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Formula E, MotoGP unveil eSports initiatives

The Formula E electric car-racing series and the MotoGP motorcycle-racing world championship have both unveiled projects that will focus on the growing eSports sector.

Formula E has launched its first ever virtual championship, Race Off Pro Series, to be held alongside its real-world season. The championship, which is being supported by eSports league organiser ESL, will comprise at least four online rounds, which will serve as a preview to the on-track action ahead of the Formula E races in Long Beach, Paris, Berlin and London.

Meanwhile MotoGP will launch a Fan World Championship series this year in conjunction with the release of MotoGP Championship Quest, the official MotoGP mobile racing game, which will be rolled out globally in April.

“We didn’t want the Fan World Championship to be a popularity contest because if it were, the riders leading the live championship would win every week,” Mark De Simone, chief executive of WePlay Media, the developer of the game, said. “Instead we wanted to make it about the fan’s contribution to their rider, effectively democratising the MotoGP field and focusing on fan engagement.”

Each week, a Fan World Championship podium will be decided and the MotoGP racer with the highest average fan score will win that round, while the fan who contributed the most points to that rider will win the round of the Fan World Championship. Prizes will be on offer on a monthly basis.

Formula E’s project is being supported by Microsoft through the company’s Turn 10 Studios, which will be providing the Forza Motorsport 6 platform for competitions. “Competitive gaming is at the heart of Forza and we are always working to innovate in the growing arena of eSports by engaging automotive and gaming enthusiasts in this new type of motorsport,” Dan Greenawalt, creative director of Turn 10 Studios, said. “Forza Motorsport 6 is a natural fit for this partnership with Formula E.”

Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag added: “We have shown with initiatives such as the eRace in Mexico and the Race Off exhibition events that Formula E is committed to embracing the world of eSports, and the creation of this championship takes this to the next level. Putting fans at the centre of the championship is part of our DNA, which is why we created FanBoost, and allowing the best video gamers to race on the same stage as our world-class drivers further enhances this. As always we are working with world-class partners to achieve this, including Xbox, Turn 10 Studios and ESL.”