25 May 2018
Sim Racing. Is it really an esport? Of course it is! While this entire genre of esports games doesn’t often get mentioned in the context of South African esports, it’s on a big upward curve internationally. As a lifelong motor racing enthusiast, I find it fascinating. Let’s take a look at how it is faring internationally and then put the focus on the local Sim Racing scene by talking to hometown heroes, Sim Race SA.
Formula 1: the real and the realistic
2017 seemed to be the year Sim Racing suddenly broke into the public consciousness of racing fans. Yes, I mean real world racing fans not esports fans. The Formula 1 Esports Series held their inaugural championship, with the races being shown on television as curtain raisers ahead of actual F1 races. The final round of the F1 Esports Series was staged at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi the day after the Grand Prix series finale. The F1 Esports Series was clinched by 18-year-old Brendon Leigh of Great Britain in a thrilling race. It was, in my estimation, far more action-packed and exciting than the real thing the day before. In 2018, the official F1 teams are setting up their own esports teams to take part in the F1 Esports Series.
Also in the world of F1 in 2017, the McLaren Formula 1 team held a competition they called The World’s Fastest Gamer. The prize was a contract as McLaren’s official simulator driver for a year. Being a simulator driver is not a game by any means. With in-season testing restricted in the F1 world, simulator testing is how teams trial new parts and modifications to improve their cars in the real world. Rudy van Buren (25) of Holland walked away with the title. He is a former junior karting champion that ran out of financial backing as a youngster and had to give up his racing dreams. Winning the World’s Fastest Gamer allowed him to find his way back to a real racing career nearly a decade later. You just can’t script stuff like this!
Read the full article here.