- The series is expected to reach over 10 000 students across the country
- Players will compete for a combined prize pool of $50 000
- It is hoped this would bring more young people into the hobby
NASCAR is launching a collegiate esports series in collaboration with the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE) and event organizer CSL eSports.
NASCAR Launches an Esports Series
As esports becomes more popular, a lot of traditional sports organizations are eyeing up various teams and competitions. One of these is NASCAR, which recently revealed plans for a nationwide collegiate Esports league. The new project will encompass over 500 institutions and will potentially reach thousands of college and university students across the country.
The new project is called the eNASCAR College iRacing Series and will be done in collaboration with the largest collegiate esports league in North America NACE Starleague, and CSL Esports, a Playfly Sports Company. Some other official partners will include Coca-Cola, Logitech, Playseat, and Southern Computer Warehouse.
NASCAR’s managing director of gaming and Esports said that gaming and esports are an important component of NASCAR, as it allows for the organization to reach fans who are often engaging with the sport for the first time. “Our various eNASCAR initiatives have seen exponential growth,” he explained. “We felt this was the right time to extend our reach to a younger audience and launch the eNASCAR College iRacing Series to show students the opportunities that sim racing and our sport hold for them.”
What Will All This Entail?
Esports and racing games in particular are a gateway for many new fans into the hobby. Aside from NASCAR, other racing giants such as Formula One's McLaren Racing think esports should be supported more in order to reaffirm the growing fandoms.
NASCAR’s new iRacing Series will allow more than 10 000 students to compete. Through many stages, 40 players will qualify before each race. The organization also plans to distribute a combined scholarship of $50 000 to the highest-finishing competitors throughout the season.
“It is paramount for CSL Esports and Playfly Sports to continue growing and expanding within NACE Starleague,” said CEO, CSL Esports Rob Johnson. “Integrating sim racing as part of the league not only provides greater opportunity for students with varied gaming interests but furthers our long-term mission of linking education, in this case, engineering-focused knowledge, with Esports competition.”
This year’s season will open on February 24 with the Playfly Sports 30 race at Daytona International Speedway. Competitors will drive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series vehicles emblazoned with their school branding.