The European eTour, golf’s first esports series launched last week by the European Tour in partnership with DreamHack and TopGolf, has already received in excess of 45,000 entries from 169 countries across the globe.
In its first week, more than 45,000 unique users had signed up for the first qualifying round of the European eTour, playing a cumulative total of more than 200,000 rounds.
A total of 128 players carded scores of 60 or below, with all 128 qualifying for the next stage – which will be a bracket-style knockout competition played on WGT.com and the WGT Golf app, in the difficult conditions setting over Merion Golf Club and Chambers Bay Golf Club.
Those players who progress from the bracket rounds will take part in the first live eTour tournament at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Friday January 17, which is one of the six live events to be held at European Tour tournaments around the world.
Open qualifications for the European eTour are now open, but not for long. Sign up now for a chance to win $100,000 and fly around the world. #Golf meets #Gaming #esports— European eTour (@etour_gg) December 16, 2019
Qualify here: https://t.co/yeyD2yloPP pic.twitter.com/G1c0lk5vf1
The five tournament winners, along with three wildcards qualifiers, will then contest the grand finale at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 19-22, 2020.
Rufus Hack, the European Tour’s Chief Content Officer, said: “We were very excited to launch our partnership with DreamHack and TopGolf last Friday given eSports is a market with such huge growth potential, but even we have been blown away by its early success and the number of sign-ups in just under a week.
“To have more than 45,000 people engage with the European Tour in such an interactive way is a measure of the myriad opportunities eSports provides for our brand – and that of our partners and sponsors. We believe this is just the beginning of an exciting journey as we continue in our quest to be market leaders in the field of sports innovation.”
Peter Norrelund, CEO Dreamhack Sport Games, said: “It is great to see so many participants in the first qualification for the European eTour. We are looking forward to have the eight players present at the first live eTour event in Abu Dhabi in January, where we will live broadcast all the action until the first winner on the European eTour is found", Peter Nørrelund, CEO Dreamhack Sport Games.
Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng: “Topgolf is proud of WGT’s ability to not only be the leading golf platform for online competition, but also to be part of the first-ever European eTour together with the European Tour and DreamHack. We’re thrilled with the response so far from players around the globe, and the tournament engagement only strengthens our belief in the power of connecting people through shared experiences.” The esports industry is one of the fastest growing media sectors with an audience of more than 380 million enthusiasts worldwide which is forecasted to surpass 1.6 billion by 2022. A majority of esports fans are in the 18-34 age demographic.