Not only does Farming Simulator 19's new esports mode have a pick & ban phase so teams can block rival farmers from driving their favourite tractors, it's possible to lose a match to a tractor rush. I couldn't imagine how developers Giants Software would turn their sedate till 'em up into a competitive game but they really have. The 3v3 mode has teams compete to harvest wheat and hay, simple enough, with a depth of strategy and tactics from growing score multipliers and character perks and tactically blocking bridges and... what a thing. What a thing this is. I've been beaming all morning. Come see it.
That's so much more than I'd expected. Hell, I'd still half-expected this to be a prank riffing on those "360 Crop Rotation" meme videos. Nope!
You can lose to a tractor rush if the other team grab all three harvesters or balers. You can build a score multiplier by delivering wheat. You can max your multiplier to jam the other team's bale-carrying conveyor belt. You can bar vehicles from selection e.g. if you know a rival farmer is a devil behind the wheel of a Massey Ferguson 9407S Teleloader. You can pick character perks like a bigger trailer or disabling one of the other team's bridges. These are all things it has, as if the game were a MOBA. Giants Software really have pushed Farming Simulator into the shape of a digital sport and I am fascinated.
If you fancy some serious farming, head here for instructions on downloading the FSL mode.
Giants plan to hold the first Farming Simulator League tournament at FarmCon 19 in July. You better believe they're taking the FSL seriously too. They even have a €250,000 (£218k) prize pool.