ESports have seen tremendous growth over the past few years, between tournaments like the Call of Duty: World League getting a devoted following, and The International offering record prizes worth millions of dollars. Now Microsoft, after wrapping up this year’s Halo World Championship, is revving up for competitions based on its best-selling racing game, Forza Motorsport 6.
Although there have been large events in the past featuring Forza Horizon 2, the announcement indicates that this is an official push toward eSports competition. Fans will have the opportunity to race against one another in a pair of tournaments taking place later this month, in the hopes of making it to the finals.
The first tournament, ESL, Formula E and Forza Motorsport 6 – Race Off Pro Series will start March 24, with rivals facing-off against one another in qualifying events. Those who qualify for the Pro Championship will get an all-expense paid trip to London, where they’ll compete against the top 10 finishers of the season for cash prizes.
Major League Gaming, which was recently acquired by Activision, will also host its own Forza eSports racing tournament. Kicking off on March 26 and running through May 7, the online tournament will be open to players of all skill levels, based on weekly one-on-one and team-based race events. This particular event will focus on S-Class cars, and will give players a chance to win cash along with the opportunity to be involved in the finals, which will take place on May 21. All finalists will automatically walk away with a free in-game car for participating.
These events show Microsoft’s continued devotion to promoting eSports. The company recently hosted the Halo Championship Series, where the team of Counter Logic Gaming walked away with $1 million, the largest prize of any console eSport to date.