A unique Project CARS eSports season began last Friday, April 15, that pits amateur and professional car racing aficionados from all over the world against each other in a series of competitions that identifies the fastest simulated car racing drivers in the world. The winners, which will be identified in October 2016, get to split almost $23,000 in cash prizes.
Over 200 teams with over 10,000 players have registered to compete in the 2016 Logitech G Championship Series and NVIDIA Challenger Series. Each series consists of ten rounds over a 6-month period designed to identify the fastest virtual race car drivers in the world.
Players of any age, either amateur or professional, can compete from anywhere in the world. Each player or team is required to use the Project CARS driving simulator, and use their own equipment (which may include virtual reality headsets) and steer their vehicles around the laser-scanned virtual race tracks. The competitions consist of a series of rounds that coincide with real-life motorsports events occurring on weekends throughout the spring and autumn of 2016. The lap times for each event are recorded and posted to a leaderboard. Points are awarded for leaderboard positions. The winner is selected by determining the highest score at the end of the season.
The favorites heading into the 2016 season are world-renowned Team Redline who have won well over 100 individual and team-based championships from the top levels of sim-racing. Their star driver, Greger Huttu, who many believe to the best sim-driver in history, is a 5-times iRacing World Champion, and has dominated simulated auto racing since 1999. Team Redline also includes other real-world race car drivers including Max Verstappen (Torro Rosso F1 driver), Richie Stanaway (Aston Martin WEC driver), and Nick Catsburg (GP3, Blancpain GT3 driver, and Spa 24 Hour winner).
Ben Collins, author of the best-selling book How to Drive and known as “The Stig” in the BBC show Top Gear, said, “Sim-racing skills translate to the real thing. It’s is now the purest form of motor sports training, with speed, smoothness, and authentic realism that develops the talents and abilities better than any other method. Today’s home-simulators and the newest Virtual Reality headsets are remarkably advanced and provide the challenges and realism that professional drivers and teams need with a low cost entry point.”
To get started one needs a decent race seat—anywhere from $200 to $20,000 (for full motion and G-force rigs); a good set of wheels and pedals—anywhere from $500 to $5,000—and a strong PC, Playstation4 or XBOX One. The newest virtual reality technology like the Oculus Rift which offers the ultimate added realism and comes with Project CARS included costs $599.
Check out http://www.projectcarsesports.com/race-like-a-pro for more info on recommended gear.
In 2016, approximately 130 million people worldwide, with an additional 125 million occasional viewers, tuned in for the big international Esports events. Competitive gaming revenue is expected to top $450 million in 2016, and $1.1 billion by 2019. Esports, where professional gamers play video games in competition with others, have grown to a large spectator events, which has resulted in companies such as ESPN, and Electronic Arts to form Esports divisions in recent months.
For more information, visit http://www.projectcarsesports.com/home/project-cars-esports-gets-eur20000-prize-pool and http://www.projectcarsesports.com.
Project CARS is now out for PS4, Xbox One, PC (Steam), Wii U and Oculus Rift.