McLaren has taken a step into the world of eSports by announcing a new competition for sim racers with a top prize of a Formula 1 role.
“World’s Fastest Gamer” will see sim racers go head-to-head in a competition established by McLaren in collaboration with gaming tech supplier Logitech G and GT Academy founder Darren Cox.
“The format pits the best gamers in the world across multiple racing platforms as they battle each other to discover the ultimate ‘champion of champions’,” McLaren’s release about the scheme reads.
“The winner will be offered a one-year contract with McLaren to work in an official capacity as a simulator driver. They will work with engineers at both the McLaren Technology Centre and at grand prix circuits across the world to develop and improve the machinery driven in the real world by the team’s drivers, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
“Billed as ‘the best job in eSports’, the battle to find McLaren’s newest recruit will be viewable at every stage via a dedicated YouTube channel and McLaren’s social media channels.
“Six international finalists will be hand-picked by experts in both gaming and Formula 1 to join this year’s competition. A further four finalists will be selected from qualifying events online during summer 2017.
“The grand finale, held at the McLaren Technology Centre in the autumn, will put all 10 hopefuls through one of the most rigorous job interviews in the world. Not only will they race against each other across a variety of different gaming titles on different platforms, they will also need to demonstrate their engineering know-how, ability to work as part of a team, and display the mental and physical strengths required for such a unique position.”
The move from McLaren comes at a time when sim racing is enjoying something of a boom, with the Formula E championship holding a million-dollar race in Las Vegas earlier this year. This marks the first time that an F1 team had entered the eSports arena, though.
“This is a hugely exciting opportunity, not only within the gaming industry, but for everyone at McLaren and motorsport in general,” McLaren executive director Zak Brown said.
“We’ve long witnessed the growth of online sports gaming, and, right now, the parallels between the real and the virtual worlds have never been closer.
“This is absolutely the right time to be creating such a unique and exciting proposition; one that connects the worlds of racing and gaming in a way that’s never been explored before.
“‘World’s Fastest Gamer’ really aims to democratizee the process of finding the best virtual racer out there. The contest isn’t limited to one platform or one game; we’re very keen not to restrict access or entry for people, but rather welcome the worldwide gaming community, whether that’s on mobile or on high-end simulator platforms.”