Competitive Virtual Farming Is a Thing Thanks to 'Farming Simulator' Esports League

Teams will compete in 10 tournaments in Europe for the chance at a €100,00 prize pool.

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Jan 23 2019, 2:51pm

Image: GIANTS Software 

Esports is a high stakes competition where teams of players battle in games likes Overwatch, League of Legends, and Call of Duty. There are big crowds, big prize pools, doping, and a lot of drama. GIANTS Software, developers of the Farming Simulator series, want a cut of the action and it's going to use tractors to get it. The developer is launching the Farming Simulator League—a new esports league that will see teams of players compete in 10 tournaments per season across Europe for a €100,00 prize pool.

"We have a unique opportunity. Competitive farming is something people enjoy for years now, but it hasn’t been done in eSports so far,” GIANTS Software CEO Christian Ammann said in a press release announcing the Farming Simulator League. “We have lots of esports enthusiasts in our company who can’t wait to show the world that farming can indeed be fun and competitive at the same time. We believe we found the right mix of real farming and fun to play game elements to ensure everyone will find it entertaining."

GIANTS Software ran a Farming Simulator Championship in 2018 which saw players using tractors to bale and stack hay at a center trailer. The new Farming Simulator League will use the newly released Farming Simulator 19 and expand the hay-based competition to a 3-vs-3 mode that GIANTS Software promises will “combine real field work like harvesting with fun and challenging game elements.”

“Agriculture, like eSports, is about passion, precision and attention to detail. Optimal conditions for an exciting competition,” Ammann said of the championship.

We at Motherboard are big fans of virtual farming, and Farming Simulator in particular, which is way more popular and fun than you probably assume. We even reviewed the game's unique $300 controller in 2015 (it was sick), so we can't wait to see aspiring farmers go at it competitively for our entertainment.

GIANTS Software did not immediately respond to our request for comment.