Video game developer and esports specialist Gfinity has announced an extension of its partnership with Formula One.
The elite motorsport series first agreed a deal with Gfinity in August to launch its first ever esports series.
Under the renewed agreement, Gfinity will continue to serve as a partner for the second season of the esports series, which is due to get underway on 13th April.
The esports company will manage tournament operations for the series, which uses the FIA Formula One World Championship game published by Codemasters, and broadcast all the live events.
The second esports season will see the Mercedes AMG, Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Force India, Williams, Renault Sport, Haas, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula One esports teams compete.
The competition will launch with four in-game online events. The fastest ten players on each gaming platform will race off 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 will then represent their teams in the second half of the season when they race in three live events to determine the 2018 Formula One esports series teams’ and drivers’ world champions with a prize fund of at least US$200,000.
Neville Upton, chief executive of Gfinity, said: “We are excited to continue to work with Formula 1 as the events partner. Formula One and Codemasters maximised the true potential last year by fully integrating the Formula One 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.”
Julian Tan, head of digital growth and Formula One esports at Formula One, added: “It has always been our goal to get the teams involved as soon as possible and we are delighted that they have recognised the potential of the Formula One esports series at such 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. 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.”