As some of you are probably aware, the biggest motorsport show in the world, Formula 1, recently got a new owner. Last year Liberty Media purchased F1 from former owners CVC Capital Partners for a deal valued at 4.4 billion Euros. With the transaction they also inherited Formula 1’s debt, however, turning that deal into an 8.8 billion Euros deal effectively.
For the past decade or so, Formula 1’s only involvement in gaming was solely to provide licensing to other third-party companies. The owners were only interested in money and nothing else. With new and innovative thinking from Liberty Media, all of that is about to change, however.
Rather than push out gaming and dismiss it as something childish, they decided to embrace eSports fully. That, coupled with Fernando Alonso’s recent move to lead an eSports team means Formula 1 is gaining massive traction in the gaming world. As a fan of the F1 gaming series, this is something I’ve been waiting for a long, long time.
There are rumors that there’s going to be a massive, officially-backed eSports F1 championship for 2018. This would not only improve the image of F1 as a whole but bring a newer and younger audience to the sport as well. People who would have typically not been interested in F1 are now going to take notice simply because it enters the gaming world, a whole new realm.
If you think about it, people watch racing for the overtakes and the crashes. No one likes to see cars going round in circles for several hours on end unless something exciting happens. We all live for those moments when two vehicles are battling it out or when someone has a whoopsie.
Gaming makes all of that much more possible and much more accessible. You’re now directly involved in the racing yourself, rather than just sitting and watching as a bystander. The races are much shorter and a lot more intensive. They’re action-packed, let’s put it that way. Racing at its core is exciting and filled with adrenaline, something which can be put to good use in gaming.
Although nothing is official as of yet, a two-stage championship is planned for 2018 or eventually 2019. Apparently, even some of the teams will get involved, choosing participants who are going to represent them in the virtual championship. This means that you, me, or someone else playing from their room, could potentially be a virtual teammate to, say, Kimi Raikkonen or Felipe Massa.
I don’t have to tell you how exciting that is especially if you’re an avid racing enthusiast yourself. Only time will tell where gaming takes F1 or vice versa, but there’s a significant potential for both parties to benefit from this. I quite frankly, can’t wait to see this thing underway.