Motorsport Games Inc. (NASDAQ: MSGM) (“Motorsport Games”), a leading racing game developer, publisher, and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world, today announced the latest report undertaken by YouGov Sport on the five-round Le Mans Virtual Series, which ran from September 2022 through to January 2023. The series recorded growth in TV and digital audience figures in almost every area.
The virtual racing series took place over five months on extremely detailed and realistic representations of iconic and well-known circuits in Bahrain, Monza, Spa, and Sebring, with the finale of the season being held at the iconic Circuit des 24 Heures in Le Mans, France.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual on January 14 and 15 brought together 45 LMP and GTE cars with 180 drivers from 41 different countries. Teams battled it out for a $250,000 series prize pool across the five rounds, with the competitors racing on 164 simulators worldwide – representing manufacturers such as Alpine, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, Peugeot, and Porsche.
Despite a number of serious technical issues during the 24-hour event – which have been fully investigated and addressed – 37 of the competitors took the checkered flag in a dramatic and passion-filled event. No other major technical issues were experienced throughout the other four rounds within the closely-fought season.
An impressive, cumulative, audience reach of over 8.5 million via TV, OTT, and digital audiences was recorded for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual in a recent report by YouGov Sport. The worldwide viewership enjoyed a slick and commanding broadcast across each round, with the season finale played out on a 25-hour TV special seen in 68 broadcast markets across four continents on channels such as Eurosport, CNBC, Fox/Disney, and Motor Trend. After incredible battles up and down the field between the world’s best professional and sim racing drivers representing elite esports teams, the Le Mans Virtual Championships were won by Porsche Coanda (LMP) and BMW Team Redline (GTE).
Some key facts and figures from the Le Mans Virtual Series season:
- 558 hours of content was consumed by the #LeMansVirtual audience
- 36 million social media impressions (Source: FIA WEC, ACO, LMVS, and Traxion), +19% year on year
- 10 million video views (Source: FIA WEC, ACO, and Traxion GG), +43% year on year
- 5 million total broadcast audience reach (linear TV/digital streaming (source: YouGov Sport) for 24H Virtual alone
- Reigning F1 World Champion plus FIA F2 and F3 Champions took to the grid for the 24-hour event
- Up to 227 drivers from 41 different nations – a greater representation than ever this season
- 40 full season entries split in two classes (29 LMP and 21 GTE) with +5 cars for 24H Virtual
- Up to 164 simulators used in 38 different countries across the world (41% more)
- 356 laps completed by the winner, #2 Team Redline ORECA 07 LMP2 (Drugovich/Rosenqvist/Bennett/Lulham)
- 226,821 miles of racing over the five rounds, with technical difficulties only being encountered at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual
- 36,951 overtakes, making for compelling viewing
- 2,226 total pitstops, as teams crunched the numbers and implemented strategies
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which is a partner in the Le Mans Virtual Series commented: "It is very encouraging to see that the Le Mans Virtual Series season was an overall success, despite some technical problems encountered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. We are delighted to see the popularity of endurance sim racing continuing to increase year on year, and we all look forward to the launch of the official Le Mans Esports game at the end of this very special centenary year."
Gerard Neveu, Executive Producer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual said: "On behalf of all of us at Le Mans Virtual Series, we want to sincerely thank all our competitors and teams who made this possible, our partners for their ongoing, loyal support, and the millions of fans who followed our events and who brought the social media sites alive with their comments of support, enthusiasm, and fervor.
“When you look at the figures, the scale of the popularity of the series – especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual – is clear to see. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology, of sporting excellence and organization, and of what we expect of ourselves. Sometimes, as we have seen, this doesn’t go to plan but we learn from this and move forward as the future for the series is bright."
About Le Mans Virtual Series:
Le Mans Virtual Series is a global, elite esports series made up of five rounds that bring together endurance racing and sim racing’s top teams to compete on some of the world’s most famous racetracks. International FIA-licensed real-world drivers are teamed up with elite esports squads to take on endurance classics for a total prize fund of US$250,000, culminating in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
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, 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).
- Round 1 - 8 Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain - September 17, 2022
- Round 2 - 4 Hours of Monza, Italy - October 8, 2022
- Round 3 - 6 Hours of Spa, Belgium - November 5, 2022
- Round 4 - 500 Miles of Sebring, USA - December 3, 2022
- Round 5 - 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual - January 14/15, 2023
About Motorsport Games:
Motorsport Games, a Motorsport Network company, 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, and the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), as well as the industry-leading rFactor 2 and KartKraft simulations. rFactor 2 also serves as the official sim racing platform of Formula E, while also powering F1 Arcade through a partnership with Kindred Concepts.
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.