Virtual racing goes professional with new eSPORTS+CARS team

Darren Cox pushes virtual motorsport further than ever before with a new professional virtual racing team

If you still think gaming is a pursuit for kids then you’re in a minority these days. It’s currently a $1.8 trillion industry, players of every age are making millions with gaming channels on Youtube, and eSports – competition entirely within the gaming world – are watched by more people worldwide than the Baseball World Series or the NBA Finals.

And of course, gaming – in the form of the GT Academy – has given us professional racing drivers like Lucas Ordonez and Jann Mardenborough. The man behind the GT Academy, Darren Cox, is now starting his own professional virtual race team: eSPORTS+CARS.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

The draw is obvious: eSports are a massive industry and competition is as professional and fierce as in any real-world sport.

Racing games will become an increasingly large part of that industry over the next few years, spurred on by the success of programs like GT Academy, and with millions of potential drivers worldwide there’s a vast pool of talent from which to draw.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

For Cox, it’s also a way of drawing fans into the real sports. He says that their own interviews of gamers have revealed that 72 per cent had developed an interest in motorsport through playing racing games.

eSPORTS+CARS already has several gamers signed up, competing in major tournaments across multiple platforms – playing anything from Forza Motorsport 6 to detailed simulators like rFactor and Project Cars.

GT Sport – the latest game in the Gran Turismo franchise – will also play a big part in competitive gaming over the next few years, as the first racing game to host an official, FIA-sanctioned series. Players in GT Sport will gain the ability to compete through an etiquette system (to ensure the series isn’t spoiled by thousands of Maldonados), while players will be split based on age and region, keeping competition close.

Cox’s new eSports team has already attracted its own real-world motorsport support, notably from ELMS and Le Mans squad Greaves Motorsport.

‘We have seen the professionalism of gamers first hand in the real world and as an entrepreneur I have watched the growth of eSport with great interest,’ explains team owner, Tim Greaves.

‘I am excited to explore the opportunities in gaming for our current and future partners.’

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/lamborghini/201986/lamborghini-vision-gran-turismo-revealed-virtual-car-debuts-for-real-in-monaco
Lamborghini

Lamborghini Vision Gran Turismo revealed

25 Nov 2019
Visit/features/20331/the-vision-gt-cars-every-vision-gran-turismo-virtual-concept-detailed
Features

The Vision GT cars

25 Oct 2019
Visit/toyota/supra/201871/toyota-supra-trd-3000gt-concept-to-star-at-sema
Toyota Supra

Toyota Supra TRD 3000GT Concept to star at SEMA

22 Oct 2019
Visit/features/17710/the-best-racing-games-of-all-time
Features

The best racing games of all time

17 Dec 2018
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/22743/first-details-of-the-gordon-murray-automotive-t50-hypercar-revealed
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 hypercar revealed

A true successor to the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed more about its spectacular T.50 hypercar
10 Dec 2019
Visit/ford/focus-hatchback/202030/2019-ford-focus-ecoboost-review-a-family-favourite-past-its-prime
Ford Focus Hatchback

2019 Ford Focus EcoBoost review

Some might suggest the UK is falling out of love with family hatchbacks, but the Focus EcoBoost is a good reminder of why it remains a compelling pack…
9 Dec 2019
Visit/news/21553/best-new-cars-2019-the-most-exciting-new-performance-cars-arriving-this-year
News

Best new cars 2020

2020 is unlikely to halt the electric car push, but it should also bring with it more than a few fascinating new players
10 Dec 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019