NASCAR’s inaugural esports league, eNASCAR Heat Pro League, has finally completed its peak phase. After the qualification round which began in December 2018, and the regular season which contained 11 races, the eNASCAR Heat Pro League finally held its final race on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
eNASCAR Heat Pro League was joined by 14 NASCAR teams. Each team has two representatives, one driver competing on the PS4 platform and one competing on the Xbox One. In the final round, the drivers must compete in a race consisting of 70 laps. The match was held live at Studio 43 NASCAR Plaza, Charlotte city, United States.
Two teams that competed for the top position were Stewart-Haas Gaming (from NASCAR Stewart-Haas Racing team) and Leavine Family Gaming (from NASCAR Leavine Family Racing team). Brandyn Gritton from Stewart-Haas Gaming topped the PS4 standings, while Josh Harbin from Leavine Family Gaming was ranked second. On the Xbox One platform, Nick Vroman of Leavine Family Gaming is at the top of the standings, while Josh Shoemaker of Stewart-Haas Gaming is ranked second.
The points earned by the two teams in the league final turned out to be a draw, which was 4,079 points together. Finally, the selection of champions is finally done by seeing how many laps they lead during the match. Seeing that Brandyn Gritton was able to lead 58 laps out of a total of 70 laps, finally the Stewart-Haas Gaming team was named league champions.
“We managed to make it happen. “We’re champions again, dear,” said Jake Morris, a spokesman for Stewart-Haas Gaming after the game. Stewart-Haas Racing itself in the real NASCAR league is one of the championship-subscribed teams, with its flagship driver Kevin Harvick who has won a number of events in 2019.
Scott Warfield, Managing Director of Gaming at NASCAR, is preparing to stage an esports league the following season. According to a report from Front Office Sports, the inaugural eNASCAR Heat Pro League is a league that was designed without revenue expectations, because the aim is to establish relationships with new generation racing fans through esports. However, seeing that reception is so good, Warfield is optimistic that the league can grow even bigger.
“Our sales team in New York never receives calls without questions about our esports league, which is proof for RTA, 704Games and NASCAR,” Warfield said, “The interest in (season) 2020 is very significant.” In numbers, eNASCAR This inaugural Heat Pro League has managed to hook an average of 50,000 – 70,000 views per stream. They also attracted Coca-Cola’s interest to enter as sponsors in the playoffs.
Going forward, NASCAR wants to attract more teams and promote more races every week. They will also promote the gamers or personalities involved so that ties can be established with fans. NASCAR has a revenue target for the following season, but they did not say how much. After a successful inaugural season and various lessons learned in it, it is natural that NASCAR is optimistic that it can bring eNASCAR Heat Pro League into a more serious league.