'WRC 5' tournament to run alongside Championship races

October motorsports game "WRC 5" will star in an eSports tournament that is to take place in parallel with the 2016 World Rally Championship.

As well as being the official game of the FIA's World Rally Championship, "WRC 5" will also be the focal point for the racing competition's official eSports tournament.

A ten-round 2016 Championship will start in Monte-Carlo on January 21 and, for the first time, an official eSports championship will run at the same time.

That sort of digital duplication is planned throughout 2016's WRC season, with the ESL (Electronic Sports League) partnering for the events.

Live broadcasts on Twitch TV are also scheduled, so that fans can keep up with the action.

French developer Kylotonn and publisher Bigben Interactive are claiming the tie-in event as a WRC first -- it could well be an eSports first -- although racing games are hardly over-represented on the pro-level scene.

The biggest eSports titles have much less obvious real-world analogues. Tournament giants like "Dota 2," "League of Legends" and "Starcraft II," for example, spring from genres specific to video games.

First-person shooters like "Counter Strike: Global Offensive," "Halo" and "Call of Duty" have real-world connections, though non-sporting in nature.

By contrast, the motorsports genre has produced relatively few eSports contenders. Its games are more likely presented as a route into real-world racing, not pro-level gaming: the "Gran Turismo" franchise, for example, has a longrunning partnership with GT team Nissan.

As an exception to the rule, "iRacing" and "rFactor 2" have found a niche with something close to a professional driver's training tool. Sim-grade retail game "Project CARS" has recently joined the ESL (Electronic Sports League) roster.

Far better established on the eSports circuit is "Trackmania," an Electronic Sports World Cup regular, but its architectural and anti-gravitational fantasies veer away from real-world sim.

While not as far out as "Trackmania," "WRC 5" is neither positioned to be as demanding as "iRacing"; it's aiming for authenticity but not at the expense of easy access or broad appeal.

Perhaps that's where its best chance lies: ideal accompaniment to the WRC's events, only ever as demanding as its players desire.

The PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game arrives on October 9 in France, Germany and Belgium, and October 16 internationally.

This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.