Four qualifying races will be held at the virtual versions of some of the world’s most iconic racetracks, with the fastest racers getting the chance to duel it out in the grand finale. Qualifying will get underway at Spa, Belgium on 17 January 2023. This will be followed-up by trips to Aragón, Spain (31 January 2023), Autodrome Dubai, UAE (14 February 2023), and Hungaroring, Hungary (28 February 2023). The final will be held at the world-famous Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany on 16 March 2023 with the overall winner receiving two VIP tickets and accommodation to a regional international endurance race that takes place close to where they live.
Before each of the first four races, a leaderboard qualification will be posted online on RaceRoom. There, the drivers get the chance to qualify for the races. The leaderboards will be live for just under 14 days so that over the course of the competition, as many drivers as possible can participate. The format of the first four races will include a ten-minute qualifying session, followed by a 20-minute sprint race, featuring 32 drivers. After that, a second sprint race will ensue, with the top ten from the previous race starting on the reverse grid. 32 drivers with the most points from the first four endurance races will reach the grand finale. This will include a 17-minute qualifying session, followed by a 60-minute race.
“Based on the tremendous success of our first ever Esports Cup at the beginning of 2022, it makes perfect sense to bring the competition back for another year,” said Frank Massia, Director Marketing Aftermarket EMEA, NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH. “Next year’s tournament will further strengthen the engagement with our fans and brand enthusiasts as well as offering us the opportunity to showcase our company to the younger generations of, for example, gamers and mechanics.”
In the upcoming tournament, competitors will be given the option of three different race cars to drive in: the Mercedes AMG GT3, Audi R8 or Porsche 911 GT3. Aesthetically different in appearance, all three cars derive from vehicle manufacturers with rich histories in motorsport and feature technology that combines performance and reliability at the highest level. Each vehicle, moreover, is ignited by NGK spark plugs outside of the virtual world of gaming. Before each race, each driver will be assigned one of these cars, which are of the same performance standard. To stand out from the competition, moreover, each participant will be able to customise their vehicles in the colours of red, grey, white or green.
All races will be broadcast in English via Livestream, using both NGK SPARK PLUG and RaceRoom channels. Commentary for the first four track events will be broadcast in an ‘in-game’ stream format. The grand finale, however, is planned to be broadcast live and will feature race build-up and analysis, as well as pre-race interviews with the contestants and post-race interviews with the winner and runners-up. In addition, RaceRoom’s channels of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube will be used for race build-up, results, highlights, statistics and livestreams.
RaceRoom is one of the leading professional free-to-play racing simulators on the market, meaning potential Esports Cup contestants can download and participate for free. In order to meet the minimum requirements, a basic PC is required, while SimRacing equipment is preferable, as well as a broadband internet connection.
To register for the competition, Steam must be downloaded (https://store.steampowered.com/login/), and an account must be set up. RaceRoom can then be downloaded (https://game.raceroom.com/) and started via the Steam library. Upon registration, all entrants will receive a rulebook featuring all the details and rules. Participation will not incur any costs for the user.