If one were to make a list of innovations that have changed the way we play video games in recent years, eSports would be near the top. It’s safe to say that eSports has boomed over the last few years and could be well on its way to being classified as a regulated and officially-recognized sport.
Soon though, the movement will further evolve as developer Slightly Mad Studios (SMS) has continued its collaboration with the eSports League (ESL) to create the Multi-Class European PS4 Championship for Project CARS. The season will begin with the first Qualification Cup on January 22 and will conclude with the final multi-class race scheduled for April 22.
The two classes of race cars on offer are the Pro Class and the Challenger Class. The Pro Class will showcase some of the most powerful race cars in the game, while the slower Challenger Class promises to portray close, wheel-to-wheel racing.
Analogous to the World Endurance Championship (WEC), both categories will share the same race track. However, drivers will be sorted into either the Pro or Challenger class depending on how they fare in two Qualification Cups, with only the fastest drivers at the end of the qualifiers earning their chance to pilot the powerful machines in Pro.
Those that make it into the Pro Class after the initial qualification rounds have a reward: automatic qualification to the first three rounds of the Championship. However, these talented racers won’t have it all plain-sailing.
The bottom three drivers from the Pro Class will take part in a race against the top five drivers from the Challenger Class in a ‘Promotion Race’. Only the top three drivers from this Promotion Race will be given a space to compete in the Pro Class for the remaining third of the Championship.
While the competitors in the Challenger Class will race slower cars, the category will take no prisoners. On the Sunday after each Multi-Class race, those that are in the Challenger Class must take part in the ‘ESL Project CARS Go4 Cup’, where only the top six drivers will qualify for the next Multi-Class race.
So how do the points work? Well, points scored are based on both your class and of course how many points you score in each race. Make it to the Pros and you’ll earn 100 points for a race win and a minimum of 50 points for eighth position. Challenger drivers will achieve 40 points for a victory and a minimum of 10 for sixth place.
Staying in the Pro Class for as long as possible is paramount if a driver wants to truly challenge for the Championship and walk away with the tidy sum of €2,500!
But how is a true champion crowned if drivers can move between classes? Well, any driver who has scored in the Pro Class at any point will be ranked in that class at the end of the season. Even if a driver is relegated from the Pro Class, they’ll still be counted in the competition as any points you earn in the Challenger Class will count towards your ranking in the Pro Class. However, if a driver spends the entire season in the Challenger Class and never makes it up to Pro, then they’ll only be classified as a Challenger Class competitor.
Unfortunately for some, the Championship will only be open to those that live in Europe and own a PS4. However, every race will be live-streamed via the ESL Project CARS Twitch account.
All sound a bit confusing? You can discover more details about the Multi-Class European PS4 Championship and sign up to race here.
While Project CARS has grown into the go-to game for those looking to get involved in competitive racing on console, Slightly Mad Studios recently announced Project CARS 2 will employ dedicated eSports features from day one.