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The five-round series has a US $250,000 prize fund at stake and more flexible regulations for pro drivers
Le Mans Virtual Series 2022/2023 Calendar
MIAMI, June 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Le Mans Virtual Series, a joint venture between Motorsport Games Inc. (NASDAQ: MSGM) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), returns this September with more of the elite, endurance esports competition, which has attracted world motor racing champions, captured global attention and received plaudits from teams, drivers and fans alike. The announcement was made today at the official ACO annual press conference ahead of the 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Last year’s successful Le Mans Virtual Series culminated in a thrilling 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual in January 2022. Multiple major motorsport manufacturers and their drivers entered teams, including Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen and INDYCAR Champion Alex Palou among the 200-strong driver line up. An impressive, cumulated TV and digital audience figure of more than 81 million (Source: YouGov Sport) was registered throughout its five month season.
Similar to the 2021/22 series, all five rounds of the coming series will be held online on the rFactor2 platform, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, the climax of the premier endurance esports championship. This format allows teams to compete virtually on simulators located all around the world for a total prize fund of US $250,000. For an exciting preview, click HERE to view a trailer for Le Mans Virtual Series 2022.
To allow more flexibility within professional drivers’ schedules – now fully restored after the disruption of the global COVID-19 pandemic – a change has been made to the driver requirements. Teams must enter one professional driver in at least one regular round of the series (i.e., Rounds 1-4), instead of being required to drive for the full season.
The 2022/23 calendar features some of the world’s most famous and recognizable racetracks across three continents, which will challenge drivers from the real and sim worlds and thrill the millions of esports enthusiasts around the globe. New for 2022 is the season-opening 8 Hours of Bahrain, a more modern classic which fits in comfortably with the historic and legendary status of Monza, Spa, Sebring and of course, the most iconic venue of them all, Le Mans.
The rounds will be as follows:
8 Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain
September 17, 2022
4 Hours of Monza, Italy
October 8, 2022
6 Hours of Spa, Belgium
November 5, 2022
500 Miles of Sebring, USA
December 3, 2022
24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual
January 14/15, 2023
Giving their full and continued support to the Le Mans Virtual Series will be some of the world’s best known and most prestigious brands: Thrustmaster as Official Hardware Partner, Rolex as Official Timepiece Partner, Total Energies as Official Energy Partner, Goodyear as Official Tire Partner, Algorand as Official Blockchain Partner and LEGO® Technic as Official Engineering Partner.
Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, commented: “We are very pleased to have supported and followed the success of the Le Mans Virtual Series to date with, as its highlight, the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. The link between real-life motorsport and esports is an essential element for our manufacturers and teams, and we believe it has an important role to play in attracting a new, younger audience both on and off track. We all look forward to another excellent season of esports competition.”
CEO of Le Mans Virtual Series, Gérard Neveu, said: “Last year’s Le Mans Virtual Series was extremely successful and we strive to improve each year. The audience figures and returns we saw in 2021-22 go a long way towards recognizing the support of our impressive portfolio of partners, the collaboration of elite manufacturers and the commitment of the best sim racing teams, including our current champions, Team Redline. We are confident that we will continue to attract champions from all different categories of motorsport and sim racing and that we can produce another exciting and professional esports series for the massive worldwide gaming and spectator audiences to enjoy.”
The vision for the virtual series remains to be as prestigious and recognizable as the real-world FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans as its cornerstone event. The esports series will continue to use rFactor 2 as its platform, which is focused on the sim racing audience and provides a more authentic racing experience. Le Mans Virtual Series’ focus on increased race and strategy analysis and professional broadcasts of the races is expected to further boost fan interest and engagement. As in previous years, FIA-licensed drivers and sim racing experts compete together in the Le Mans Virtual Series in either LMP or GTE models. More details on the entry list for the Le Mans Virtual Series races, as well as when and where to watch the races, will be revealed at the beginning of September 2022.
About Le Mans Virtual Series:
Le Mans Virtual Series is a global, elite esports series made up of five rounds which bring together endurance racing and sim racing’ top teams to compete online on some of the world’s most famous racetracks. International FIA-licensed real-world drivers are teamed up with leading esports protagonists to take on endurance classics for a total prize fund of US $250,000, culminating in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. The Le Mans Virtual Series is a joint venture between leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world, Motorsport Games Inc., and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) – the creator and organizer of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). www.lemansvirtual.com
About Motorsport Games:
Motorsport Games Inc., a majority-controlled subsidiary of Motorsport Network, LLC, is a leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world. Combining innovative and engaging video games with exciting esports competitions and content for racing fans and gamers, Motorsport Games strives to make the joy of racing accessible to everyone. The Company is the officially licensed video game developer and publisher for iconic motorsport racing series across PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and mobile, including NASCAR, INDYCAR, 24 Hours of Le Mans, rFactor 2, KartKraft and the British Touring Car Championship (“BTCC”). Motorsport Games is an award-winning esports partner of choice for 24 Hours of Le Mans, Formula E, BTCC, the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the eNASCAR Heat Pro League, among others. Motorsport Games is building a virtual racing ecosystem where each product drives excitement, every esports event is an adventure and every story inspires.
Certain statements in this press release which are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are provided by Motorsport Games Inc. (the “Company”) pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Words such as “continue,” “will,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “expect,” “expected,” “plans,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning: (i) full and continued support to the Le Mans Virtual Series from some of the world’s best known and most prestigious brands; (ii) belief that esport has an important role to play in attracting a new, younger audience both on and off track; (iii) the expectation that Le Mans Virtual Series will continue to improve each year; (iv) the expectation that Le Mans Virtual Series will continue to attract champions from all different categories of motorsport and sim racing, and that another exciting and professional esports series will be produced for the massive worldwide gaming and spectator audiences to enjoy; (v) that Le Mans Virtual Series will remain to be as prestigious and recognizable as the real-world FIA World Endurance Championship and that the 24 Hours of Le Mans will remain its cornerstone event; (vi) that the esports series will continue to use rFactor 2 as its platform, and that such platform would provide a more authentic racing experience; (vii) that the Le Mans Virtual Series’ focus on increased race and strategy analysis and professional broadcasts of the races will further boost fan interest and engagement; (viii) that FIA-licensed drivers and sim racing experts will compete together in the Le Mans Virtual Series in either LMP or GTE models; (ix) the expectation that the Company will be successful in building a virtual racing ecosystem where each product drives excitement, every esports event is an adventure and every story inspires; and (x) the expected future impact of new or planned products or offerings and the timing of launching such products and offerings, including, without limitation the Company’s belief that we will deliver against our product roadmap. All forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, many of which are generally outside the control of Motorsport Games and are difficult to predict. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (i) difficulties, delays or less than expected results in achieving the Company’s growth plans, objectives and expectations, such as due to a slower than anticipated economic recovery and/or the Company’s inability, in whole or in part, to continue to execute its business strategies and plans, such as due to less than anticipated customer acceptance of the Company’s new game titles, the Company’s experiencing difficulties or the inability to launch its games as planned, less than anticipated performance of the games impacting customer acceptance and sales and/or greater than anticipated costs and expenses to develop and launch its games, including, without limitation, higher than expected labor costs and, in addition to the factors set forth in (ii) through (iv) below, the Company’s continuing financial condition and ability to obtain additional debt or equity financing to meet its liquidity requirements, such as the going concern qualification on the Company’s annual audited financial statements posing difficulties in obtaining new financing on terms acceptable to the Company, or at all; (ii) difficulties, delays in or unanticipated events that may impact the timing and scope of new product launches, such as due to difficulties or delays in using its product development personnel in Russia due to the Russia invasion of Ukraine and the related sanctions and/or more restrictive sanctions rendering transacting in the region more difficult or costly and/or difficulties and/or delays arising out of any resurgence of the ongoing and prolonged COVID-19 pandemic; (iii) less than expected benefits from implementing the Company’s management strategies and/or adverse economic, market and geopolitical conditions that negatively impact industry trends, such as significant changes in the labor markets, an extended or higher than expected inflationary environment (such as the impact on consumer discretionary spending as a result of significant increases in energy and gas prices which have been increasing since early in 2020), a higher interest rate environment, tax increases impacting consumer discretionary spending and or quantitative easing that results in higher interest rates that negatively impact consumers’ discretionary spending, or adverse developments relating to the Russia invasion of Ukraine; and/or (iv) difficulties and/or delays in resolving our liquidity position, and other unanticipated difficulties in resolving our continuing financial condition and ability to obtain additional capital to meet our liquidity needs, including without limitation, difficulties in securing funding that is on commercially acceptable terms to us or at all, such as our inability to complete in whole or in part any potential debt and/or equity financing transactions, as well as any inability to achieve cost reductions and/or less than expected availability of funds under its $12 million line of credit from Motorsport Network. Factors other than those referred to above could also cause Motorsport Games’ results to differ materially from expected results. Additional examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (i) delays and higher than anticipated expenses related to the ongoing and prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, any resurgence of COVID-19 and the Russia invasion of Ukraine; (ii) Motorsport Games’ ability (or inability) to maintain existing, and to secure additional, licenses and other agreements with various racing series; (iii) Motorsport Games’ ability to successfully manage and integrate any joint ventures, acquisitions of businesses, solutions or technologies; (iv) unanticipated operating costs, transaction costs and actual or contingent liabilities; (v) the ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel; (vi) adverse effects of increased competition; (vii) changes in consumer behavior, including as a result of general economic factors, such as increased inflation, higher energy prices and higher interest rates; (viii) Motorsport Games’ ability to protect its intellectual property; and/or (ix) local, industry and general business and economic conditions. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements can be found in Motorsport Games’ filings with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC during 2022, as well as in its subsequent filings with the SEC. Motorsport Games anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its plans, intentions and expectations to change. Motorsport Games assumes no obligation, and it specifically disclaims any intention or obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and should not be relied upon as representing Motorsport Games’ plans and expectations as of any subsequent date.
Website and Social Media Disclosure:
Investors and others should note that the Company announces material financial information to our investors using our investor relations website (ir.motorsportgames.com), SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts. We use these channels, as well as social media and blogs, to communicate with our investors and the public about our company and our products. It is possible that the information we post on our websites, social media and blogs could be deemed to be material information. Therefore, we encourage investors, the media and others interested in our company to review the information we post on the websites, social media channels and blogs, including the following (which list we will update from time to time on our investor relations website):
LinkedIn: Motorsport Games
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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/dbfe3e04-d6ef-48a7-aebf-028e6186a3ad