F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series Returns
Global motorsports series F1 announced that its F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series will return on Jan. 31 to bridge the gap between the start of the year and the beginning of the 2021 F1 season, which is currently scheduled for March 28. The Virtual Grand Prix format was created last year following the F1 2020 season’s postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 30M people tuned into the series last year to watch a mixed field of F1 racing drivers and celebrities compete in eight live events that replaced the official F1 calendar until real-life racing resumed in July.
For the 2021 Virtual Grand Prix series, each of the 10 F1 teams will once again field a duo of racing drivers and celebrities, which will compete for a charity prize fund. All teams will nominate a charity to receive donation from F1 on their behalf and compete for points to determine their share of the charity prize fund depending on their finishing position in a three-week three-race series. F1 will broadcast the charity esports series live on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and on TV in selected territories.
Furthermore, F1 announced that its F1 Esports Series 2020, in which Alfa Romeo’s Jarno Opmeer secured his first F1 Esports title, marked a record year with a total of 11.4M live stream views across all digital platforms, representing a 98% increase compared to 2019. For the season’s Grand Final, 2.7M people tuned in.
As a result of the popularity of F1’s 2019 Esports Pro Series and the Virtual Grand Prix series during the first half of 2020, F1 recorded a record number of players trying to qualify for the 2020 F1 Esports Series season as 237K people participated, a 117% increase from the year before.
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