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McLaren Doubles Down On Esports With The Shadow Project, A Competition To Recruit And Form A New Esports Team

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Last year, McLaren dabbled with esports with the World’s Fastest Gamer competition, with the goal to find the top talents in sim racing, train really hard and pick the best for the role of development driver for the McLaren F1 team. The winner, Dutchman Andy van Buren, is now serving the role, helping the F1 team by running laps in simulators for acquiring data useful for team on the trackside.

This year, the program returns but under a new guise. While the World’s Fastest Gamer is a collaboration between the racing team-cum-automaker and IDEAS + CARS, the Shadow Project is McLaren’s own program with the goal to build their very own esports team, recruiting the best players from the competition and bring them to compete in tournaments globally.

“Our new esports programme will shadow our real-world racing equivalent,” reads the statement on their website.

Similar to the World’s Fastest Gamer, the entry point qualifiers range from various games, including mobile games. The four games are:

  • Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One)
  • rFactor 2 (PC)
  • iRacing (PC)
  • Real Racing 3 (iOS, Android)

The qualifiers will start in August, with both online and local events set for China, Latin America and the Middle East.

McLaren has also brought in various partners and sponsorships for their esports endeavours, some have now adorned on the F1 car as well on race weekends.

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It’s no secret that the Woking-based F1 team is struggling these few years. While recent news show that the team is committed to F1 as its sole motorsport, this has not stop them from exploring the potential of esports. Given they already saw how the skills a gamer of racing games transfers into actual racing up close thanks to last year’s program, it is good to see doubling down in esports even more with the Shadow Project.

Source: McLaren