Please select your home edition
Edition
Coast Guard Foundation LEADERBOARD 3

SailGP closes out successful first year in Esports

by SailGP 6 Nov 2020 05:41 PST
eSailGP Invitational Tournamnet © SailGP

With the conclusion of SailGP's maiden esports season - during which the first eSailGP champion was crowned, more than 146,000 unique players participated and 55,783 individual races took place - the global championship announced new plans for its second eSailGP season, including a new digital show format that debuts today.

SailGP entered the esports arena at the end of its first season in 2019 - in partnership with Virtual Regatta and World Sailing - to offer fans the chance to compete on one of the most innovative race boats in the world in the virtual environment. Laying foundations in esports was part of the league's strategy to broaden its fan base and bring sailing to a wider audience.

A total of 16 eSailGP events were staged in 2020, amassing 753,000 views across SailGP's social platforms. These included the pre-season eSailGP training events, seven qualification events and the eSailGP Grand Final, which saw Mike O'Donovan (GBR) beat Spain SailGP Team member Joan Cardona in a nail-biting final showdown. Additional SailGP athletes also got in on the action and went head-to-head with established gamers in a three-part Athlete vs. Gamers series.

Following the success of the inaugural season, SailGP has been working on the further development and evolution of the platform for Season 2, including the presentation of the digital shows. Recognizing the opportunity to reach new fans and educate around SailGP, the digital shows will have a new look for Season 2 - including enhanced graphics packages, presenters and explainer videos - to bring the virtual racing to life.

Testing the format in the first of two invitational events to close out the season, the new show airs today and features Shay Thompson as the host. No stranger to the world of gaming, Thompson 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 is joined by two expert commentators to guide fans through the racing: Japan SailGP Team flight controller Leo Takahashi and Canadian sailor, Olympic hopeful and Pan American Games gold medalist Sarah Douglas.

The first invitational brings together nine of the best eSailors in the world, representing eight nations. Included in the line-up is eSailGP champion O'Donovan, who will represent eSailGP at the forthcoming eSailing World Championship on November 7, alongside fellow competitor Kaan Mazlumca of Turkey.

SailGP Head of Content Jose Garnes said: "We have been really excited to see the progression and growth of eSailGP from our pilot event a little over a year ago in Marseille to now having nearly 150,000 unique players and 750,000 views across our platforms in our first year. It has been an exciting way to deliver live racing action during SailGP's hiatus and shows us that there is a clear appetite and fan base that this content appeals to - whether they are participating in, or watching, eSailGP. Through our new show and format, we will continue to build interest in eSailGP and hope to convert some gaming fans to live sports fans and vice versa."

The second invitational event takes place December 12-13 with the show released on December 16, alongside the eSailGP Season 2 format announcement. Watch the new-format eSailGP show here.

SailGP Season 2 returns in April 2021.

Related Articles

Great Britain Sail Grand Prix highlights video
Masterful racing from Team NZ on the iconic waters of Plymouth Sound The third event of Season 3 ended with New Zealand claiming its first ever win during a weekend of masterful racing on the iconic waters of Plymouth Sound. Posted on 3 Aug
SailGP: Ainslie Incident - what the Umpires saw
SailGP: Ainslie Incident - what the Umpire saw in the controversial Race 5 finish An incident close to the finish of Race 5 of SailGP Great Britain determined whether local hero, Ben Ainslie or his nemesis Tom Slingsby (AUS) would go through to contest the Final, in front of Ainslie's home crowd. Posted on 2 Aug
SailGP: Ainslie reacts - "Send him to the Tower!"
Ainslie suggested, only half-jokingly, that the Duchess of Cambridge should “send him to the Tower" A frustrated Sir Ben Ainslie Ainslie suggested, only half-jokingly, that the watching Duchess of Cambridge should “send him [Chief Umpire Craig Mitchell] to the Tower” after the Brits copped controversial penalty at the end of Race 5. Posted on 1 Aug
Great Britain Sail Grand Prix overall
Regal display from New Zealand SailGP Team sees it triumph in first ever SailGP event final Peter Burling breaks Australia's stranglehold on SailGP Season 3 with masterful display on Plymouth Sound after first battling the Duchess of Cambridge. Posted on 31 Jul
SailGP: Kiwis win tense Final in Plymouth
The Peter Burling and Blair Tuke led NZSailGP team win their first ever SailGP Final, The NZSailGP team won their first ever SailGP Final, dominating two of three tense races on Plymouth Sound. The Kiwis fought hard in difficult wind pressure as the F50's dropped on and off their foils, requiring careful boat positioning. Posted on 31 Jul
Great Britain Sail Grand Prix day 1
New Zealand stuns field in front of packed Plymouth shoreline Peter Burling and his New Zealand SailGP Team produced one of the most impressive days seen on the water in SailGP, taking 28 points from a possible 30 on day one of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth. Posted on 30 Jul
SailGP: Dockwalk at Plymouth with Lisa Darmanin
Lisa Darmanin walks through the pit-zone at SailGP grabbing the key players for an unscripted chat Join host and Olympic Silver medalist Lisa Darmanin, in a new feature for SailGP where she walks through the pit-zone at SailGP grabbing the key players for an unscripted chat to get their impressions of what is coming up at SailGP Great Britain. Posted on 30 Jul
Sir Ben Ainslie looks to kickstart season
With Great Britain Sail Grand Prix win on home waters in Plymouth After two wins from two events and with two championships from two seasons, Tom Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team remain the firm focus of the other eight drivers ahead of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth this weekend. Posted on 29 Jul
Media Conference SailGP Great Britain
Skippers react to questions over the interjection by coaches to their crews while racing. The media conference was notable for the reaction of the skippers, in the second group, to questions about whether they had used the option of receiving communication from their coaches during racing, and their views on the use of the outside assistance. Posted on 29 Jul
Rate of change still slow in Womens Pro Sailing
Liv Mackay: In the thrilling, supercharged world of foiling, women need to leap on every opportunity In the thrilling, supercharged world of foiling, women need to leap on every opportunity on the water, writes top Kiwi sailor Liv Mackay, to ensure female professional sailing keeps heading in the right direction Posted on 29 Jul
Cyclops 2022 May FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER