New sports are coming to the fore in this age of digital competition. The widespread availability of the internet and gaming has allowed people from all over the world to play against each other online, leading to organised competitions backed by multi-million prize pools.
The sheer popularity, amount of prize money, and third parties getting involved have validated the newly dubbed eSports scene. Now, eSports is expanding into motorsports, bringing in famous faces and running several competitions which are also being endorsed in a similar way to other eSports.
So, what’s behind the embrace of eSports and will virtual racing become a part of motorsport?
How eSports has muscled its way in
People have been playing games online against each other for years, but what has created the mighty eSports scene has been the spectatorship options. As noted by VentureBeat, people can tune into streamed organised competitions, professional players have an active online presence, and live events have been coming to major venues.
The spectators have brought in the interest of third-parties, such as sponsors and betting companies, which pump money into the scene. This has, in turn, validated the scene – particularly with betting options becoming available. Betting firms will only put up odds on competitions that they know are legitimate and fair, as their businesses depend on those factors.
So, not only do the eSports markets – including the new virtual racing eSports markets – at Betfair enable fans to engage with the events outside of viewing, the odds also reaffirm the legitimacy of the competitions. With everything being fair, balanced, and dependent on human error, skill, and decision-making, spectators can get wrapped up in the traditional levels of sports excitement when they tune-in live.
Establishing motor racing in eSports
With eSports already established as both popular and legitimate, it may come as a surprise that many traditional sports haven’t been major parts of the eSports scene. This is due to how, in popular team game modes, the players in the games control a very small percentage of their side at once. This means that the software itself controls much of the show. However, it’s a very different story with virtual motor racing, with each player getting their own vehicle to have complete control over.
So, not only do virtual races, like those put on by Formula One, appeal to anyone who wants to watch some racing action, they also boast good standing among eSports fans. The followers of competitive gaming covet balance, fairness, and player skill above all, which has allowed them to embrace virtual motorsports. This has, in turn, helped betting sites to give the green light and offer another way for fans to engage with the new form of racing.
People are tuning in, big-name racers and gamers are involved in the competitions, and even traditional sports broadcasting companies like Eurosport are weighing in. So, is there now a place for virtual racing as another line of motorsport?
It is being validated by fans, engagement, and third parties, but there’s a sense that motorsport will always require tyres on the track. However, given the rapid popularity and success of the virtual racing competitions, it’s clear that the titles have the potential to become mainstay features of eSports.