"Sim racing should be for everybody"

“Sim racing should be for everybody”

Esports racer Danny Giusa criticizes the price policy of the German esports racing championship.

Teaser source: iRacing / Danny Giusa Twitter

The DMSB, the umbrella organization for racing in Germany, is set to host the first official German esports racing championship (“DSRC”) this summer in iRacing. Dr. Gerd Ennser, member of the DMSB presidium claims: “We’re awaiting professional sim racers and race drivers as participants – but it’s very important for us that the DSRC is basically open for everybody.”

However, not all esports racers seem to agree with this statement. Danny Giusa, German esports racer for Team AHG, publicly criticized the overall price policy of the competition.

OverTake spoke to Danny to get further insights into his criticism.

Hi Danny. In your tweet you call out the high entry fees of the DSRC. Have you ever paid entry fees this high?

No, the highest entry fee a sim racing team paid for me or I paid for myself was €40 in the context of Virtual Racing e.V. by Virtual Racing Lounge #VRL24h. For €35, you get the opportunity to race in Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, RaceRoom and rFactor2 and be active in many sim-title-specific race series.

These series will be broadcasted on a livestream and broadcast overlay which will be brought to life by commentators like Manuel Wendel, Mark Keil and Heiko Stritzke. Everything works without a sim racing license, in a professional and competitive environment, if not in the case of Assetto Corsa with the best AC drivers of Germany.

In the discussion about his initial tweet, it becomes pretty clear that neither Danny nor his esports racing colleagues think the high entry fee for the DSRC is justified.

Danny, why do you think the entry fee is not justified?

Let’s start at the beginning. Before you can actually participate in the series you have to buy a DMSB sim racing license and pass the online learning class, which costs €50. When you’ve done this, you’re being charged €25 as an entry fee for online hotlap qualification. €25 for each participant who wants to qualify. “For what?” I ask myself. An hour of a qualifying session costs €0.50 in iRacing which hosts as many as 60 people on a server.

If you made it to the top 60, you’ll have to pay a €50 entry fee for the pre-qualification of the fastest 60 for the DSMB SimRacing Championship. Why? Where is the sense in this? Couldn’t you just take the fastest 60 out of the first procedure?

If you pass this stage, you’ll have to pay another €250 as an enrollment fee. All in all, we reached €375.

In this entire scheme, there are neither cost transparency, information about the series in terms of its broadcast and platform or media partner, nor provision of services like a pre-show, media coverage or content coverage.

There are no promises how the quality of the series, production value and quality of the participants are going to be. You can only rely on what you’ve seen in the summer cup, which wasn’t worth €375 by far.

If I, as the German motorsports association, announce a series with the title “German Sim Racing Champion 2020”, I have to set new standards, no more, no less.
Still, I want to emphasize that there is prize money, however it only evens out the entry fees if you win two times and become third one time at least.

Esports racer Rebecca Pauline points out that this is not the first organization to demand high entry fees on behalf of their own profit.

Do you think such a price policy hurts the esports racing scene?

The price policy is a one-to-one copy from motorsports. But sim racing is not motorsports, how could it be? There are no real motors, no fuel, no danger of life. Sim racing is an esport, a software and simulation, which uses hardware that comes close to the real model, in comparison to FIFA and a controller. The only thing sim racing and motorsports have in common is the racing, which is real in both.

Contrary to motorsports, sim racing lives from the broad public of participants. You can be small, tall, thin, big, sporty or not sporty, you neither need the best pedals nor a high-end PC for €2,000. (…) The only thing you need is a heart for racing.

€375 is a lot of money for sim racers, mostly more than what they invest in hardware each year or even have invested their whole life.

If the DMSB wants to promote and not siphon something off, entry fees like those of Virtual Racing e.V. are in order. (…) Sim racing should be for everybody, not like motorsports only for those who have the necessary wherewithal. Even sim racing pro series like the iRacing Porsche Esports Supercup or the Assetto Corsa Competizione SRO-eSports Challenge are for free, with prize money of sometimes even more than €100,000.

The official German “DSMB Sim Racing Championship” is about to begin in August 2020. We’ll be closely following the events around the competition and whether or not the organizers will react to the criticism from the esports racing community.

What is your opinion? Do you agree with Danny or are high entry costs necessary to establish and host competitions? Tweet us your opinion @overtake_gg!

Maik Jahn
born and raised close to the Nürburgring.