Twelve months ago, online gamer Rudy van Buren was a sales manager in his hometown of Lelystad in The Netherlands. On 23 February 2018, he stood next to McLaren Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonsoand Stoffel Vandoorne at the launch of the MCL33 in the role of an official McLaren simulator driver. Van Buren, 26, was the winner of McLaren’s 2017 ground-breaking esports competition, beating 30,000 other applicants, from across 78 countries, to be crowned the ‘World’s Fastest Gamer’.
‘McLaren Shadow Project’ is a virtual racing programme that shadows McLaren’s real world. The champion of McLaren Shadow Project 2018 will win a place on the new McLaren esports team and go on to race online against the best teams in the world. The winner will also win access to the McLaren esports development programme, as well as an enviable stash of goodies.
For McLaren, the inclusion of more casual games such as Real Racing™ 3 is crucial. Last year’s finalist Henrik Drue, a surgeon from Denmark, reached the finals despite never having played a racing game on console or PC. He went on to out-perform most of the other finalists in the rigorous cognitive tests set by the McLaren team and more than held his own on the track.
How to enter:
- Global online qualification heats start in August 2018 and run throughout the summer. You must be 18+ years.
- Heats take place on a number of games including Forza Motorsport (Xbox One), Real Racing™ 3 (mobile), iRacing and rFactor 2 (PC).
- Semi-finalists (mobile and console heats) will be invited to McLaren’s headquarters in England to compete for places in the finals. The finals will take place in January 2019.
- Selected qualifiers, semi-finals and finals will be live streamed by McLaren.
- Enter at http://www.mclaren.com/esports.