Farming Simulator, a video game that is much more realistic than Farmville, where players are able to farm, breed livestock, grow crops and sell assets created from farming, has sold millions since its initial release in 2012. Now, eight years later, Farming Simulator has announced a professional e-sports league for the game. The League was announced in January 2019, and has been growing ever since. But the question arose of course, “can bailing hay and breeding chickens really be competitive?” Well, the answer is yes, and it comes with a chance to make over $250,000 (real money) throughout the season.
The League has built out a set of tournament rules in order to guide the competition. More and more teams have joined from all around the world in order to win the grand prize money. Whether they know how to run a farm in reality is no matter. They can learn after they achieve a nice chunk of an initial investment.
What’s The Competition?
Put simply, it’s all about the hay.
Farming Simulator League is played on a mirrored farm map. Each team has its own identical set of farm buildings, launching pods for vehicles, a field of wheat and a drop zone where points are acquired and each Farming Simulator League match has a set of phases.
- The Ban/Pick Phase: Captains will first ban tractors, two each. Next, players will take turns selecting tractors. Teams must come out of this phase with at least one tractor that can press bales and one that can deliver and stack them.
- The Pod Phase: Teams rush on their tractors to landing pods containing balers and harvesters. Once a member of one team has entered a vehicle, that vehicle is claimed for their team. The corresponding landing pod on the opposing team’s side of the map will turn off, meaning they cannot then claim that exact vehicle. Since there are a limited number of balers and harvesters, each team must focus on getting at least one of each type or they will lose the game.
- The Field Phase: Each team must now harvest, bale and drop off as many wheat bales as they can to collect points. Like we said, it’s all about the hay. The bale drop-off has two options: a lower door that gives ten points per bale and an upper door that grants 10 points times the team’s multiplier per bale. The first bale delivered awards double points. The multiplier can be increased by selling wheat in a nearby village.
There are many tricks and shortcuts to winning this game, but players must have a strategy. Certain tractors produce hay quicker but drive slow, or the other way around. Bridges can cut your opposing team off if played correctly. Selling off some wheat can give you multipliers. So there’s many different strategies to think of during the League play.
Want To Get In The Game?
You can sign up with your own wildcard team on the Giants Software site to get free access to the FSL-dedicated DLC. You will need two other people for your team as well as a team of three to compete against. And you’ll also all need a copy of Farming Simulator 19, which is available on Steam for download.
As a wildcard team, you will need to first earn your way to tournaments by competing in qualifiers. After qualifiers, successful wildcard teams will participate in play-ins where they will face the Seeded Teams in best-of-one matches. Seeded Teams are fixed teams that compete in the top eight at each FSL tournament.
Teams competing at each tournament will be awarded both prize money and circuit points. At the end of the season, the top sixteen teams by CPs will compete in a World Championship.