Indoor training pioneers Zwift created the new KISS super League in response to an ever growing demand for official events.
Billed by Zwift as a ‘demonstration sport‘ for 2019, the KISS Super League is Zwift’s first step into esports ahead of a complete Zwift eRacing product launch expected in 2020 (So think of this as a proof-of-concept if you will).
Pro cycling has embraced Zwift as a training platform and Zwift has proven itself as a talent ID platform for Pro Cycling. Now is the time to push on with esports and in doing so build value for Pro Cycling. Our goal is to create a new sport within a sport, celebrated by pro cyclists, amateur cyclists and cycling fans all over the world.Eric Min, Zwift CEO
The KISS Super League is the first esports league to feature professional cyclists. Four Pro Continental, nine UCI Continental teams and two teams from the Zwift community make up the 15 teams in the Men’s KISS Super League. The Women’s KISS Super League, comprising of six pro women’s teams and two Zwift community teams.
Round One of the Men’s KISS Super League launched at Pinarello’s London flagship retail store with Team Wiggins Le Col racing from the venue. Team founder Bradley Wiggins was also mooching around, looking rather squished into his dapper suit.
“I’m well known for being a student of the sport. The history of cycling is very special to me but this doesn’t mean things should not change. BMX bikes came out of nowhere to become the ‘must have’ thing when I was a kid in the 80s. Now it’s an Olympic discipline. This story of cycling is ever evolving and as a parent I want to see our sport provide accessibility and inspiration for young people. If a computer game can get kids off the sofa and onto a bike to workout and compete, then I’m a supporter.”Bradley Wiggins
Zwift says it’s aims aren’t just to cater time-crunched cyclists for training purposes, but also to inspire a generation of younger cyclists and a wider audience to cycling by ‘gamifying’ the racing experience.
“We’re not here to compete against the mighty backdrops of the Monuments and Grand Tours of pro cycling. Our role is to deliver something brand-new to cycling. By gamifying racing we will create entertaining coverage and introduce an added dimension to bike racing. Team-based competition, power ups, course ‘know how’ and the differences in racing physics makes Zwift a new battleground for competition. Watts per kilogram is only one of many key factors.”Craig Edmondson (recently hired from the English Premier League to lead Zwift’s esport business)
In addition to the KISS Super League, Zwift and KISS Racing have confirmed the launch of a Zwift community focused ‘KISS League’ for amateur competition.
“KISS is a community organisation at heart, and we want to remain true to our roots. I’ve been riding on Zwift since 2015, when racing on Zwift first started to emerge from within the community. KISS has a long history of delivering community events, from regular weekly races on Zwift to flagship events like the North American, European and Australian KISS Crit Series events with live finals. The KISS League ensures there is a regular competitive league for members of the community to enjoy.”Glen Knight, KISS Founder
Watch the Round 1 of the KISS Super League LIVE on Zwift’s Facebook page from 20:50 GMT / 21:50 CET / 15:50 EST on Wednesday 23rd January.
More information can be found on the KISS Super League at https://zwift.com/news/10822-kiss-super-league/
Men’s KISS Super League Teams:
Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team (Professional Continental)
Israel Cycling Academy (Professional Continental)
Cofidis (Professional Continental)
Novo Nordisk (Professional Continental)
Team Dimension Data U23 (UCI Continental)
Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes (UCI Continental)
Team Wiggins Le Col (UCI Continental)
Arapahoe|Hincapie p/b BMC (UCI Continental)
Madison Genesis (UCI Continental)
Oliver’s Real Food Racing (UCI Continental)
SEG Racing Academy (UCI Continental)
Pro Racing Sunshine Coast (UCI Continental)
Ribble Pro Cycling (UCI Continental)
Zwift Community All Stars
Zwift Academy Dream Team
Women’s KISS Super League Teams:
Hagens Berman Supermint
Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling
Zwift All Stars
Zwift Academy Dream Team