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America’s Cup kicks off new era with e-sports launch event in Barcalona

America’s Cup has announced its entry into the e-sports arena with the launch of its official simulation videogame and upcoming e-sports championship. The initiative was presented yesterday in Barcelona, home of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup, bringing together the sailing and virtual worlds to unlock a new chapter of the competition.

The event, hosted by Spanish Twitch superstar Cristinini and seasoned sailing journalist Nacho Gómez at the America’s Cup Experience exhibition centre, gathered a large audience of media, team members and stakeholders, including Albert Castellanos, Secretary of Business and Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia.

Grant Dalton, CEO of America’s Cup, said “Today marks a historic moment in the America’s Cup as we bring the sport of sailing to the next generation through competitive gaming. We are proud to do so in one of the world’s e-sports capitals, Barcelona. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Government of Catalonia, ACCIÓ, and the Barcelona City Council for their support in making this project a reality.”

Two worlds, one race: the start of a new era

To celebrate this launch, the event hosted the first AC Sailing live race, kicking off a new era of America’s Cup yachting. On stage, 6 sailors representing each America’s Cup team raced against Spanish Olympic medallist Jordi Xammar and professional e-sports player Lukas Mohr to showcase the potential the new game to revolutionize the future of e-sports in sailing.

A star-studded roster included Olympic Gold medallists Dylan Fletcher (Ineos Britania) and Ruggero Tita (Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli), World Champions Liv Mackay (Emirates Team New Zealand Women’s Team) and Erika Reineke (New York Yacht Club American Magic Women’s Team), new generation of America’s Cup talents Morgan Lauber (Alinghi Red Bull Racing Youth Team), Alexandre Kowalski (Orient Express – L’Oréal Racing Team), as well as Spanish olympic medallist Jordi Xammar (Spanish Sailing Olympic Medalist) and professional German e-sailing player Lukas Mohr (Unicorns of Love).

Along with the audience gathered in Barcelona, fans from all over the world were able to watch the event through the official America’s Cup channel on Twitch, with the support of streamers from the UK, France, Italy, and Spain. This marked the debut of the America’s Cup on the platform and provided fans with a sneak peek of what’s to come in the upcoming America’s Cup E-series championship.

A milestone moment for the America’s Cup

The launch of AC Sailing, an ultra-realistic sailing simulation game built on actual simulation technology used by America’s Cup teams, creates a unique opportunity for a new generation of players and sailing enthusiasts to experience the thrill of the world’s greatest yachting competition in an entirely new way.

According to Emirates Team New Zealand’s Chief Technical Officer Dan Bernasconi. “With the launch of AC Sailing and America’s Cup E-series today, we are confident that sailing is now well positioned to become the next big e-sport. Our team has created an incredibly lifelike simulation game that is both user-user friendly and beautiful to play. We’re excited to bring the sport of sailing to a wider audience and make it accessible to everyone.”

The development of the game is the culmination of over 10 years of research and development by the current Defender of the America’s Cup Emirates Team New Zealand, and represents an important milestone for the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup, contributing to its overall mission of becoming the world’s most inclusive competition. The initiative has been supported by ACCIÓ – the agency for business competitiveness of the Generalitat de Catalunya – which has facilitated the participation of a Catalan studio in the creation of the game.