Farming Simulator has a thriving competitive esports scene

Competitive gamers can create an esports scene out of any title — even farming games.

Farming Simulator is a long-running series from Giants Software that comprehensively recreates actual farming. From harvesting crops to breeding livestock, it’s a game that’s both recreational and educational.

And it even has a thriving esports scene. Akshon Esports released a video on the Farming Simulator League, the competitive branch of Farming Simulator which features seasonal tournaments and prize money.

Farming Simulator’s competitive scene, as Akshon Esports explained, began as a grassroots effort. Players created their own modifications with all sorts of gameplay modes. This inspired Giants Software to develop an official team-based competitive mode.

It turned out to be a great success. The league has attracted various agricultural sponsors including John Deere and Corteva Agriscience.

The format of competitive Farming Simulator games contains elements that are familiar to fans of any esports scene. Teams begin by racing for control of the balers and harvesters on the map. From there, the team that strikes the best balance of delivering wheat while maintaining their conveyor belt wins.

Like many esports, there’s also a ban phase at the beginning of the game. This is when teams can eliminate certain tractors and balers from selection to disrupt the enemy’s strategy and strengths, a part of what’s referred to as the metagame.

Farming Simulator’s pro scene is mostly centered in Europe, as reflected by the league’s prize money, which is given in euros. Switzerland and Germany are the best-represented regions.

In the league’s most recent season, Team Trelleborg (sponsored by tire manufacturer Trelleborg Wheel Systems) won first place and took home 28,000 euros (or 33,390 dollars).

If you’re interested in a more literal kind of farming in games, you can download Farming Simulator’s tournament client for free here. You’ll still need the base game Farming Simulator 19 to participate, but luckily, Steam has it on sale right now for $14.

The developers also added this helpful video to get you started.

Happy farming!

If you liked this story, check out this article about how Animal Crossing has become an art haven during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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