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Comeback of F1 Esports 2023: Why did it collapse?

On November 25, 2023, the F1 Esports season began. This came quite unexpectedly as there had been few announcements by the organization. After the first race, there was no continuation, but four months later, the season finally seems to be getting underway again.

Why did F1 Esports 2023 collapse?

On November 25, 2023, the F1 Esports season began. However, the start of this season came as a surprise because it was announced just a few days before the first round on November 25 of last year. The race was convincingly won by Thomas Ronhaar and streamed live on YouTube, where tens of thousands of viewers watched the livestream. The next rounds were expected to take place in mid-December, but they never happened. A few days after the first round in Bahrain, there was an uncomfortable silence, and no communication was made to the fans.

Conflict with Formula 1

Formula 1 closely collaborated with F1 Esports and covered the teams' travel expenses. However, there were significant costs for the teams associated with traveling to the various rounds within the season. In exchange, all team drivers were required to use equipment from sponsor Fanatec in published videos. It didn't matter if the content was F1-related or what it was about; the drivers had to always show the equipment on camera. The drivers did not agree with this, resulting in the teams' travel expenses no longer being reimbursed. As a result, the season could not continue, and we heard nothing for four months. Of course, several factors were at play, but this was the main reason for the sudden halt to the season.

Fortunately, on April 2, 2024, it was announced that the season would be resumed, and the calendar was published by the organization.

F1 Esports 2023 schedule

When does F1 Esports start?

As seen on the above calendar, there will be two more events where multiple races will be held. These are from April 10th to April 12th and from May 7th to May 9th. By scheduling multiple races in a three-day event, travel costs for the teams can be saved. Previously, there were five events planned instead of two. It is likely that there will be a maximum of two races per day during an event.

Popularity of F1 Esports & Title Contenders

F1 Esports is broadcasted live on the Formula 1 YouTube channel. The first round in Bahrain garnered approximately 800,000 views, indicating definite interest from the audience. The drivers compete at a physical location during a LAN event, allowing everyone to race with the same equipment and on the same network, promoting a fair championship. The major title contenders for this year include two-time Esports champion Jarno Opmeer, Thomas Ronhaar, Nicolas Longuet, and Frederik Rasmussen.

Jarno Opmeer has a large fan base and was Esports champion in 2020 and 2021 under the Mercedes Esports team. Thomas Ronhaar is an emerging Dutch talent who races for Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber and R8G Esports. He convincingly won the first round in Bahrain this season with a six-second lead over the second-place finisher. Nicolas Longuet and Frederik Rasmussen consistently perform well each season and are certainly strong contenders for the title.

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