F1 And NASCAR Taking e-Sports Seriously
For those saying e-Sports are no real sports, the drivers around the bigger Racing teams in the world would suggest otherwise. A couple of announcements this week out of the racing world are backing the e-Sports euphoria. For example, the Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso has launched a new e-Sports team. Alonso is teaming up with BRDC British Formula 3 race winner Jamie Chadwick. The British Chadwick is part of the team called Kimoa that will race in a range of virtual titles including iRacing, rFactor 2, DiRT Rally 2.0, Project Cars 2 and Gran Turismo.
“Simracing has closed the gap on real formula racing when it comes to strategy, competition and skill,” Chadwick said. “Joining the team with Alonso, and with my other great teammates, will allow me to leverage my behind-the-wheel experience and formula racing skill set to compete in one of the fastest growing, competitive esports categories.
When Alonso was part of the F1 he was one of the first drivers to test sim-racing as a partner to professional Spanish outfit G2. He now joined forces with Formula Renault Eurocup – and the Veloce Esports team together with its technical partner Logitech G. “I’m very excited to introduce a team of dedicated, talented drivers to represent my team for the 2019 season,” Alonso said. “I have hand selected some great young talents, who are ready to continue bringing success to the team.”
NASCAR’s First e-Sports Venture Has Arrived
With F-1 former drivers taking a step toward e-Sports games, NASCAR was not about to stay behind. Back in December fans began to qualify for the first eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft. The idea is to become one of two e-sports drivers for 14 different NASCAR teams.
Each Nascar team selected one e-sport driver per platform, meaning one for PlayStation 4 and one for Xbox One. It was made via a draft, much like it happens in the NFL and the NBA. After each team selected its two drivers, then the eNASCAR Heat Pro League’s 16-race season is set to start on May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The NASCAR playoffs will conclude the tournament.
“This is just one more way for us to further connect with our fans and perhaps bring some new ones into the fold,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. “These players are getting the chance of a lifetime to become part of a real NASCAR team.” All league races will be live streamed online at NASCAR.com and Motorsport.com.
“I always sort of did some gaming but I never put the effort into it like I have this year,” he said. “I play a lot of Call of Duty and stuff like that. When I first heard about the eNASCAR Heat Pro League, I thought it would be a lot of fun. “There are so many kids out there that play games. It’s unreal. I’m on at all times of the night and it’s a great way to interact with people and have fun doing it. Anybody can play games, which makes it a cool initiative”, said Cup driver Austin Dillon.