Video gaming publisher and distributor Bigben Interactive, responsible for creating the WRC (World Rally Championship) video game has announced a partnership with Hyundai Motor Company. The 2017 eSports Championship will now be called eSports WRC powered by Hyundai. This global competition will be contested on WRC 6, the FIA World Rally Championship game.
This is not the first time Hyundai has teamed up with WRC. Hyundai currently operates a three-car team in professional WRC and now that they have teamed up with Bigben Interactive, they will launch a promotion allowing the winner of the eSports competition to win a premium Hyundai i20, worth $21,000 (20,000€).
The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC is a 380hp road version of the rally car and can reach 0-60mph (96kph) in just under 4 seconds. Not too shabby. This also happens to be Hyundai’s third new car in the World Rally Car category since 2014.
“After a first year of partnership, we are really excited to be part of the eSports WRC adventure for a new year,” said Scott Noh, Director of Hyundai Motor’s Overseas Marketing Group. “The eSports WRC championship is the perfect way for people around the world to be part of the WRC family by competing in online rallies in parallel to the official ones. Last year the tournament gathered thousands of virtual drivers for a year of competition which ended with an amazing live event in Wales. With the new format this year, it’s interesting to follow drivers from January to November and we can already see an intense battle on the podium which sounds exciting for the coming months,” added Noh.
What’s even crazier, is that the eSports tournament mirrors the real-life WRC races. This means players will earn points for each race, before the finale when 8 of the best drivers will eventually face off against German eSports racing champ aTTaX Johnson. Those that succeed him will have the chance to win the new Hyundai i20 Coupe.
Currently, after the first three rounds, the championship is currently being led by French driver Nexl, who finished 4th in 2016, being followed closely by Speedbooster27 (German) and Hesto (German). Each round is in parallel to the real-life WRC rounds, putting players alongside actual WRC racing stars as they will feel the excitement and pressure of racing toward being the best.