British racing brand McLaren has become the first Formula 1 team to enter the esports arena.
The prestigious car maker and F1 team has announced World’s Fastest Gamer – a new international esports tournament.
The winner will land a one-year contract with McLaren’s F1 team as one of its ‘official simulator drivers’.
World’s Fastest Gamer is a collaboration between McLaren, PC accessories brand Logitech G and the founder of virtual motorsport’s GT Academy, Darren Cox. McLaren is also teaming up with media platform GiveMeSport and racing equipment brand Sparco.
World’s Fastest Gamer pits gamers against each other across multiple racing platforms.
As one of McLaren’s simulation drivers, the winner will work with engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre and at grand prix circuits across the world.
“The football industry has recognised the growth in esports. Now Motorsport will invest heavily in esports in the coming months and years, and World’s Fastest Gamer is at the very forefront of that movement.”
They will help develop and improve the machinery driven in the real world by the team’s drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
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 gaming and F1 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 a rigorous job interview process.
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.
Darren Cox, Ideas and Cars CEO said: “Gaming and esports are growing at an astonishing rate. The football industry has recognised this, with the result that activity has exploded between the real world and the virtual world in the last 18 months.
“Now, World’s Fastest Gamer will provide the focus for motorsport to talk directly to the huge numbers of passionate and dedicated gamers racing online – engaging and immersing them in the real world of racing.
“Motorsport will invest heavily in esports in the coming months and years, and World’s Fastest Gamer is at the very forefront of that movement.”
“This connects the worlds of racing and gaming in a way that’s never been explored before.”
Zac Brown, McLaren Technology Group Executive Director, added: “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.
“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.
“And the winner will genuinely be a key part of our team at McLaren. This is for real: we absolutely require additional support across our two simulator platforms, so the competition and the selection process will be rigorous, ruthless and compelling to watch.”
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.