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When it comes to playing sport on a gaming console, it’s very rare we play for as long as the real thing.

You won’t play 90 minutes on FIFA for example, nor would you expect to play three sessions and five days of a test match on a cricket game.

However, the ultimate endurance event has now made it into the world of esports – Le Mans.

The 24-hour race launched a few days ago and is a real step forward in the world of esports.

Registration is officially open and, like the real thing, will see 12 grand finalists take turns at the wheel across the 24 hours in a bid to win $100,000.

There are a number of qualifying rounds individual or teams must succeed before the final in June 2019, with the winners also given the chance to stand on the podium at Le Mans.

Played on Forza Motorsport 7, it feels like it’s another step forward for an industry that’s already growing at a rapid rate.

Today there are esports events all over the world, making thousands upon thousands of dollars for the very best across football, racing, UFC and more.

The industry is worth almost half a billion dollars today, with arena-sized events held almost every weekend. In fact, it’s so big that betting on events is a huge market in itself.

Most major bookmakers are offering esports markets these days, as well as tons of promotions. You can find a list of bookies sign up offers easily online, with major events such as League of Legends, Call of Duty and FIFA some of the most popular markets.

There’s no doubt Le Mans will join that club as it gains popularity.

There has already been a hugely positive response to the announcement, with James Allen, president of Motorsport Network saying, “Today is a really significant moment in the journey towards a new and unique esports series and I cannot wait to see the line ups and the intense racing at the Super Final in Le Mans next June. This is an inclusive racing series and we’re excited by the response so far.”

The first qualifying event takes place at the beginning of September, playing six hours of the Silverstone circuit, before qualification races at Fuji, Shanghai and Brands Hatch.

You can find a full list of qualification events and enter at the official website.