eSports Steps Up Into Racing Series in Vegas

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eSports Steps Up Into Racing Series in Vegas

While the biggest news in Las Vegas in the last few days was the Consumer Electronics Show, there was something else going on that wasn't as big, but still delivered an exciting new prospect in its own right. It's advancing the field of esports in a fashion nothing else, and in a fashion that will make people slap their heads.

More specifically, it's the Visa Vegas eRace, and it expands esports from mostly the province of real-time strategy, first person shooters and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games to add something that probably should have been there all along: racing.

It put both professional drivers and sim racers together in a match of rFactor 2, a racer that's known for its somewhat bland graphics and attention to detail. With a 20-turn track that no one got to see before the race, and a platform of identical PlaySeats and Thrustmaster wheels to race with, the racers put on a real show, though one that didn't go off quite without a hitch.

Some weren't happy that the eRace used rFactor 2 as its platform, though it does seem like it worked out well. It's odd that that was what they used, especially given the number of racing titles out there. But at the same time, that sheer number of racing titles is what makes this a great idea. With so many racers out there, there's a big market interested in watching such races, and there's an equally broad market that might have an interest in sponsorship opportunities. What if there were a Gran Turismo race? Or a NASCAR-branded race?

Though this race didn't clear 5,000 views on Twitch, reports noted, we might be looking at the latest component of the esports market. It's a market that's still very much in its early stages, but it's likely to deliver a lot of capability going forward.

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