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Farming Simulator League mode includes a ban phase, 'power plays,' and a hint of Gambit

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We learned in January about a multi-event Farming Simulator pro league (opens in new tab) with a €250,000 prize pool, including a €100,000 grand finals, that I think—and I say this with complete sincerity—is one of the most wonderful gaming stories of the year. And soon you too will be able to get a taste of life in the bigs, as Giants Software has released the Farming Simulator League game mode, "the official version of the competitive scene for Farming Simulator 19," as a free update for all owners. 

To get the new mode, which requires the base Farming Simulator 19 to play, you'll first need to login and then register at giants-software.com (opens in new tab). Once that's done you'll be given eight keys for the new mode, because maybe your friends want to try it too. And hey, maybe they don't. Whatever, you get eight keys. You can also register for upcoming tournaments if you want to try your hand against other digital farmers.   

The mode itself actually looks very competitive and shares a number of features with more conventional esports. Matches begin with a ban phase in which each team disallows particular machinery, and a fast opening rush can result in a near-immediate victory if you catch Farmer Fred napping. Various bonuses and buffs are available, and in an echo of Destiny 2's PvEvP Gambit mode (opens in new tab), teams will compete on separate-but-identical fields but will have the ability to mess with each other by causing the opposing side's hay bale conveyor belt to overheat and shut down.    

"Giants is greatly looking forward to seeing how players react to and enjoy this new mode as Farming Simulator enters the e-sports scene in earnest," the studio said. "The number one priority heading into FarmCon will be balancing and taking feedback on the mode through our official forums (English (opens in new tab), German (opens in new tab), French (opens in new tab)), with constant communication between the studio and players." 

Giants added that the league mode will be "continuously updated" leading into the first full-scale tournament, which will take place over July 27-28 at FarmCon 19 at the Claas manufacturing facility in Harsewinkel, Germany. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.