The European Tour has launched golf’s first esports series, the European eTour.
Starting at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, the inaugural season-long eTour will feature six esports contests held at European Tour tournaments around the world.
Players will go head-to-head in the online and mobile golf game, World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf, which is currently played by more than 20 million people worldwide.
The world’s best golf esports players will attempt to qualify for the live onsite events via an online tournament.
Eight players will then compete onsite at European Tour events in a nine-hole match play format, initially in two round-robin groups, before straight knockout semi-finals and final.
The five tournament winners, along with three wildcards qualifiers, will then contest the season-ending finale at the European Tour’s own season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 19-22, 2020.
The Tour is working with eSports specialists DreamHack who will bring their events and streaming production capabilities to create a premium experience.
Fans will be able to enjoy extensive live coverage as well as bespoke ancillary content of all six European eTour events across a multitude of platforms, including broadcast, digital and social media.
The inaugural European eTour Championship took place in Denmark in 2019, and the success of that tournament led to the development of this series of one-day events across the 2020 calendar.
“The launch of the European eTour underlines the European Tour’s commitment to innovation and we believe this is an exciting opportunity for us to be leaders in a market that has huge growth potential,” said Rufus Hack, the European Tour’s Chief Content Officer.
“The esports industry allows the European Tour to engage with our existing audience in a different way and attract new fans outside of our traditional demographic through our broadcast and digital platforms. Our inaugural event in Denmark earlier this year gave a glimpse into the popularity of esports and we are looking forward to launching golf’s first esports Tour in 2020.”
The esports industry is one of the fastest growing media sectors with an audience of more than 380 million enthusiasts worldwide and forecast to surpass 1.6 billion by 2022.
A majority of esports fans are in the 18-34 age demographic.
eSports will be a major focus for Sport for Business in 2020 and we will shortly reveal details of a key event taking place for our members during the year on this key area of interest.
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