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Gfinity named as events partner for second F1 Esports Series
Esports group Gfinity announced on Thursday that it is continuing its relationship with Formula 1 and video game publisher Codemasters, and has been announced as events partner for season two of the F1 Esports Series.
The AIM-traded firm said that as part of the arrangement, Gfinity would manage tournament operations for the live events, including the adjudication framework which supported all competitive gameplay and broadcast all the live events.
It said the second season of the Formula 1 Esports Series would start on 13 April, and would see Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Force India F1 Team, Williams, Renault Sport F1 Team, Haas F1 Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team set up their own esports teams to compete in the F1 Esports Series 2018.
The competition, open to the public via the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming consoles and on PC systems, would launch with four in-game online events on the 'F1 2017' title.
Gfinity said the fastest 10 players on each gaming platform would race each other in a live-streamed event, with the top three on each platform qualifying for the first ever 'Pro Draft' and the chance to be signed by one of nine teams.
The official esports drivers would then represent their teams in the second half of the season as they raced in the three live events that would determine the 2018 F1 Esports Series Teams' and Drivers' World Champions, with a prize fund of at least $200,000.
"We are excited to continue to work with Formula 1 as the events partner. F1 and Codemasters maximised the true potential last year by fully integrating the F1 Esports Series into the final Grand Prix weekend in Abu Dhabi through both their linear TV partners and streaming platforms and we look forward to building on that success in season two with more events and broadcast opportunities," said Gfinity CEO Neville Upton.
Julian Tan, head of digital growth and F1 esports at Formula 1, added that it had long been the organisation's goal to get its teams involved "as soon as possible", and he was "delighted" that they had recognised the potential of the F1 Esports Series at an early stage.
"Last year's series was a great success and demonstrated that there is a clear audience and interest in this innovative, exciting form of racing," Tan explained.
"We will continue to invest in the Esports Series as we feel it is a great way for us to interact and engage with a new audience."
Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters, said the game publisher was "extremely proud" to be involved in the F1 Esports Series.
"The quality of the racing we saw during last year's series was spectacular and the integration of the teams for the coming season is going to take the competition and its promotion to the next level.
"We strongly believe that esports is a platform that allows us to engage with a wide, diverse audience in addition to our traditional gaming community."