Virtual racing begins for 2021 eSailing World Championship

Published on January 21st, 2021

(January 21, 2021) The 2021 eSailing World Championship was launched today at 12:00 UTC to officially begin the race to win this year’s title and a prize of USD $10,000. Presented in partnership between World Sailing and digital sailing platform Virtual Regatta, this year will be the fourth season following the inaugural Championship in 2018.

Last year’s World Champion was Joan Cardona (ESP), a real-life member of Spain SailGP Team, following on from Velista71 (ITA) in 2019 and L1 (FRA) in 2018.

All players are now invited to play and compete in the 2021 World Championship on Virtual Regatta Inshore via Desktop, iOS or Android.

Today’s launch starts the season off with the first ever Mount Gay Challenge – a week-long event made up of three days of training, a three-day qualifier and a final.

For the Notice of Race for this 2021 eSailing World Championship, click here.

In 2021, eSailors will experience new venues, more popular boats to sail, and fresh challenges, with extra ways to reach the Final and qualify for the PlayOffs now available.

The number of players in the Final will be increased to 10, reflecting the additional in-game challenges which will now offer a space in the eSailing World Championship Final (date TBC) as a reward.

Three special eSailing event series – the PRADA Cup, SailGP, and an Olympic Regatta Series – will run as multiple week-long regattas. Each series champion will be given a place in the Final.

In addition, the number-one player after the end of the rankings in September will win a ticket straight to the Final.

These four finalists will then be joined by the top six players from the PlayOffs (date TBC) to compete for the title and USD $10,000 prize.

There’s also a new path to PlayOffs qualification through Weekly Challenges, the latest addition to the World Championship season. The winner of each of these weekly regattas will sail straight into the PlayOffs.

The remaining PlayOff places will be taken by eSailors who are ranked in the top 800 by the end of September.

Also returning for 2021 are the eSailing Nations Cup (final date TBC) and the eSailing National Championships, for World Sailing Member National Authorities worldwide.

The 2020 Nations Cup saw 13 countries competing head-to-head over one month to crown the best eSailing nation. Great Britain won the inaugural title after a finale against Spain.

In 2019, its first year, the eSailing National Championships attracted six nations – this increased to 16 last year, and the aim is to add even more MNAs to this year’s series.

All nations conducting an eSailing National Championship will be automatically entered into the eSailing Nations Cup, and will benefit from 20 VIP passes to distribute, as well as the use of the customisable arena for hosting their semi-finals and finals.

Plus, there will be PlayOff places up for grabs for the top 10 players from each nation involved in a National Championship.

Barbados, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland have all launched their National Championship today, and more nations are set to join them throughout January and February. Russia, Spain, and Sweden will launch shortly, while Hungary will kick off their first ever eSailing National Championship on February 15.

Elsewhere, there will be new features for players and two new venues will be added – Bridgetown in Barbados and Largs in the UK – with more to follow throughout the season.

eSailors can already sail the AC75, 49er, Nacra 17, Star, ILCA Dinghy, and the eF50 – the virtual version of SailGP’s F50 – amongst others, in locations such as San Francisco, Sydney, Auckland, and Trieste.

“World Sailing’s initiatives in eSports have been recognised by the international sporting community and we are continuously evolving and growing the platform to inspire sailors and non-sailors to fall in love with our beautiful sport,” said Quanhai Li, World Sailing President. “I wish all of the eSailors the best of luck in 2021.”

“This new season structure aims to offer a variety of ways to qualify for the PlayOffs and the Final, and provide eSailors with even more incentives to take part in our Challenges, meaning every week of eSailing will count in 2021,” said Scott Over, Commercial Director at World Sailing. “One of my highlights of last year was seeing the World Championship and Nations Cup Finals live-streamed on the Olympic Channel, which I believe demonstrates just how huge sailing has become in the world of eSports.”

For more information on the 2021 eSailing World Championship, eSailing National Championships or the eSailing Nations Cup, contact esailing@sailing.org.

Source: World Sailing

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