Super League and Zwift are bringing triathlon back with the first major professional race of 2020 and a trailblazing new concept.
In a first for the sport, the SLT Arena Games will be an amalgamation of in real life and virtual racing and provide an immersive viewing experience that allows fans to get up close and personal with the best triathletes in the world and enjoy live power, speed and heart rate data from Zwift.
Developed as part of a new partnership between Super League Triathlon and Zwift, the global online training and racing platform, the SLT Arena Games will make its debut in the fabulous city of Rotterdam, Netherlands, on August 23.
Zwift and Super League Triathlon have worked together to pioneer the unique concept as two of the most innovative brands in sport join forces for a formal tie-up that will deliver exciting racing to fans across the globe.
Super League Triathlon CEO and Co-Founder, Michael D’hulst, said: “This is a very exciting moment for Super League and the sport of triathlon as we finally get the chance to return to racing after lockdown with an incredible new development for the sport, the first real version of esport for triathlon, and celebrate our new partnership with Zwift.
“Super League and Zwift have become renowned for innovation and I am delighted we have realised a pioneering concept which gets triathlon going again while perfectly fitting our DNA.
“We are proud to deliver the first event of the SLT Arena Games in the fantastic city of Rotterdam with the support of the Netherlands Triathlon Federation in August. It is not only the first major professional triathlon event of the year but also a race concept that will be completely new, ensure the sport can survive the considerable disruption caused by COVID-19 and offer the chance to make it viable in winter months.”
“Our work in the world of esports has helped us create a product that is not only fun to play, but now also fun to watch,” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “Super League Triathlon has been taking a similar approach to the sport of triathlon, showing real innovation, so this feels like a natural fit and I’m really excited to see the result. For the first time, we will bring all three disciplines of triathlon and turn it into an esports competition. The first event in Rotterdam will be focused on the broadcast production, but long-term the vision is to see these arenas packed out with fans watching the world’s best athletes compete. What an incredible experience that would be!”
Athletes already confirmed include a roster of Olympic medallists and world stars such as Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), Richard Murray (RSA), Jonas Schomburg (GER), Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), Taylor Spivey (USA) and Rachel Klamer (NED).
Racing will consist of the sport’s three disciplines, with the swim segment taking place in an Olympic sized swimming pool and the bike and run legs on Zwift using smart trainers and treadmills poolside.
The racing will closely follow Super League’s ground breaking Triple Mix format with the athletes competing in three rounds of short and unpredictable racing with the order of the disciplines altered each time.
The venue set-up is designed to allow for competition while also observing social distancing regulations.
Rotterdam’s futuristic Zwemcentrum will host the debut event as part of Rotterdam’s Summer of Esports, a festival of esports in the home of Europe’s largest seaport.
The event will be broadcast globally, including free via Super League Triathlon’s website.