Meet the newest addition to the McLaren Shadow team, Nange. We had the chance to talk to him about his role within McLaren.
Image credit: Nange
The investment of major racing brands into the world of esports has become more and more apparent in recent times, but it’s not just esports athletes that are feeling the love. Video content creators and streamers are also increasingly on the radar of major esports organisations. McLaren Shadow have enlisted the services of Benjamin Daly aka Tiametmarduk as their brand ambassador, and many other esports racing teams have taken similar steps.
McLaren in particular have seemed to be putting more of an emphasis on content creation this year, having seemingly ditched all their esports programs apart from F1 Esports. They discontinued their involvement in the likes of Trackmania and eNASCAR. Even after winning the SRO GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Esports series courtesy of James Baldwin, they didn’t want to continue in esports outside of the F1 Pro Championship.
Going the complete other way of other major automotive brands, one move of theirs was to sign an up and coming streamer and content creator called André, better known as Nange.
With his arrival having been announced in February, Nange streams on McLaren Shadow’s Twitch channel as well as his own which currently has less than 2,000 followers. We were interested to know more about him and his role within McLaren.
How did your love of motorsport and driving games begin?
It kind of all began because of my dad. When I was around six or seven years old, my dad being a big fan of F1 for so many years always had it on the TV and I just saw it, didn’t really know what it was but thought it looked cool.
When I turned eight, that was when Lewis Hamilton won his first championship so I got really into it then. I basically got forced along but grew to love everything about it, got into the F1 games in the years after that, then the Forza games and it just went from there.
Who have been your inspirations both sporting wise and in regard to making content?
There’s a few. I’m into football and one of my all-time sporting heroes in general is Steven Gerrard, he was Liverpool captain at the time. Just any leaders like that. Regarding stuff like streaming and making content, I’m a big fan of the Sidemen. I used to watch them and wanted to emulate the sort of stuff they made.
Not to forget the OGs of the F1 gaming scene like Ben (Tiametmarduk), Aarava and more, I watched them for so long and wanted to be like them. I always thought if I was going to make content, it has to be something that I would watch myself and I watched them all the time.
There are too many to pick from, but mainly it’s the Sidemen and loads of the F1 gaming top names are the ones who made me want to get involved myself.
What are the games you play on both your channel as well as McLaren Shadow?
Well, the F1 game is the obvious one since it’s so good for interaction and multiplayer stuff, even though we sometimes collectively get frustrated by it, it’s still fun. On the McLaren Shadow side we like branching out to other games.
We did Euro Truck Simulator 2 which motorsport fans for some reason seem to gravitiate towards, but it’s just cool and funny to try. We’ve also gone onto FIFA, Rocket League and Roblox.
Plus I’m starting to get into the higher level sim racing titles like Assetto Corsa, and I tried iRacing for a little bit along with every other motorsport game under the sun.
But I’m just happy to go on every genre of game that brings a community in, so if it’s there and the community want to play it then I’ll be like “Yeah, we’ll give that a go.”
How did the contact come about with McLaren Shadow?
It started off in October, the first contact I had with them. I had just finished a stream, checked my Twitter DM’s and I saw one from the McLaren Shadow Twitter account, which I didn’t realise was the actual McLaren Shadow and just thought it was a troll. I genuinely just thought “That’s not for me”, but I read it.
They asked me to be a part of this charity stream for Mind and they had a load of people planned to be in it. Lando was going to be there, Max Fewtrell, Tiametmarduk, Jimmy Broadbent, F1elly, Emily Jones, Niran FNG and even Ian Wright!
So a lot of established stars, and they said they were looking for an up and coming person to join them, and it was literally going to be the day after so they asked if I could join. I said “Of course! I’m not going to say no to that.” and I then told my boss I wasn’t going to be able to go into work the next day haha.
It was a big rush to get in but once I was there, it was probably one of the most fun things ever to race alongside them all and laughing in a call together. It went well and I assumed it was a one-off, didn’t think I’d hear from them again but about a month after the stream, I hopped in a call with them to chat about future opportunities. They then said they were looking to make a content team, would I like to join and be a part of McLaren Shadow? Well, yes!
I have no real understanding how or why I was spotted and signed but they were singing praises with the content I was making and how I interacted with the community. It’s a great partnership and I feel very much at home with them right now.
What are some of your most memorable moments so far in your career?
Well, the charity stream for Mind is a given. It was so outrageously surreal since it happened at such short notice and I had no time to mentally prepare and getting chucked into a call with all those people, felt like a real impostor with everyone else being so well known and huge, then I was there. They were all very welcoming though which was great.
Another big moment for me was actually going down to McLaren Technology Centre to film with Ben and the Live Fast boys. I’ve been part of McLaren Shadow for a little bit, streaming on their channel a few times so the nerves had gone by that point and felt at home with them, but when you go down to that building and see the McLaren logo outside, you can’t help but just have a massive beaming smile on your face and think “How in the world am I stood here?!”.
I never had enough time to take it all in. It was surreal because when I was younger, I intended to go through education to get into engineering, and my dad and I would say we would move to near McLaren if I got to work there. I never ended up taking that route, it wasn’t working out but it’s come full circle! To be streaming and making content which has resulted in me working for them anyway so going to the MTC has cemented it, feels real.
Why do you personally believe esports teams are putting an equal amount of emphasis on content creation and streaming alongside competitive esports?
That’s a great question! Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of esports in general and I love following it. What I have seen to start coming around in a lot of more contemporary esports like Call of Duty, there’s a load of teams who you may want to follow thinking “Okay I like this team, it’s cool”. You enjoy what they do but when they have a set of content creators who create videos outside of the main games they focus on, and do things that people who are following them could do and relate to, it’s way easier to connect with them straight away.
There are teams like 100 Thieves who have a load of content creators who stream and thus fans are able to connect and engage with them loads more. Then the fans want to get behind what they do. When they start to make esports teams for more competitive stuff, you feel more a part of them and root for them. I think the teams themselves realise that it’s just as important to have the fanbase aspect from content creators as well as just having the best players in the business.
I’ve been seeing a lot of new teams starting to do this and I really like it, broadens the interest in it as everyone is wanting to know who this team is and what they do. From that point onwards, both sides benefit as the team becomes more well known, the fans are building up and take an interest and as a result, the esports side thrives because more people tune in and subsequently want to get involved themselves. It’s a win win for both sides, it was only a matter of time before most teams went down that route and if they haven’t already, they most likely will.
It’s certainly very interesting to see McLaren investing in someone who isn’t hugely well known but who clearly enjoys what he does and fosters a strong community. With more and more esports teams putting so much of their resources into content creators and streamers, expect to see more teams signing relatively unknowns who will become big names in the future.
Will you be following Nange’s career? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!