A lot has changed to the UCI Esports World Championships since it was last held in February 2023. In August, it was revealed that UAE-based indoor training platform MyWhoosh had emerged victorious from a tender process to deliver the event for the next three editions. The first three (2020, 2022 and 2023) were delivered by Zwift, but MyWhoosh, whose platform is free to use, will host the competition from 2024 to 2026.
The championships have also been moved from February to October, despite the previous move from December to February meaning 2021 was essentially a skipped year.
Now, the format of the race is set to change too. Cyclingnews attended the brand’s recent official launch and press conference in Abu Dhabi, where details of the racing platform and championship format were announced, which will include a new points-based system.
MyWhoosh unveiled a brand new virtual world in which the championships will take place, as well as qualification details, and a breakdown of the new format and structure, which we go into more detail on below.
“MyWhoosh is proud to spearhead the evolution of cycling esports, said MyWhoosh’s CEO and Managing Director, Akhtar Saeed Hashmi.
“Our commitment to innovation and inclusivity is at the forefront as we introduce a groundbreaking points-based format, catering to athletes of all physiological characteristics. With the privilege of hosting the live final in Abu Dhabi, we are dedicated to changing the cycling esports landscape.”
Hashmi also revealed a change to the size of the field, as well as hinting at the qualification processes, stating: “In a significant move, we are expanding the semi-finals to accommodate over 150 riders, reflecting our broader strategy to foster global growth and inclusivity in cycling esports. The qualification pathways, blending National Federation selections and MyWhoosh’s public qualification process, ensure transparency and fairness, opening doors for athletes worldwide.”
A new host and platform for the Esports Worlds means a shakeup to the qualification pathway and racing format.
Qualification for the Esports World Championships will be split between spots allocated to national federations, who will then select riders to race using their own means. The remaining 20% of participants will come from a public qualification process. MyWhoosh says this two-way pathway…