Seven gamers will compete in the final of the McLaren Shadow Project Series on the 16 and 17 January, to earn a prize of earning a spot in the McLaren Shadow Esports team.
Gamers from around the world have competed among-st each other to reach to the final of McLaren’s Esports Series, taking place at the McLaren Technology Centre, Woking. McLaren F1 Team became the first Formula 1 team to venture into Esports in 2017, attracting more than half a million gamers worldwide.
The finalists will compete on the worlds’ best racing games such as Forza Motorsport 7, Real Racing 3, Project Cars 2, iRacing and rFactor 2. The competitors will race against each other on mobile for Real Racing 3 and will use Virtual Reality for Project Cars 2.
Ebrahim Almubarak, Miguel Ballester, Henrik Drue, Igor Fraga, Xiang Gao, Marcus Jensen and Nuno Pinto have earned their place in the final through different platforms and racing titles and will aim to win a spot with the McLaren Shadow Esports Team, joining last years’ World Fastest Gamer winner Rudy van Buren.
Ahead of the finals, McLaren’s head of Esports Ben Payne says the number of entries have blown him away and adds that the competition shadows how the team would treat their F1 drivers.
“We’ve been blown away by the number of talented gamers who have taken part in the competition this year. We’ve created the most open and inclusive racing esports tournamanet on the planet, with players competing on multiple platforms on the biggest games,” said Payne
“This year, more than ever before, the competition shadows McLaren’s real world. We’re treating them as we would one of our Formula 1 drivers, and this is reflected in the challenging week-long Shadow finals.
“The semi-finals had me on the edge of my seat, so I can’t wait to see what the final brings.”
Last years’ winner van Buren added that the competition has changed his life. The Dutchman is now McLaren’s simulator driver and has ventured into driving in real life with the team as classic events such as Goodwood and performing hotlaps during a Grand Prix weekend.
“This competition changes lives,” said van Buren. “12 months ago I was a kitchen salesman in Lelystad, Netherlands.
“Since then I’ve become a simulator driver for McLaren, driven a world championship-winning F1 car at Goodwood, raced and beaten a Le Mans winner at the Race of Champions and given VIPs the thrill of a lifetime in McLaren supercars during Formula 1 race weekends as part of McLaren’s involvement in the Pirelli Hot Laps experience.
“My advice for the finalists is race hard and stay focused, the possibilities are endless.”
The live finals will be broadcasted on McLaren’s official YouTube channel, with Motorsport journalist Nicki Shields presenting on both nights. The 16th will see the start of the finals taking place, with the 17th being the Grand finale of the competition.