With less than three weeks before the eight international teams meet on the water in Bermuda for the SailGP league’s return to racing, gamers worldwide will be able to compete in the 2021 eSailGP Championship.
After more than 146,000 unique players took part in the inaugural season, won by British eSailor Mike O’Donovan, the winner of the 2021 eSailGP virtual series will be rewarded with an all-inclusive package to a SailGP event in 2022 and a place in the 2021 eSailing World Championship Final.
In partnership with Virtual Regatta and World Sailing, the championship will feature six qualification events over the course of the first half of the season, with a spot in the eSailGP Grand Final on October 15 up for grabs for the winners. The eSailGP Grand Final will see the two gamers with the highest points after three fleet races face-off in a single winner-takes-all match race.
Two wildcard berths will also be available at the final for a female player and a youth player, who will be selected by a panel of judges. This initiative is in line with SailGP’s immediate focus on the advancement of gender equity and its program to fast-track the training and development of female athletes for participation in SailGP.
Shay Thompson will return for her first full season as online host and she is no stranger to the world of gaming. She has hosted McClaren’s Shadowcast, streams for Xbox Interactive, presents panels and podcasts for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is the founder of Level Up Link Up, an event aimed to make the games industry a more diverse place.
She’ll be joined by Olympic champion and Japan SailGP Team helm Nathan Outteridge, who will transfer his expertise from the racecourse to the eSailGP commentary team for the first time, alongside his teammate and flight controller Leo Takahashi.
eSailGP races are 5-6 minutes long and feature up to 10 players per game. The championship is integrated into the Virtual Regatta Inshore platform, the largest sailing community in the world with more than 1.6 million players.
Training opens for each eSailGP qualification event a few days before the real-life racing kicks off, and the courses mimic the iconic venues where the global championship is hosting races at the respective time. The first event of the season kicks off with the Bermuda eSailGP, April 17-18.
eSailGP can be played on Desktop, iOS and Android.
2021 eSailGP Championship Schedule:
Qualifier | April 17-18
Qualifier Semi Final | April 19
Qualifier Final | April 21
Qualifier | May 29-30
Qualifier Semi Final | May 31
Qualifier Final | June 2
Qualifier | July 10-11
Qualifier Semi Final | July 12
Qualifier Final | July 14
Qualifier | Aug 14-15
Qualifier Semi Final | Aug 16
Qualifier Final | Aug 18
Qualifier | Sep 4-5
Qualifier Semi Final | Sep 6
Qualifier Final | Sep 8
eSailGP Cádiz – Andalusia
Qualifier | Oct 2-3
Qualifier Semi Final | Oct 4
Qualifier Final | Oct 6
Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.
Published on March 31st, 2021