After a breakthrough year in 2020, 2021 witnessed the best racing esports series solidify their positions and sustain audiences, so in 2022 expect further developments, and most of all, exciting racing.
With several high-profile championships and events set to return this year, here are what we think is worth tuning into across the season, so far.
Disclaimer: There will be many esports events happening in 2022 missing from this list, but that’s okay. This isn’t definitive and Traxion.GG will try to cover as many as possible in some way across the year.
CONFIRMED Racing Esports SERIES IN 2022
Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Super Cup (iRacing)
iRacing’s Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup enters 2022 with a bit of a gap to fill at the top of the series. Defending champion Joshua K Rogers and his Coanda Simsport teammates Mitchell deJong, Tommy Østgaard, Mack Bakkum and Martin Krönke won’t be entered on the roster this season.
This could leave the door open for the 2020 champion Sebastian Job to reclaim the top spot, or maybe someone new in 2022. This series is expected to continue soon on Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET / 8:00 pm GMT, we’ll let you know when the calendar and entry list is confirmed.
eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series (iRacing)
One of the longest running official series, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series returns in 2022 with 40 of the best oval racers on the iRacing service. At this time, a schedule and list of teams have not been announced, but it is expected that the series will kick off in February at Daytona.
Mostly ovals races in the NASCAR NEXT Gen race cars, eNCiS will put iRacers to task at a plethora of different disciplines. Keegan Leahy (23XI Racing) took the series championship in 2021. These races are expected to be, on average, every two weeks or so on Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT.
WRC Esports (WRC 10)
After a strange 2021 WRC esports season that witnessed both the 2020 and 2021 finals takes place – due to Covid-19 weirdness – the championship returns for the sixth time this year. As ever, the competition is open to anyone, so long as you have WRC 10 on a PlayStation, PC or Xbox.
Qualifying takes place across 13 rounds in-game, from January to August, with your 10 best scores counting. Then, the World Finals will be broadcast live later in the year. A truly spectacular series that deserves the limelight, won by Lohan Blanc, aka Nexl, last season.
ADAC GT Masters Esports Championship (RaceRoom)
The ADAC GT Masters Esports Championship powered by EnBW mobility+ is one of the first big championships to return in 2022, with a pair of shootouts to set the field coming up in the middle of January. The season begins in February and will be once again live on Traxion.GG.
Mortiz Löhner (Dörr Esports) took the 2021 championship after an intense season with top talents such as Kevin Siggy, Jeffrey Rietveld, Nikodem Wisniewski and Isaac Price winning races. €70,000 is up for grabs in the 12-race, six event season with a host of new rules and a revised broadcast format expected.
DTM Esports Championship (RaceRoom)
Another returning esports competition that shares ties with a motorsports series, the DTM Esports Championship starts in February after a series of qualification and shoutout rounds on the RaceRoom sim platform. The championship last took place in 2020 with the Class 1 vehicles, won by none other than Moritz Löhner in his inimitable style.
Now with a fresh ruleset, all eyes will be on this six-round season.
24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual (rFactor 2)
Following the first-ever Le Mans Virtual Series starting in 2021, the final round is on 5th-6th January 2022, culminating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
The entry list includes the likes of Max Verstappen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Beitske Visser, Bono Huis, Jarno Opmeer and teams such as W Series, Prodrive, Red Bull Racing Esports and Mercedes-AMG Petronas. Alpine has also entered a team, managed by Fernando Alonso. With 50 cars competing for glory, this is set to be the biggest racing esports event of the year.
VERSUS ULTRA (Codemasters Library)
A new, fun esports competition is coming in the form of VERSUS ULTRA, and this one will encompass an entire library of racing games from Codemasters. In partnership with Veloce Esports, the league will be global and will be based around multiple different racing games available from the EA-owned developer.
Those games include the yearly F1 video games, the DiRT franchise, the GRID titles and the Project CARS series. No specific games were mentioned or announced to be part of the schedule in the release, but the image shows a rallycross and GT3 car alongside a single-seater. No dates or rosters have been announced at this time.
Esports Racing World Cup by VCO
A new initiative this year, the Esports Racing World Cup by VCO will kick off with an invitational ERWC I event on 28th-30th January 2022. The aim is to find the best sim racing drivers and teams across multiple disciplines, utilising Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing and rFactor 2 across three days.
This will then be followed by the Esports Racing League (ERL) for 30 teams ending in November, helping formalise the line-up for ERWC II in February 2023. A unique twist that will highlight the adaptability of the very best racers, with RaceSpot TV and The Sim Grid acting as key partners.
ASSUMED RETURNING Racing Esports SERIES IN 2022
F1 Esports (F1 2022)
While the format, or even name, for the F1 Esports Series Pro in 2022 is yet to be revealed – the 2021 season is only just complete, won by Jarno Opmeer – we don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to assume the world’s premier single-seating motorsports series will return to the virtual world later this year.
Initial qualifiers have already taken place on the F1 2021 game and we expect some sort of feeder series, think F1 Esports Challengers, ahead of the main event later this year.
FIA Gran Turismo Championships (GT Sport/Gran Turismo 7)
The FIA-accredited Gran Turismo World Series for both Nations and Manufacturers has attracted large worldwide audiences, thanks to its slick production and close racing. In 2021, Italy’s Valerio Gallo took the Olympic Virtual Series and Nations Cup victories, Toyota the manufacturer crown.
Details are scant about the 2022 format, mainly because a new game in the series, Gran Turismo 7, releases in March. The platform for the esports series up to this point has been GT Sport – so we’re intrigued to see if the new title is used for any potential esports series.
Formula Pro Series (rFactor 2)
The first season of Formula Pro Series on rFactor 2 was dominated by Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver Bono Huis, winner of all six inaugural events en route to the championship.
Using the fantasy Formula Pro single-seater that was released in conjunction with the series, a future season will hopefully see a roster of teams with individual car designs. Only BMW has released a concept so far, so we’re looking forward to future potential entries.
SRO GT World Challenge Esports (Assetto Corsa Competizione)
The SRO Esports series, which apes the real-world motorsport championships of the same name, spanned three main regions and two race types – Endurance and Sprint – in 2021. There was also the innovative Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series on analogue-world race weekends.
Using Assetto Corsa Comeptizione, the sim racing platform will receive several updates and new content throughout the year, and this can only help the variety in the SRO competitions. Again, nothing is confirmed as of yet, but we did receive an email with the message: “It has been a great year of virtual racing and we can’t wait to welcome you to the upcoming 2022 Series. Stay Tuned!”
Force Dynamics Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship (iRacing)
The first season of the Force Dynamics Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship came down to the wire in 2021. The new open-wheel iRacing series, utilising the fantasy Formula car made in conjunction with Dallara, saw Peter Berryman (APEX Racing Team) take the title in a winner-take-all against R8G Esports rival Maarten van Loozenoord at the Hungaroring.
While the series did promote relegation for drivers outside of the Top 10, the new Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance is on everyone’s mind as the new top open-wheel racer on the service. However, we still hope and expect an open-wheel World Championship in some form to return on iRacing in 2022.
iRacing Rallycross World Championship (iRacing)
This one should be a no-brainer, but the iRacing Rallycross World Championship series brought the heat every week in the fall of 2021. With the iRX All-Stars warming up the show for the professional rally sim racers, there were always compelling stories to tell between all the short races.
Last season, Jon Robertson (Subaru Motorsports USA) held off the SET Esports duo of Jonne Ollikainen and Tommi Hallman in the finale at Charlotte RX. Hopefully, this one will return with more heavy hitters on the dirt/asphalt hybrid circuits.
These are the confirmed, and assumptive, racing esports competitions we think will be the most hotly contested in 2022, and with all of them providing some form of live stream or online highlights to watch, this year could be the right time for you to get into the scene.
As always, Traxion.GG will be your racing esports hub throughout the year, with news, interviews, live events and race reports across everything mentioned in the article and a lot more. Let us know in the comments below which series you’re looking forward to the most.