Brazilian gamer Igor Fraga wins the McLaren Shadow Project series, earning a spot with the McLaren Shadow Esports team.
Fraga clinched the series by beating the six remaining finalists over the final two days. The Brazilian managed to win against Nuno Pinto and Miguel Ballester in the Grand Final of the series, taking place at the McLaren Technology Centre.
The finalists took part in the final testing their gaming skills through multiple platforms such as Forza Motorsport 7, Real Racing 3, Project Cars 2, iRacing and rFactor 2. Before the two days of racing, the seven finalists conducted several human and performance tests with McLaren, including fitness, simulator driving and driving a real McLaren 570S GT4 car.
Fraga has beaten over half a million gamers who entered the series, in a bid to join the McLaren Esports team. McLaren Shadow’s Esports programme works in collaboration with the McLaren F1 Team. The Brazilian says winning the series and now getting to work with McLaren is a dream come true.
“I believe that it was my desire to win and the hard work I put in. I truly believe that hard work pays off,” said Fraga.
“For me, gaming has to have some competition involved. You don’t win all the time, but if you can see that you’ve grown, it gives you more motivation to overcome your struggles. Of course I compare myself to the other players, but I believe that it’s much more important to focus on yourself.
“Working for McLaren is a dream come true. McLaren means great history and a team I am so proud to be part of.”
Fraga has added the McLaren Shadow Project to his collection of achievements in Esports racing, having also won the FIA Gran Turismo Nations Cup. The Brazilian also races in real life, having previously raced in the USF2000 Series and a champion in F3 Brazil in 2017.
McLaren’s head of Esports, Ben Payne congratulates Igor on successfully winning the McLaren Shadow Project, calling this years’ competition ‘unbelievably tough’.
“Huge congratulations to Igor, the competition this year was unbelievably tough. We took the finalists through four days of rigorous testing both on and off the track,” said Payne.
To triumph, Igor not only needed to demonstrate the speed and agility required by all top racing drivers, but also the mental and physical resilience required to compete in esports at this level.
“Unlike any other esport genre, the transference of skills between virtual and real racing are both direct and profound, and Igor showed skill in both. We look forward to welcoming him into our McLaren Shadow esports team, and to seeing how he develops through our dedicated esports driver development programme – the opportunities are endless.”
McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown joined in on congratulating the Brazilian on his success in the series and added that McLaren’s commitment to Esports continues thanks to the level of entries entered for the series and engagement relating to Esports.
“Congratulations to Igor, we’re looking forward to welcoming him into the McLaren family and putting him through his paces in our pioneering esports driver development programme,” commented Brown.
“This year, McLaren has reinforced its commitment to esports and the phenomenal number of entries, over half a million, proves our instincts were correct – esports broadens engagement in motorsports and enriches our passion for the sport.”