Now we turn to our third installment of the eSports racing review, please look to the 1st article to get a general idea of where this all began.
Now we tackle The_Race.com All-Star eSports Battle championship using the Rfactor2 program (a popular online program with a big community that shares technology and is modifiable by individuals for there specific needs).
This was in fact the 1st of the Sim races, post Australian GP cancellation, to be organized and executed. They brought this altogether in 72 hours which was quite impressive especially considering the amount of drivers entered. There were a number of household names from the world of real racing including Max Verstappen, Felix Rosenquist, Montoya, Herta, Pagenaud, Hulkenburg , Vanndorne and my buddy from The Heart of Racings Aston Martin Daytona lineup, Nicky Thiim. So not many F1 drivers to see but that’s understandable considering the time frame.
Added to this mix were a whole host of Sim racings best (I’m assuming anyway) so there actually had to be qualifying races to see who would make it to the final.
One real plus was for the event was for them to have BBC Radio F1 regular announcers Jack Nichols and Joylon Palmer as the hosts and commentary team for the races (something the F1 promoted event could have sorely used). They did quite a good job of jumping in and covering the action whether it was drivers we knew or not. I just watched the second round which includes in-studio face time with them as well, which is a nice touch, so a fine effort from The_Race.com group for trying to raise the bar.
Where I think this offering was lacking was the visuals and the sound, I found this rather confusing as I have seen video of people driving and racing within this program in a whole host of cars from F1 to Le Mans and usually they look really good but for this series the graphics they are using look very old school video-gamey and the sound matches the images.
They basically have one layout in varying colour schemes (purple, green etc) and a nice The_Race emblazoned on the side. Pretty ugly look in fact and the sharpness of the cars lines just weren’t up to par. It made it extremely difficult to follow along as to who was driving what, which of course is pretty important to enjoy the competition.
Which green car was Rosenquist driving? I have no clue.
I’d suggest a little more thought in designing the livery to suit whom was driving and allow us to pick them out of the crowd. Also from outside and from some rare in car footage the cars did not look very dynamic or quick, once again not sure why as Rfactor2 does normally look much better from both.
As well as this, I think the actual event is far too long, with 5 races in total plus a practice and quali for each this show lasted over 3 hours! Longer than any GP we watch. I get they want to include the gamers but I feel at this point they need to thin that herd out and bring it down to 3 races in total.
The Pro Gamers do get to do this all the time and as this is supposed to be a replacement for fans who miss their real racing I think this series should really focus on drivers fans know, else they will miss an opportunity to gain a larger following. So they need to do what they can to engage these new viewers and they may stay once the engines fire up again.
The racing as a whole was pretty good and barring the visuals I think accurate to real battles in theory and execution.
This is now an on going series so we shall keep and eye out and see if it can evolve, which it needs to do quickly, else it will lose out.
Next up we shall tackle Twitch and slurpy crisps eating Lando Norris and friends!