Corona virus pandemic has caused various racing events to be canceled, replaced by virtual races. This encourages the growth of the esports industry, specifically related to racing games. Leeston Bryant, Senior Marketing Manager for Esports from McLaren revealed, in recent months, esports races have experienced rapid growth.
“One of the biggest changes is that esports is now in the minds of the people,” Bryant told us “My mother asked me if I had a stake in getting footballers to play Formula 1 while my neighbors also asked about McLaren’s role in esports. I have been in the esports field for two years. Indeed, during that time, the esports industry continued to grow. However, in the past two months, I have seen the same growth as the growth for two years. I think this is very interesting. We will try to exploit this momentum in the future. “
Bryant revealed, the McLaren sponsors also want to get access to esports as a new channel that is developing. Therefore, even though the actual race will be held again, he feels, McLaren colleagues are still interested in surviving in the world of esports.
“We have held discussions with McLaren sponsors about esports several times, including about when the race was held again. We are interested in holding virtual races at break or off-season races. That way, we can provide entertainment to the fans of the race all the time, “Bryant said. “I think everyone is almost always actively seeking entertainment. So, we want to be able to provide fans with additional content. I think we can use esports and sim racing to achieve that goal. “
Julian Tan, who is in charge of the esports program in F1, also said the same thing as Bryant. However, he admitted that he was still unsure how the popularity of sim racing would affect the motorsports industry after the pandemic ended. He admitted, sim racing did grow very rapidly, but, he was sure, the corona pandemic would also change the industrial landscape.
“I think the growth and attention given to gaming and esports will now have an impact in the future, after the pandemic ends. It’s just difficult to estimate what the impact is. One thing I know, now, we all try to enter the gaming and esports industries and there are many things we learn by trying new things. We will be better equipped to face challenges that arise in the future, “Tan said.
Formula 1 took part in the world of esports by holding a virtual Grand Prix. The virtual race pits former racers, celebrities and athletes from other sports. In addition to Formula 1, NASCAR and Formula E also hold virtual races instead of canceled races. However, the existence of virtual racing also brings problems for some people, like Daniel Abt whose contract was terminated by Audi for using jockey in virtual racing.