Following up on their ‘World’s Fastest Gamer’ initiative, McLaren have taken the next step. The winner of the competition earned a spot in the manufacturer’s eSports team in 2019.
Nicknamed the ‘McLaren Shadow Project’, it ‘shadows’ the real F1 team. The intension is to be more inclusive than any other driving competition held to date.
Global online qualification heats start this month, spanning across a number of games. These include Forza Motorsport (Xbox One), Real Racing 3 (mobile), iRacing and rFactor 2 (PC). It also includes virtual reality via the HTC Vive VR headset.
The semi-finals take place at Woking, with the final held in January to decide the McLaren eSports team member.
McLaren believes that including “more casual games” such as Real Racing 3 will allow it to reach a much bigger audience.
“In World’s Faster Gamer the simulator was the star,” McLaren director of eSports Ban Payne said. “The Shadow Project has broadened the entire programme out, so there are more ways to get involved.
“The end output of it is we’ll have additional talent for our eSports team, and more people to bring into our eSports development programme across McLaren as a group.
“Hopefully, our entrant and concurrent viewer and spectator numbers will be bigger than we had before.”
“It’s been a busy seven or eight months,” he said. “We took a lot of knowledge from last year, and we’re partnering closely with our gaming partners, and they are key to those audiences. McLaren can only do so much, as we are not a gaming brand.
“When we’re working with people like EA [publishers of Real Racing 3], Forza and Xbox and even within the sim racing space with rFactor and iRacing, we’ve now got a year of authenticity to look back on.
“We can say we’ve done this, this is for a real, and we have someone who is a manifestation of that in Rudy, look what he’s done, he’s in the sim, helping the team.
“Plus we’ve learned a bunch, and we’ll take all that learning into this year, so you’ll be able to watch it easier, play easier, we’ll be able to reward you easier, and you’ll be able to enjoy quicker and earlier than you did last year.”