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Competitive virtual farming is a thing now, with a hefty prize

Competitive virtual farming is a thing now, with a hefty prize

Esports and competitive gaming events get bigger every year, but it's not all about violent clashes a la Fortnite, PUBG, Dota, Starcraft, Street Fighter V and the like. Believe it or not, the next game to enter the esports arena makes hay, not war. Welcome to the world of competitive virtual farming.

Farming Simulator a game series based around, you guessed it, simulated farming, may not sound like the most exciting experience out there but the franchise has been running for over 10 years and garnered a large and dedicated fanbase worldwide, though it's noted to be especially popular in Germany (make of that what you will). Now it's finally possible to prove your worth out in the field against another farmers, for a significant cash prize.

Developers GIANTS Software just announced the esports league for Faming Simulator 19, the latest gaming in the series which sold sold a million copies within 10 days after its release last year. It will consist of 10 tournaments in Europe, some of which take place at big industry events such as Gamescom and Paris Games Week.

The grand finale will be at FarmCon 2020 in the summer next year. The prize at stake is €250,000 (around $284,000) total and big-name sponsors such as Logitech and Intel are already backing the league. The competing teams themselves, on the other hand, will be sponsored by manufacturers in the agricultural industry.

Farming Simulator competitions have been held before, mainly as side-shows at agriculture conventions, but the unexpectedly huge crowds of fans that they attracted has promoted Giants to hold their own dedicated professional event.

While many popular esports leagues are based around violent competition like Fortnite or simulating of existing sports a la FIFA, the popularity of farming simulator shows that there's some room for the celebration of a more tranquil and industrious form of entertainment. Farming Simulator is especially praised for its realism, with the heavy-duty equipment handling very close to the real deal. Apart from handling the farming hardware, supply, demand, harvest, planting, and seasonal changes are all taken into account.

Make no mistake though, even if there are no guns involved, the competition is likely to be fierce. If you want to farm for fun and profit, a new 3 vs. 3 competitive mode is slated to come to Farming Simulator 19 soon, and may be a hint as to the format used in the official league.

What do you think of games like Farming Simulator? Would you watch a competition?

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