The esports version of SailGP proved popular at a time when the real-life races are on hold.
SailGP has revealed some user engagement stats about its first eSailGP esports season. More than 146,000 unique players participated, and 55,783 individual races took place.
The series, which launched at the end of last year, in partnership with Virtual Regatta and World Sailing, offers fans the chance to compete on an esports version of the SailGP race boats in a virtual environment.
16 eSailGP events were staged this year, which received a total of 753,000 views across SailGP’s social platforms.
Streamed content 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.
SailGP athletes also went head-to-head with established gamers in a three-part Athlete vs. Gamers series.
SailGP is now planning season 2 of the esports event, with the digital programmes including enhanced graphics packages, presenters and explainer videos that help bring the virtual racing to life (see video below).
The SailGP Season 2 is scheduled to return in April 2021.
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.”