Established esports team Unicorns of Love have expanded their efforts into esports racing, as have several other esports organisations. So, what is the appeal of the fastest form of esports to these teams?
Image credit: Unicorns of Love
In but a week from now, the first ever Esports Racing World Cup by VCO will take place. We’ve seen a lot of major sim racing events over the last few years, and this looks set to be another. Esports racing teams will do battle on not one, but three different sim racing titles in the ultimate test of what makes virtual motorsport special.
There is an emphasis on both aspects of esports racing. First up is the racing part, and we all know the many teams from the world of racing who have dipped their toes into the sim racing waters. This seems like a natural step, as simracing games are based on real world motorsport, and therefore the crossover opportunities are huge. But then there’s the other aspect of it all, the esports side.
We recently published a piece talking about esports teams that have expanded their efforts into esports racing, this included teams like G2 Esports, Team SoloMid and the one we are about to discuss today, Unicorns of Love.
The Hamburg-based organisation compete in some of the biggest esports in the world, such as League of Legends, Valorant and formerly in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. More recently, the organisation has been making some significant inroads into the world of esports racing. Having mainly specialised in Assetto Corsa Competizione until now, their confirmed participation in the ERWC means that their racers will have to get to grips with not only ACC but also iRacing and rFactor 2.
So what’s the appeal?
When researching that aforementioned article, we reached out to René Sievert who is the manager of Unicorns of Love’s sim racing division. We were very much interested to learn about what is that point of interest for a team that finds their roots in forms of esports that we think of when we hear the term ‘esports’.
We were lucky enough to get a reply back from Vivien Mallant, who is the general manager of Unicorns of Love.
OverTake: What’s the appeal of esports racing from a team that has their roots in mainstream esports?
The esports racing scene has a huge connection to the real motorsports scene and is therefore a nice chance to connect esports and analog sports. For us it is interesting to have a wide variety of esports in our org, because every title and community is very different and gives us different opportunities, challenges and chances. In sim racing it is interesting to work with a simulation of the real world and not a fictional game.
OverTake: How do you go about selecting which esports racing competitions to put the UoL name in?
We always start with selecting people that fit to our org before opening a new team. We are lucky to have found yet again some personalities who are motivated, creative and very nice characters and build the team around them. We then give a lot of trust and responsibility to these people, so that they have all the freedom to fully develop a team in a title they know best. That means it comes from the team which races we attend and where we put the UoL name.
OverTake: What sets esports racing apart from more mainstream esports like LoL and CS:GO?
The scene overall is still very young and not that professionalised yet. Compared to LoL and CS:GO, many professional structures are missing and apart from many challenges, this gives a lot of opportunity to influence the industry. Although the viewership, budgets, salaries, etc. are still small, through the connection to the analog motorsports world it is already an interesting scene for big brands, sponsors and organisations.
Vivien’s answers do provide an fascinating perspective, as it’s easy to only think of the racing side of things when it comes to esports racing. This scene is still in its infancy, but it will continue to grow.
The VCO Esports Racing World Cup is one step along the road towards legitimising the esports racing medium and allowing it to stand on its own. With it not being a mere byproduct of a real world racing championship, it takes what makes esports racing unique and tests its drivers in the ways only esports racing can.
Be sure to tune in to watch Unicorns of Love along with a bunch of other esports racing teams compete on iRacing, rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa Competizione next week.
What mainstream esports elements do you believe should be utilised in esports racing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!