Torque Esports’ virtual esports racing series will be shown live on TV for the first time in a new broadcast partnership with the Disney-owned, ESPN.
Starting this Saturday (April 11), The Race All-Star Series – Fully Charged by ROKiT Phones will reach millions of homes via a new airtime-for-content partnership with ESPN (NYSE: DIS). Saturday’s All-Star Cup and Legends Trophy races will be shown live on ESPN2 from 12:00 noon US Eastern time and replayed Sunday on ESPN2 at 1pm ET.
Created to fill the motorsport entertainment void caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Torque Esports was on “pole” as the first to create a live-streamed event to fill the racing void on March 15 when major events were canceled including the opening rounds of the Formula 1 and IndyCar championship.
Now known as The Race All-Star Series – Fully Charged by ROKiT Phones – the Torque Esports-created series has become the first broadcast esports racing event to reach more than 600 million homes around the world.
The Torque Esports events feature two separate competitions – the All-Star Cup, which pits the leading stars from Formula 1, Formula E, IndyCar, sportscars, and more against the world’s top sim racers; and the Legends Trophy.
The entry list for the Legends Trophy features familiar names for ESPN viewers, including Formula 1 World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Jacques Villeneuve, and Jenson Button and Indy 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya (also a F1 star), Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, and Tony Kanaan.
Last week’s Legends field had a combined record of three Formula 1 World Championship titles, 1076 race starts, 47 wins, 41 pole positions; eight IndyCar championships, 1414 race starts, 124 wins, and 11 Indy 500 victories; as well as 16 wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“For more than 40 years, ESPN has been the leader in sports with its groundbreaking coverage, and we’re immensely proud to have The Race All-Star Series – Fully Charged by ROKiT Phones now shown live on the network,” Torque Esports President and CEO, Darren Cox said about the new airtime-for-content partnership with ESPN.
“When we debuted our esports racing events, our live streaming numbers were off the charts, and now our agreement with ESPN along with our entire international broadcast package is taking virtual racing to an unprecedented global audience.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Torque Esports to introduce this genre of racing to new fans around the world. Many ESPN viewers have watched the likes of Fittipaldi, Villeneuve, Montoya, Franchitti, Castroneves, and more before but never all together in such an incredible field.
“We’re also introducing the stars of tomorrow to fans too. ESPN viewers saw the journey of World’s Fastest Gamer winner Rudy van Buren as he earned his title in 2017 – now they get to see him and the rest of the world’s top esports racers fight with top real-world racing stars as well.”
Along with the exciting ESPN live broadcast news, The Race All-Star Series – Fully Charged by ROKiT Phones yesterday revealed it would evolve into a full championship series from this weekend.
A three-race championship series will feature professional racers competing against the world’s top sim racers. Points will be awarded after each week, with the pro racing champion crowned at the end of three weeks being awarded a US$30,000 prize to be given to the charity of their choice.
The top-performing sim racer will receive a full day’s test in a Formula 1 team’s simulator including flights to the UK and accommodation (subject to the lifting of travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic)
Legends racers will also compete for their favorite charity with a weekly US$10,000 prize on offer for the winner of the opening race.
Saturday’s The Race All-Star Cup – Fully Charged by ROKiT Phones event will be held at the rFactor 2 version of Sebring International Raceway from 17:00 UK, 18:00 CET, 12:00 US Eastern, 9:00 US Pacific, 13:00 Brazil, 00:00 China, 1:00 Japan and 2:00 Australian East Coast time.
The Torque Esports group also includes the Barcelona, Spain-based data analytics experts Stream Hatchet; Lyon, France-based game studio, Eden Games; Maranello, Italy-based motorsport simulator company, Allinsports; Silverstone, esports tournament and streaming platform, UMG Games; UK-based content and esports tournament creators, IDEAS+CARS; plus London-UK-based motorsport and esports racing media platform, The Race.