We learned in January about a multi-event Farming Simulator pro league 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. 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, 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, German, French), 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.