The rise to prominence of esports racing over the years has attracted not only teams from the world of real life racing, but also those from the esports side. Here are some esports biggest organisations in sim racing.
Photo credit: @G2simracing
Sim racing stands out from the various other esports disciplines. It is a simulation of a real sport and therefore commonly involves parties who are also active in its traditional counterparts. It makes sense that brands like Ferrari or McLaren want to invest in sim racing, as it is the perfect platform to scout upcoming real racing talent and another opportunity to expand their racing pedigree.
Nevertheless, there are also more and more organisations who have their roots in other esports titles that are expanding their attentions to virtual motorsport. Here are some of the biggest teams in competitive gaming that ventured into the fastest esports discipline there is.
Spanish-originated gaming organisation G2 Esports is perhaps the most prominent team in sim racing that is known primarily for other types of esports. You can find G2 competing in the likes of League of Legends, Valorant, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite and Rocket League. They’ve dominated the European LoL scene for many years, and placed second and third in the 2019 and 2020 LoL World Finals.
When it comes to sim racing, G2 is involved across many sims with drivers such as Nils Naujoks, Arthur Kammerer, Gregor Schill and Dennis Lind. Not only are they involved in their own sim racing efforts as a partner team with BMW, but also they run and operate the esports divisions of Red Bull’s two F1 teams, Red Bull Racing Esports and Scuderia Alphatauri Esports Team.
Infact after partnering up with Red Bull heading into 2019, they have won both of the F1 Esports Series team’s titles they’ve competed in, also claiming victory in the 2020 Porsche Esports Supercup with Sebastian Job and the 2020 Le Mans Esports Series as well. What’s more, they partnered with none other than Fernando Alonso to launch FA Racing G2 all the way back in 2017, though that project is no longer in operation.
The North American 7-time League of Legends champions are giants in the mainstream esports world, with teams and players involved in a huge number of different esports titles. Aside from the traditional titles you’ve come to expect from many of these teams, their areas of expertise also include Warcraft, Magic: The Gathering Arena, Hearthstone and chess. Yes, you heard that right, chess esports! Isn’t that amazing?
They have pro esports racer Nick Ottinger flying the flag for them in the eNASCAR iRacing Series where you will also be able to find prominent esports racing outfits like McLaren Shadow and Williams Esports. Ottinger won the 2020 championship for William Byron eSports, the esports team of the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion who partnered up with TSM at the start of 2021.
Mostly known for their successes across Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Rocket League, the French outfit Vitality got involved in the esports racing scene when they partnered up with Renault Sport in 2018, being called Renault Vitality. They operated the F1 team’s esports division, which oversaw reigning F1 Esports champion Jarno Opmeer’s transition from Renault F1 academy real world driver to racing for them in F1 Esports.
Vitality’s involvement with Renault ran from 2018 to 2020 when Renault rebranded as Alpine and partnered up with Race Clutch. Nevertheless, it was very interesting to see the logo of one of Europe’s most accomplished esports outfits on the side of a real life Formula One car!
Not to be confused with the German organisation of the same name that so happens to also compete on FIFA, this Wolves Esports is the gaming division of the real life football team Wolverhampton Wanderers. They compete on FIFA (no surprise there), Call of Duty, Arena of Valor in China as well as a couple of other Chinese-based titles. Perhaps their most prominent presence in the world of esports for both a mainstream and racing side comes from their involvement in Rocket League.
BBut their proper venture into racing after partnering with Gulf Racing has been a welcome addition! They first got into the scene with Grand Prix Virtual World Championship winners Adam Maguire and Liam de Waal when they joined the first season of rFactor 2 Formula Pro.
They’ve since added to that by competing in the Le Mans Virtual Series and having other notable drivers like Ben Barker, Turkka Hakkinen and Bart Horsten. You’ll be able to find them racing in a room overviewing Molineux Stadium, which has got to be an incredible sight for any football and sim racing fan, even those who aren’t Wolves supporters. Maybe more football teams will get into esports and, subsequently, esports racing.
Danish-founded Singularity have been in pretty much every form of esports you can think of. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, FIFA, Free Fire, Quake, Call of Duty/Warzone, Overwatch, H1Z1, Heroes of the Storm, Clash Royale, Rogue Company, Tekken 7, Brawlhalla, you name it, Singularity have dabbled in it!
When it comes to esports racing however, their involvement beyond 2020 seems nonexistent. They had plenty of drivers who raced for them in the likes of the rFactor 2 GT Pro Series, Virtual Endurance Championship, The Race All-Star Series. Their biggest successes came in the rFactor 24 hours of Le Mans in 2019 when they won, and their driver Yuri Kasdorp emerged as champion in one of the seasons of the All-Star Series. However, just like Kasdorp who jumped ship to Red Bull Racing Esports Team, many of their other drivers have done the same.
Jordy Zwiers and Kasper Stoltze are now Jean Alesi Esports Academy drivers and have even represented FDA Esports Team in the Le Mans Virtual Series. Dennis Lind as we mentioned earlier is with G2, Alen Terzic is another as he’s gone to BS+COMPETITION, and many more. So it would seem there’s no longer any esports racing plans for Singularity.
Unicorns of Love
The German team with this wonderful name are known primarily for League of Legends but also compete in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Clash of Clans, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile, even ESailing! Their biggest achievements came when they won a couple of LCL splits, being the top tier League of Legends division in the CIS, over the last few years and gained entry to the world championships as a result. They also have an academy team known as Unicorns of Love Sexy Edition, whoever came up with that name is a legend in our books!
When it comes to esports racing, Unicorns of Love mainly compete on Assetto Corsa Competizione in the likes of the SimGrid World Cup by VCO, and the SRO GT World Challenge Europe Esports Championship. In the Nürburgring SRO sprint round, their drivers Bastian Richter and Tobias Gronewald locked out the front row, and in the SimGrid World Cup 24 hour race on the same track, the pair along with Jura Petritchenko and Jan-Marcel Dietrich won the final round of the season.
Unicorns of Love are steadily improving their results in esports racing and are very much a welcome addition to the scene. They’re potentially going to get more involved with racing on the likes of iRacing and rFactor 2 next year.
Canadian-based Lazarus have players who compete on a vast array of games. Apex Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, the NHL games, Crossfire, Super Smash Bros, and even the likes of the Pokémon core series games, and Pokkén Tournament. Perhaps their biggest success is placing 2nd in the Fortnite World Cup in 2019 with their players Dave ‘Rojo’ Jong and Jaden ‘Wolfiez’ Ashman.
Their first venture into esports racing came at the start of that year, when they acquired pre-existing leading Forza team F4H Motorsport, along with also signing a couple of Gran Turismo players. Undoubtedly, the biggest successes in esports racing for Lazarus were a pair of second places in both the ForzaRC Invitational Series finals in 2019 and the Le Mans Esports Super Final in 2020.
With the discontinuing of Forza esports, their involvement in the esports racing scene seems to have lessened. They also used to have Dennis ‘Scrapie’ Heinen competing for them in the TrackMania Grand League, so who knows if their presence in esports racing will be brought back to the way it was.
Best of both worlds
Esports Racing is still very much in its infancy but there are two games that may not necessarily be esports racing as we know it, but they nevertheless include driving cars as the game’s core mechanic, and one of them still races those cars against one another. These games, TrackMania and Rocket League, have both acted as a perfect bridge between the two contrasting sides of the esports world.
Several of the teams on our list participate in Rocket League, such as G2, Singularity, Wolves and Vitality, whilst Lazarus have competed in TrackMania. However, both championships also include some teams more prominently involved in racing, like Veloce Esports who formerly competed in Rocket League and who currently compete in TrackMania with 2018 Grand League champion Martin ‘Kappa’ Krompolc representing McLaren Shadow.
Similarly, esports racing organisation BS+COMPETITION also take part in both championships, and real world F1 team Williams made headlines earlier this year when they partnered up with gaming organisation Resolve to enter the RLCS.
Clean, calculated, perfected. Somehow it went in 🤷— Resolve (@RSVGG) November 24, 2021
Of course we go to Game 5 where we take the win🆚Freakii and advance to the Monaco Gaming Festival Qualifier #3 final! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/P7gCj8dsTV
On the more traditional side of esports, Natus Vincere, one of the most successful Counter-Strike and Dota teams in history, are now participating in the RLCS. Speaking of Dota, two of the biggest names in that game, Alliance and Team Secret, have fielded players in the TrackMania Grand League, as have CS:GO teams BIG and Alternate Attax.
Ultimately, having big names from the esports side is just as important as big names from the racing side. It legitimises the scene, proving that the world of esports racing is very much here to stay.
What other organisation would you like to join the world of esports racing? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg or in the comments down below!