DreamHack and European Tour To Launch Golf’s First Esports Tour
Six Esports Events to be Featured in 2020 Alongside European Tour Tournaments
Participants Will Go Head-to-Head at European Tour Tournaments Playing World Golf Tour Game by Topgolf
Winners To Compete in Season Finale in Dubai
STOCKHOLM — DreamHack, in partnership with the European Tour and global entertainment company and game developers Topgolf Entertainment Group, has launched golf’s first esports series — the European eTour.
Starting at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA in January, the inaugural season-long eTour will feature six esports contests held at European Tour tournaments around the world.
Players will go head-to-head in the leading online and mobile golf game, World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf, which is currently played by more than 20 million people worldwide. A long-time leader in online golf competitions, WGT by Topgolf offers the most photorealistic golf gaming experience giving players the opportunity to virtually play some of the most famous golf championship courses. Topgolf is currently developing additional European Tour virtual venues to add to its portfolio of WGT golf courses.
The world’s best golf esports players will attempt to qualify for the live onsite events via an online tournament. Eight players will then compete onsite at European Tour events in an exciting nine-hole knockout match play format, initially in two round robin groups, before straight knockout semi-finals and final.
The five tournament winners, along with three wildcards qualifiers, will then contest the season-finale at the European Tour’s own season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Nov. 19-22, 2020.
DreamHack will bring its extensive esports events and streaming production capabilities to create a premium experience. Fans will enjoy extensive, live coverage, as well as bespoke ancillary content of all six European eTour events across a multitude of platforms including broadcast, digital and social media.
The European Tour held its first esports event earlier this year with WGT and DreamHack. The inaugural European eTour Championship took place at the 2019 Made in Denmark, and the success of that tournament led to the development of this, a series of one-day events across the 2020 calendar. The exclusivity of the European Tour’s esports experience amplifies the benefit of players participating in this event, as well as the ability to virtually be part of real world tournaments.
Rufus Hack, the European Tour’s Chief Content Officer, said: “The launch of the European eTour underlines the European Tour’s commitment to innovation and we believe this is an exciting opportunity for us to be leaders in a market that has huge growth potential. The esports industry allows the European Tour to engage with our existing audience in a different way and attract new fans outside of our traditional demographic through our broadcast and digital platforms. Our inaugural event in Denmark earlier this year gave a glimpse into the popularity of esports and we are looking forward to launching the golf’s first esports Tour in 2020.”
“We see a great future for sports games in esports. The combination of a good game and a strong player in traditional sports is a winning recipe. World Golf Tour is a superior golf game and natural platform for Golf esports, European Tour one of the strongest brands in the world of sports and with our ability to create content, media products and build strong communities I am sure, that the European eTour will be a smashing success. I am thrilled with the partnership,” said Peter Nørrelund, CEO DreamHack Sports Games.
“At Topgolf, we are constantly innovating around how we can connect people in meaningful ways and the competition of esports brings a large, diverse group of people together to share a common experience,” said Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng.
He added: “WGT was always built to be a realistic simulation of golf; rewarding skill and mirroring the
level of strategy, course management and mental toughness required to win in professional golf. The WGT players have been urging us to take this next step and we look forward to partnering with such innovative partners to further enhance the modern competition of golf and launch an unmatched Esports tournament experience on WGT.”
The esports industry is one of the fastest growing media sectors with an audience of more than 380 million enthusiasts worldwide, and forecasted to surpass 1.6 billion by 2022. A large majority of esports fans are in the 18-34 age demographic.
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ABOUT THE EUROPEAN TOUR
The European Tour is ‘Driving Golf Further’ through our guiding principles of being innovative, inclusive and global.
Innovative: The European Tour is driving innovation in golf through the creation of award-winning content, pioneering tournament formats such as GolfSixes and the use of the latest technology and inventive fan engagement. We have recognised the need for golf to modernise for future fans and we are committed to engaging new audiences whilst respecting the tradition of our sport.
Inclusive: We are committed to include all who share a love for the game of golf. We are passionate about a closer collaboration with the women’s game, disability golf and promoting the health benefits of playing golf.
Global: We are golf’s global Tour with our 2019 International Schedule comprising a minimum of 47 tournaments in 31 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai. Since the European Tour was formed in 1972, players from 36 different countries have won tournaments, while our live broadcast reaches more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. We also enjoy the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Callaway, DP World, Dubai Duty Free, Emirates, Hilton and Workday as Official Partners.
The European Tour also manages the developmental Challenge Tour and the Staysure Tour (formerly known as the Senior Tour) which is the men’s professional golf tour for members aged 50 and older.
The European Tour is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
ABOUT TOPGOLF ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Topgolf Entertainment Group is a global sports and entertainment community that connects nearly 100 million fans in meaningful ways through the experiences we create, the innovation we champion and the good that we do. What began as a technology that enhanced the game of golf now encompasses a range of unmatched experiences where communities can discover common ground at brand expressions including Topgolf venues, Lounge by Topgolf, Toptracer, Toptracer Range, Topgolf Swing Suite, Topgolf Studios, Topgolf Live and World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf and Driving for Good.
ABOUT WORLD GOLF TOUR (WGT) BY TOPGOLF
WGT by Topgolf, a digital expression of Topgolf Entertainment Group and part of Topgolf Media, connects communities of fans in meaningful ways through a free, realistic, virtual golf gaming experience. With a fan base of more than 20 million users, WGT brings people together from around the world to play championship courses in photorealistic quality using the latest virtual golf equipment.