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Reminder: Farming Simulator esports are a thing, they're awesome, and the finals are this weekend

Farming Simulator tractor
(Image credit: Giants Software)
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A couple quick reminders for you: Farming Simulator 22 just launched just over a week ago, it's a massively popular series, a top 10 game on Steam, and its dozens of farming vehicles are every bit as cool as sci-fi spaceships.

Oh, and Farming Simulator is an esport, too. Farming Simulator League is a real thing and every year since 2018 players have been battling it out in lightning fast hay-gathering tournaments for a hefty cash prize.

And it's honestly pretty awesome. Just check out some pulse-pounding highlights from Farming Simulator League's third season below. I would like to be clear that I'm not being sarcastic about any of this. This is some exciting stuff.

Sure, cool, but what the heck is going on? Well, after a ban-pick phase where team captains rule out a couple pieces of equipment, players take turns selecting vehicles that can bale and stack hay. Harvesters and balers appear on the map in specific locations, so when the match starts players race out to grab the best ones and lock their opponents out of them (the action takes place on a mirrored map). Then teams will harvest hay, bale it, and deliver it to a barn. There's a mad rush to deliver the first bale, which awards double points. Delivering through the top door of the barn (which you can see in the video above) will add more to a team's score with a multiplier. 

And the bridges? If one team uses a bridge, that same bridge on the other team's map goes up for a few seconds. That's why you see tractors tragically getting stuck or launching over a rising bridge for some air. Risky! But the alternative is using a non-moving bridge that takes more time to reach.

There's more, like power-ups and power plays and grain deliveries, but you can pick it up by watching a few matches. And if any of this has whetted your appetite for some high-octane farming action, the world championship is happening this weekend. You can watch on Giants Software's Twitch or YouTube, starting at 10 am CET on December 5. Eight teams will battle for the €100,000 prize pool, and the first matchups are Trelleborg vs mYinsanity, Corteva Agriscience vs. Valtra, Hörmann vs. Bednar and LSA E-Sports vs. Krone. Both Valtra and Corteva Agriscience are newcomers to the league this year. Will they upset the apple cart? The apple cart that's full of hay? We'll see.

By the way, if the thought of competing in Farming Simulator stirs something in you—and it may very well do so—there's a tournament client you can download to learn the ropes and get in some practice. (You will need to own Farming Simulator 19 to use it). Grab a couple friends, create your own team, maybe soon you'll be competing for some farming gold yourself.

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.