With sporting events across the globe on pause, Esports has taken centre stage in providing entertainment for fans craving competitive action.
A growing interest has seen famous faces from a range sporting disciplines line up alongside celebrities and motorsport professionals on the virtual grid, creating some highly entertaining races and more than a few memorable moments.
BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team drivers Lucas Blakeley and Daniele Haddad have both been watching and taking part in the action and are delighted to see people taking an interest in the virtual racing they know and love.
“I think it’s great to see the way Esports has been thrown into the spotlight and is now really reaching a new level,” says Lucas.
“It’s an eye-opener for people that it’s not just a video game. For a lot of people, this is their career and their life.
“It’s competitive – and it’s incredibly close to what drivers are doing on real circuits in terms of the racing. It’s a great thing to have Esports in the spotlight and hopefully it’ll open up a few people’s minds to it.”
With Formula 1’s Virtual Grand Prix, F1 Esports Pro Races and a range of other competitions offering virtual racing for fans, it’s a chance to see how real-life drivers, Esports drivers, celebrities and influencers compare in head-to-head competition.
“For us, it’s an amazing experience, having the chance to share the track with Formula 1 drivers of the past and present, as well other drivers from different series,” adds Daniele.
“It’s something really cool for the fans as well, I think, to see how fast the drivers can be in a simulator. It’s obviously a bit different to the real thing – but in the end, we’re all racing!”
So, with interest in Esports growing and the number of people taking the leap into competitive online racing likewise, where does a budding virtual superstar start their career?
Fortunately, we have two experts on hand to provide advice for those wanting to take their Esports experience to the next level.
Joining and competing in online leagues is similar to the steppingstones to Formula 1. For those who want to join the competition and be part of the Pro Draft, the best place to start is by finding your feet with the official F1 games from Codemasters and entering their online events.
“Playing the F1 game, competing in online races and taking part in the F1 Esports qualifying events is definitely your best shot,” says Lucas.
“Try to make your way into the Pro Draft. It’s a great way to be spotted and a real opportunity to show the scouts what you’ve got.”
Before joining BWT Racing Point F1 Esports Team, Daniele was competing in some of the best online leagues in the world –even tackling real-life race distances. A tough, but strong proving ground for developing his skills.
“You need to invest time, invest in good equipment and match yourself against the best guys on each platform to improve your skills,” adds Daniele.
“I started in F1 leagues online, competing in 100% distance races. I learned a lot from that and started to realise how differently I had to drive and race to develop myself. That’s how I got started and ultimately how I got where I am today.”
“You need to be dedicated,” concludes Lucas. “Like with any competitive sport, if you don’t put in the hours, you’re not going to get anywhere.
“You need to be passionate about it. If you don’t have that passion, you won’t be able to take it all the way. You need to pursue it with everything you’ve got. If you really want it bad enough, you’ve got to work hard for it.”
With F1 Esports giving gamers a chance to be part of a Formula 1 team and compete against some of the best virtual racers in the world, it’s a platform that offers plenty of opportunities.
If you’re keen to get into the world of Esports, look out for online leagues and competitions and be sure to enter. Who knows? One day we might just have our eyes on you in the Pro Draft…