member to their roster.

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The draft pool as been whittled down from 237,000 to just 45.

For the first time, the two winners of the highly successful inaugural season of the F1 Esports Series China Championship, Tang Tianyu and Yuan Yifan, will also be available for team selection after their success in last year’s regional campaign, where they came out on top as the fastest two drivers in the competition.

More racing than ever before

Like previous seasons, this year’s F1 Esports Series will be competed in a 12-round championship.

However, race distance has been increased to 35% to provide more strategy and racing. There will also be a new full qualifying format that is in line with the real-life F1 World Championship.

F1 Esports Pro Series drivers will be racing on a bespoke version of the recently released F1 2020 official video game developed by Codemasters.

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This year’s Pro Series will provide fans with more content than ever before with eight live broadcasts, doubling last season’s offering.

There will be live racing on Wednesday and Thursday across an event week, and this season will also see the introduction of supplementary livestreamed qualifying sessions on both days further adding to the content proposition for fans across the globe.

READ MORE: F1 2020: Codemasters’ Lee Mather on how they developed a game during a pandemic

The F1 Esports Pro Series 2020 will be broadcast on F1’s social channels (Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya), as well as select TV broadcast partners, with two live shows per event from the Gfinity Arena.

John Clarke, Gfinity Chief Executive Officer, said: “The F1 Esports Series goes from strength to strength. Formula 1 has benefited from being an early adopter in the gaming space, with millions of young fans now engaging with the series.

It is hitting the right notes in terms of driver performance, competitive racing and all-round entertaining content. This year is going to raise the bar even higher. Expect high octane racing with lots of tension. Gfinity is proud to be a long-term esports operator for F1 and be at the heart of the design and delivery of this industry-leading competition”.

Toby Durant

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