So, we’ve made it through the festive period and seen off the last of the mince pies, and this is 2020? We don’t like to be too negative here at the Racing Line, but to be honest… I feel like we were promised more in this decade. Where are the hover-buses? Where are the pay-as-you-go teleportation tubes? And for the love of all that’s holy, where are my zero-gravity moon boots?!
To distract us all from the fact that 2020 isn’t some kind of combination of Futurama and The Jetsons (ask your parents), Codemasters is kicking off the new year in style – and we’re here to wrap it all up in the form of a classic news article. How very 2019 of us.
From esports grand finals, to star-studded giveaways, to retro game stamps, we’ve got something for everyone in first Racing Line of 2020, so let’s dive in…
DIRT RALLY 2.0
It all comes down to this.
After 3 months of Qualifiers and a weekend of intense playoffs in December, the world’s fastest Rally and Rallycross drivers will compete in the DiRT Rally 2.0 World Series Grand Finals this weekend!
We’ll be broadcasting live from Autosport International on Sunday, January 12; you’ll find the stream links and everything else here.
Who is your pick to win? I think it’s worth keeping an eye on Lukas Mateja, who Steam players may know as ERT_CRsedmicky. A driver who likes to live at #1 Leaderboard Lane, he’s been on fire all season, and those efforts have paid off as he’s in both the Rally and Rallycross finals.
Joining him in both is Dave Marshall (D M Racing 66) who was on a similar tear through the Xbox division. Of course, you can’t rule out Joona Pankkonen either; the DiRT 4 World Champion is the other Steam player in the Rally finals, and got to test drive a real-world RX2 car last year.
Wondering how our finalists made it this far? We’ve got over 25 videos on our YouTube recapping every step of the playoffs, so go take a look. My pick of the bunch: the PlayStation Rallycross Semi-Final, with the most intense long-range battle of the entire competition.
Finally, if you’re at Autosport International this weekend you can watch the Grand Finals in person, and try out our high-end sim rigs (courtesy of Playseat and Thrustmaster) for the full DiRT experience.
See you all on Sunday for the Grand Finals!
Happy double-20, team. We’re excited to be roaring into the ’20s with GRID with you all, after a pretty incredible 2019. If you made it onto Santa’s Nice List and got your copy of GRID over the festive period, we threw out some tips for new players to settle in quickly and get the most out of the game. Check ’em out.
Didn’t grab GRID from under the tree in December? We have just the thing – over on our Twitter channel, we’re running a special competition, giving you the chance to win not just GRID Ultimate Edition on your chosen platform, but also an official GRID lanyard and a KIMOA FA Racing Logitech G cap, signed by the one and only Fernando Alonso. What are you waiting for? GO GO GO.
Other than you, of course, we had some more awesome individuals play GRID at the end of December – with a special twist. As part of the #IGNStadiaFaceOff series, the brilliant BlackPanthaa clashed with Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg, in a trifecta of GRID races across multiple devices on Google Stadia. Who was accused of driving dirty? Who shouted at the host to let them focus on the racing? Most importantly, who came out on top? Head here to find out.
Looking ahead, the arrival of public lobbies to GRID is on schedule, and being finalised as we speak. Keep an eye on all our channels tomorrow, as we give you a quick walkthrough of how the lobbies system will work, giving you all the info we need before it arrives as a free update in the coming days.
Once that’s out of the way, all our focus turns directly onto Season 2, as we add some more depth and variety to GRID’s racing experience. Expect more cars, more events, and another circuit to drop, with Ultimate Edition benefits and plenty of free additions for all players. All will be revealed soon – for now, see if you can crack the code…
Thanks all – and if you’re at the Autosport International show in the UK this weekend, head to Hall 1 to take GRID for a spin at our stunning gaming booth. Show us how it’s done, kid.
Happy New Year – we hope you all have a great 2020, we can’t wait to see what this year has in store!
Kicking the year off in style, the first ever F1 Esports China Championship saw 1.6million concurrent viewers at its peak tune in to see the winner, Tang Tianyu, take the title. He, along with runner-up Yuan Yifan, will be heading to London for the 2020 F1 Esports Pro Draft, and we can’t wait!
Getting into F1 2019 over the festive period? We’ve created some handy guides – whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, we think there’ll be something in here for you. Check them out right here:
F1 MOBILE RACING
The competitive action never stops over on F1 Mobile Racing – the official free-to-play F1 handheld game, available on iOS and Android – and we stepped things up a gear in December, with the first ever F1 Esports Mobile Qualifier! Thank you to everyone who took part in this intense three-event series, with the top prize being a place in the official 2020 F1 Esports Time Trial, with a shot a competing in this year’s Pro Series. We’ll be contacting the top drivers very soon to hand our rewards and lay out the next steps for, what could be, the next esports star of the future!
The Mobile Qualifier kicked off just as our 2019 Season Championship reached its finale. Our marathon PvP event, which mirrored the entire 2019 F1 calendar, challenged racers to test their skill and endurance for brand new prizes. After nine months, 21 GP Events and over 120 challenges, we have our top performers. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Season Championship, and keep an eye out for more news on the next big championship coming to F1 Mobile Racing!
ANY OTHER BUSINESS?
- Look at them! Just look at them! These are official Royal Mail UK stamps revealed this week, celebrating three of Codemasters’ classic titles: Dizzy, Micro Machines, and Sensible Soccer. The stamps are part of a celebration of British video game innovation from 1980s and 1990s, created by Royal Mail in co-operation with the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie). These three Codies heroes are joined by the likes of Worms, Wipeout and Tomb Raider in stamp forms, to highlight the UK games and studios that drove the joy of gaming in ’80s and ’90s. We absolutely love them – and you can pick them up yourself from January 21st.
- Gongs! This week we were delighted to find out that Codemasters is nominated for a number of awards at this year’s MCV Develop Awards. Revamped this year with an industry-wide voting system and new categories, Codies is pleased to be nominated for the Major Studio of the Year in the ‘Outstanding Studios’ category, whilst DiRT Rally 2.0 is up for Visual Innovation of the Year in the ‘Innovation In Games’ category. Head here for the full shortlist of nominees and details of how to vote, ahead of the ceremony on March 5th.
- As always, keep an eye on your relevant stores for deals and discounts on Codemasters titles. We wanted to highlight this month’s Humble Choice deal, which offers subscribers plenty of brilliant games, including DiRT Rally 2.0! It’s a great deal with plenty of flexibility, so check it out.