The third edition of the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships happens on Zwift this Saturday, February 18. This year’s Esports Worlds looks very different from previous years, as riders will be racing on the new Scotland course in an exciting 3-race elimination format: the Zwift Battle Royale.
Where to Watch
The broadcast begins at 6pm UTC (1pm ET/10am PT) on Saturday, February 18.
Start List: Men
Start List: Women
For the first time ever, this year’s eSports Worlds won’t be one simple scratch race. Rather, it will be three shorter elimination races, where riders must finish well-placed to progress to the next race.
Everyone will take to the start line for race 1, “The Punch”, but only the top 30 will make it through to race 2, “The Climb”. Finally, the top 10 from race 2 will proceed to race 3, “The Podium”, for a series of knockout laps.
Each race will be separated by a ~10-minute gap.
The UCI is holding almost all of its Worlds competitions during a “super Worlds” this August in Scotland, so Zwift created a new Scotland map for the Esports Worlds. It’s a beautiful course purpose-built for racing, and each of the Esports Worlds races will take place in a different portion of the map:
Powerup details: riders will receive one burrito powerup at the Breakaway Brae banner.
What to watch for: early attacks will fly on the sneaky Castle Corkscrew climb just 2km from the finish, but most of the top finishers will be riders who sat in the wheels and conserved for the final sprint up Breakaway Brae.
The first 30 riders across the line will advance to race 2.
Race 2 is held on Scotland’s “City and the Sgurr” route and features three ascents of the Sgurr climb, with the finish line at the top of the third ascent. Riders will climb the gravelly Sgurr Summit North first, then descend the other side, turn around, and climb the shorter, paved Sgurr Summit South. Then it’s one final descent and turnaround before the last climb up Sgurr Summit North to the line!
Powerup details: riders will receive one anvil powerup early in the ride at Glasgow’s Central Station.
What to watch for: riders will be holding their positions in the pack, waiting for the final ascent. Watch for big attacks on that last climb, especially when the road pitches up extra steep!
The first 10 riders to finish will advance to the final race.
Race 3 takes place on Scotland’s “Glasgow Crit Circuit”, a punchy, twisty city crit course perfect for elimination-style races. The last rider through the Clyde Kicker and Champion’s Sprint banners will be eliminated on each lap, leaving just 3 riders to fight it out for podium positions in the final sprint.
Powerup details: racers will receive a burrito powerup at the Champions Sprint banner each lap.
What to watch for: solo breakaways as the number of riders dwindles. Glasgow Crit Circuit is a great course for breakaways, and a rider who could jump away from 3-5 others who may not be willing or able to work together and pull him/her back.
The UCI and Zwift have structured their rules to create fair races for all participants. Riders received a complete set of rules upon qualification, but here are some key things riders and fans may like to know:
- Zwift’s Esports Rules and Regulations apply to these Esports Worlds events, as well as UCI’s Regulations. The UCI assumes overall responsibility for the governance of the events.
- Riders have to hold a racing license valid in the relevant country.
- Riders are required to comply with the UCI’s anti-doping program.
- All UCI Esports Worlds riders will use the same trainer for the big race: Wahoo’s KICKR v6
- Trainer Difficulty of 100% will be automatically set for all riders
- Bikes and wheels will be neutralized in terms of performance, so riders can select any frame or wheelset they’d like (not TT bikes, disc wheels, or “novelty” bikes allowed)
- All riders must complete a performance verification prior to the race. This can either be a dual-recorded ZADA workout test on Zwift, or data files/Strava links which evidence a rider’s best IRL efforts across several time intervals.
- Height and weight verification videos are required from all riders.
The winner of the men’s and women’s events will be awarded the UCI Cycling Esports World Champion’s Jersey which includes the famous rainbow stripes:
Like other cycling disciplines, winners will earn the right to wear a physical rainbow jersey during the sanctioned esports races and activities they take part in throughout the following year. Winners will also be able to wear a digital version of the UCI Cycling Esports World Champion’s Jersey while on the Zwift platform.
Prize money will be awarded as follows in both the men’s and women’s races:
1st place: 8,000 euros
2nd place: 4,000 euros
3rd place: 2,000 euros
Questions or Comments?