OverTakes present our Hero of the Month for March: YouTuber and justice fighter Mike “SimRacing604” Smith.
Photo credit: SimRacing604
Fighting for the good, a loveable family father and a humble inspiration to many sim racing newcomers: YouTuber Mike “SimRacing604” Smith is the true definition of a hero. The Canadian was recently all over social media after releasing a video where he called out a mod distribution outlet for selling stolen mods. When the outlet issued false copyright strikes to remove the video, Mike’s channel was in danger of deletion. Thankfully, the sim racing community stepped in to support the content creator and his channel was saved.
While Mike was overwhelmed by the feedback and help he received from the community, we think that he is the true hero in this story as he shed light onto this issue in support of the original mod creators. So the spotlight here is firmly on Mike and his great work for the sim racing scene!
One race is all it takes to ignite the flame
The journey of our Hero of the Month starts back in 1990, when his father took him to the Molson Indy Vancouver. Seeing racing live for the first time awakened something in him, as he explains: “The sound of the V8 engines echoing off the buildings in downtown Vancouver was unlike anything I’d heard before”. Mike explains that from this day on, he was smitten with racing in all its forms – including the virtual version!
The first racing simulation the Canadian ever played was Gran Turismo, which he acquired shortly after its release in 1998. The title received widespread acclaim from fans, and Mike was one of them. To him, the game made every other racing title he tested before feel insignificant. Hooked by this experience, he stayed loyal to Polyphony Digital’s franchise and played every edition in the Gran Turismo series. The racing lover estimates that he has spent thousands of hours with these games.
But Gran Turismo is not the only outstanding series on the market. In 2017, Mike took his first test drives in Assetto Corsa on the PlayStation 4. Like with Gran Turismo about twenty years prior, the experience once again completely changed his perspective on racing titles. Although he was enthralled by AC, it was also the first time he ever felt he was struggling with a racing game. To fix this issue, he invested in his first wheel as an answer to his frustrations. With his purchase of a used Logitech G29, Mike fully entered the world of sim racing and has continued to shine ever since.
Showcasing how awesome sim racing can be
As his passion for virtual racing ignited, Mike decided to share it with others. He started his YouTube channel four years ago and fully dedicated it to his love of sim racing. He covers everything from tips for beginners to game reviews, mods, experiments with different cars and setups, hotlap challenges and much more.
The dedication that he pours into his videos pays off. Even though achieving high viewer numbers is proof of his video’s quality, Mike has already achieved a completely different main goal in his career. He did not aim to become the best in the competitive scene, he simply wanted to inspire others to get into this hobby as well. With his YouTube channel, our hero tries to be a voice for how awesome sim racing can be. His favourite feedback that he receives are the multiple emails from fans who started with sim racing because of him.
Ambitious and dedicated to all of his hobbies
What does our hero do when he’s not occupied with fighting for justice, inspiring others or fulfilling his need for speed in a racing game? Well, he’s invested in motorsports in another way of course. Like most of us racing enthusiasts, Mike loves watching traditional and simulated racing. Not even different time zones can stop him, as the Canadian has no problem waking up at 5am to catch a live Formula 1 broadcast.
Even outside the world of fast cars, Mike needs action in his life. He enjoys working out, especially running. Being the competitive mind that keeps challenging himself, his goal is to engage in the most demanding form of running: he wants to complete a marathon.
To balance his active lifestyle, Mike has another passion – reading. He tries to read at least 50 books each year which is a quite impressive ambition. But before all this hard work, dedication to his channel and self-improvement, Mike’s number one priority is always his family. He is “blessed to have an amazing wife and daughter” as he explains, and spends most of his free time with them.
The best use of fame or popularity: inspire others
Our loving family father has already proven he has a kind heart, but his idols emphasise this even further: “My heroes are people who are able to inspire greatness in others. I studied Gandhi and Dr Martin Luther King Jr intensely when I was younger. In my opinion, inspiring greatness in others is the best use of fame or popularity”.
This mindset is not only applicable to philosophers or for your everyday life – Mike also values it in motorsports. He explains that the achievements of most athletes will often be erased in time, but their impact on the next generation can last. This is why he considers Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton and his work to diversify motorsports so inspiring. The content creator also praises David Perel and his team on their work with their More Female Racers and Driven by Diversity initiatives.
While Mike appreciates personalities who use their influence to inspire others, we think that he can definitely consider himself a huge inspiration to others as well.
In the most @SimRacing604 way possible, Mike has managed to expose me to other creators that I was not aware of. Maybe not the same way as he does when he let’s me know about a new mod, but Mike has still made an impact on many of us without even knowing it.— Billy Strange (@strange_billy) March 9, 2021
Follow Mike on social media:
Are there any personalities in esports racing you would like to nominate for the next edition of Hero of the Month? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!