British automotive brand McLaren has completed its first World’s Fastest Gamer esports tournament.
Rudy Van Buren, a 25-year-old sales manager from the Netherlands, has beaten more than 30,000 contestants to be crowned the World’s Fastest Gamer.
In the final round of the contest, a four-hour assessment using McLaren’s Formula 1 simulator, Van Buren beat countryman Freek Schothorst, a 20-year-old science, business and innovation student from Amsterdam.
In winning, Van Buren lands himself a job with McLaren as one of its F1 team’s official simulator drivers for the 2018 season.
Van Buren began racing karts aged eight, and went on to win the Dutch Karting Championship in 2003. However, he was forced to quit at the age of 16 due to lacking the financial backing needed to progress further.
World’s Fastest Gamer has given him a second chance at his motorsports career.
Van Buren said: “Every boy that starts karting dreams about F1, and at a certain point that dream just vanishes. Now by winning World’s Fastest Gamer, I can relive that dream.
“This has been the most incredible experience and words can’t describe how I feel right now. To think that I came to the McLaren Technology Centre for the very first time last week but am leaving here today as McLaren’s newest employee is mind blowing.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for giving me this amazing opportunity; just being here, meeting the team and competing with some amazing people has been an unforgettable experience. It really has been the toughest job interview I’ve ever faced, but with such an incredible reward at the end of it. Now I can’t wait to get started!”
“I can’t thank everyone enough for giving me this amazing opportunity; just being here, meeting the team and competing with some amazing people has been an unforgettable experience.”
Rudy Van Buren, McLaren
McLaren Technology Group Executive Director Zak Brown added: “My congratulations to Rudy – he really showed the mettle, determination and ability to succeed.
“This was an outstandingly tough contest, one where we went to great lengths to stretch our contestants beyond their limits, and he’ll be a real asset to the organisation as we develop and refine our 2018 car throughout the next season.”
World Fastest Gamer began in May 2017 and saw gamers from around the world compete in a range of racing games for a position in this month’s finals. It was arranged with Ideas and Cars, a team spearheaded by Darren Cox who worked on the GT Academy years ago, which saw the best Gran Turismo players get a job in real-life motor racing.
After numerous heats across a variety of different games and platforms, 12 grand finalists were invited to McLaren’s Woking headquarters to go head-to-head in one last week of testing.
Two Brits made it to McLaren’s finals, but unfortunately missed out.
The news comes after McLaren hired Ben Payne as its new director of esports.
- Where will the winner work? Esports News UK’s behind-the-scenes tour of McLaren HQ
- Interview with Ideas and Cars founder Darren Cox
- McLaren rules out getting into other esports or buying a team
- F1 esports deal a big opportunity – and a gamble
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.