This is an esport that not many saw coming.
Farming Simulator will host its inaugural Farming Simulator League at FarmCon, held in Germany. Starting in late July, the competitive farming simulator players will compete for their share of a €100,000 ($112,000) prize pool.
And that’s just the beginning.
Season 2 of the new league will see the professional Farming Simulator players competing for a piece of an impressive €250.000 ($280,000) prize pool. The median salary of a real life farmer is about $66,000, making it more lucrative to plow a field from inside your home if you’re one of the world’s best virtual field plowers.
Farming Simulator developer Giants Software released a video discussing how competitive farming works.
Teams competing in the Farming Simulator League will have three players including a captain, although teams can have up to five players, including a coach and a substitute. Complete teams can sign up as a Wild Card team, playing their way towards qualifying for the main tournament.
Teams that do qualify will then face other Wild Card teams for a chance in the play-ins. The teams who plow through that competition will then face the seeded teams. These are the eight “final bosses” that are already part of the Farming Simulator League.
It hasn’t been said if team names have to relate to farming, but the Farming Simulator League’s official video seems to think it’s probably for the best if they do.
But when it comes to just what action people will get to witness on screen, information is not so readily available. An official press release from Giants Software attempted to explain what teams would actually be doing in the league.
In competitive three versus three modes, teams will “determine who is the best on the field” through real field work like harvesting mixed with challenging game elements. Nothing else was said on that matter, but one can only assume accuracy and speed will help determine who is the best at pretending to farm.
“Competitive farming is something people have enjoyed for years now, but it hasn’t been done in esports so far,” said Giants Software CEO Christian Ammann, who is also the manager of the company’s esports division. “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.”
The FSL’s season will begin at FarmCon 19, which takes place on July 27. From there, the FSL will have a 14-tournament circuit around Europe, running until the summer of 2020. Big names from the agricultural industry including John Deere and Trelleborg have already stated that they would sponsor competing teams.