Formula 1’s Esports series had an amazing year, rounded off with a record number of viewers tuning into the livestream, recording a total of 11.4 million viewers across all platforms, a 98 per cent increase on the 2019 figures.
In December’s Grand Final Event, Alfa Romeo’s Jarno Opmeer won his first F1 Esports title as Driver’s champion in front of 2.7 million digital viewers. Red Bull took home the team’s championship for the second year in a row; however it wasn’t easy as the title came down to the final race.
The event also set a record for the most social media engagements for any F1 Esports event with over 1.7 million fans interacting. Overall the series collated 291 million social media impressions, this was a 151% increase on 2019’s season. Additionally, the series recorded 23.8m video views, up 29 per cent on 2019, which was aided by increased social media output for last year’s campaign. Participation also spiked , jumping 117 per cent to 237,000.
In addition, more than 30 million people watched F1’s Virtual Grand Prix series, which saw Formula 1 stars compete against famous faces from sport and music across eight live events that replaced the official calendar during lockdown. It was part of an attempt to continue to bring fans competitive action while real life racing had stopped.
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives & Esports at Formula 1 said: “It is fantastic to see the F1 Esports Series 2020 break viewing and engagement records after a brilliant championship where we saw competitive racing and high drama at every event.
"We had to adapt in the way we operated for this year’s Pro Series due to the pandemic, but we’re thrilled to see that it didn’t affect viewers enjoyment, or consumption, of the action. 2020 was a tough year for everyone, but we look forward to bringing fans more excitement in 2021, starting with the return of the Virtual Grands Prix as we welcome back some of the faces that made it such a special experience last year, and invite some new ones too, all in the name of charity. Watch this space!”
The series is returning this year, with F1 Esports looking to build upon last years success. The Virtual Grand Prix series is returning for a three-race competition, with a charity prize fund to play for. There is many more events that will follow, including The F1 Esports Series China Championship, with the Grand Final set to be hosted in Shanghai next week. The Challenger Series also continues for a further eight rounds across PS4, Xbox and PC platforms until April, before the F1 Esports Series Pro Championship returns in the autumn.
Author: Abraham Adebayo