Twelve months ago, French sportscar maker Alpine launched its single-make esports series. The two-round championship claimed as a thorough success has been kicked up a gear for 2022.
Alpine has recently announced that the two rounds will be pushed to three this year with a new championship starting April 28.
The 2022 Alpine Esports Series will once again be hosted on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform, a mainstay for GT-based racing. The game even has its own version of the Alpine A110 GT4 racecar that has seen success across Europe.
The championship will run from this week until June 23rd with an event on May 12th. Of course, the series will use some of the most prestigious tracks available on the ACC platform. Round one sees the plucky GT4 cars take to the Circuit de Barcelona while Round two takes the field to the home of Alpine, France and the Circuit Paul Ricard. The third venue is as yet unknown, being decided by fan vote during the live stream for Round two.
Watch Alpine Esports Series liveYes, once again the championship is going to be streamed live to pretty much any platform you could want. Both Alpine’s Twitch and YouTube channels will host the races live at 20:30 CEST. While the championship’s sponsor Binance will also cover all the action from its dedicated streaming service.
What will the Alpine Esports field be racing for?That brings us to the surprising prizes those lucky enough to compete will be racing for. Through Binance, Alpine has set up a cryptocurrency dubbed an ALPINE Token. The championship winner will receive an astonishing $40,000 worth of these tokens. Second place will be given $25,000 worth and 3rd will get $12,000. The rest of the top 10 will also get some of these tokens.
The top-five also get more traditional prizes thanks to the series’ other sponsors. The championship winner will be most excited for a track day in the real life Alpine A110 GT4 race car bridging the gap between real and the sim. That comes with Alpine racing gloves and shoes, a pair of glasses from Shamir, an eyewear specialist. Philips also joins the party to offer a Hue light bundle.
Second place will have to be content with the Philips lights, Alpine gloves and a Trak Racer TRX frame. While third gets the arguably better prize of gloves, lights and a BenQ monitor. Fourth and fifth get the chance to join the aforementioned Shamir’s Esports R&D team.
In total, 30 drivers will be competing for these amazing prizes. However, a repeat winner from last year is off the cards. 2021 saw Jaroslav Honzik, better known as Jardier, dominate the rest of the field to win an experience in the A110 GT4 car.
From 3,000 qualifiers, just 30 remainThis year, a two-week time trial competition saw only the 30 fastest drivers out of over 3,000 entrants make the final cut. Among the big names is James Baldwin, previous winner of the World’s Fastest Gamer competition. Despite having made the move to real-world racing, he still keeps up his image in the sim world by competing among the fastest around.
Though he wasn’t the fastest in the qualifying time trials around Misano. Topping the charts with a 1:41.230 was George Boothby followed extremely closely by Michele Nerbi setting a 1:41.265. With 30th in the qualifying heats still managing a 1:41.802, just six tenths off the top, everyone has to be in contention for what should be an exciting season.
The 30 drivers will be going head-to-head in two races per round, one sprint offering points from first to eighth and one main race paying official FIA points; 25 for first, 18 for second and so on.
The 30 drivers will be joined by the odd celebrity and sim racing influencer, though it’s unsure who will be joining when. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jardier make an appearance to ensure his position at the head of the Alpine Esports bunch.