After months of inactivity on circuits across the world, fans and drivers alike have breathed a collective sigh of relief as grandstands once again reverberate to the sounds of racing car engines on racetracks proper.
Yet, as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic that has crippled the world at large, those same grandstands remain empty, and may do for some time yet. Even before coronavirus brought real racing to a standstill back in March, one thing that has brought drivers and fans together for the common good is the world of Esports.
Events kicked off by The Race and Veloce Esports initiatives quickly got the ball rolling, quickly followed by officially sanctioned F1 Virtual GP events brought virtual racing into the homes of those under lockdown, with drivers such as Lando Norris, George Russell and Charles Leclerc showing the true personalities of the men behind the masks in a way not seen before.
Now, a new Williams Racing-backed sim tournament presented by Acronis, is seeking to continue the momentum generated during lockdown with the VCO Cup of Nations.
📢// New Tournament in aid of @UNICEF
The VCO Cup of Nations brings international knock-out competition to @iRacing on July 25/26 🌎🏆
Represent your country in the fight for glory & the £7500 prize pool💰
— iRacing.com (@iRacing) June 26, 2020
As with the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge, the VCO Cup of Nations has been set up to raise money for UNICEF with both VCO and Williams Esports already donating £2500, with a further prize pool of £7500 up for grabs.
Unlike any of the other Esports events run so far, however, the unique format of the Cup of Nations pits countries of four drivers against one another with 10 different cars and tracks – from road racing, oval racing and dirt racing. And the other catch? The drivers will only discover which cars and circuits will be included on the morning of the event!
Run on the iRacing format, the VCO Cup of Nations group stages are set to be held on July 25 and broadcast live on RaceSpot, with teams taking on one another in groups of four. Then, a day later, the ten most successful nations will contest the knock-out phases, with four countries eliminated in the semi-finals, before the final six teams will battle it out to be the overall winner over four races.
The winning team will get £4000, with second place getting £2500 and the third-placed team picking up £1000.
— Cup of Nations (@CupofNationsSim) July 14, 2020
“We are excited to bring this concept of an international tournament to sim racing,” commented Steven English, Head of Esports at Williams Racing. “It’s something fresh and unique at a time when many people are missing the traditional excitement of supporting their country during a summer of sport. That we can also raise funds to support the incredible work UNICEF is doing around the world is an extra bonus. We are grateful to all the partners collaborating to host this special event and we hope it will bring enjoyment and entertainment for all those participating and watching the action.”
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