Driving Ahead – Racing Esports in the UK

Driving games are pretty popular in the UK – large racing brands like McLaren, Williams and more are heavily invested in racing esports, even. In fact, they’re quite actively involved in the esports, much more so than in some other regions. Not a surprise – the UK is also very fond of its real-life car races.

There are plenty of sites and locations in the country… and a new esports facility just joined the real racing tracks. McLaren just unveiled an esports facility in the UK – specifically, the McLaren Shadow Studio.

A new location

As the name suggests, it’s a branded esports space that will give esports teams and ambassadors the option to race, train, play and otherwise produce content on location. The new facility can be found in Woking, in the UK – and it’s filled with stuff from some impressive sponsors! Alienware, Logitech G, Tezos and more have provided equipment to the site.

As for the actual gaming machines there – Aurora R10 PCs, Alienware screens, and  of course full racing setups. This facility isn’t directly open to the public the way some other esports facilities are – it’s primarily meant to be used by their own players and content creators. Nevertheless, they released some exclusive pictures of the new space, and it definitely lives up to the McLaren reputation.

Driving Games in UK

This is a big step – as recently as 2017, McLaren had only just formally touched esports, and a short five years later, they have their own dedicated facility. Last month, they also expanded their partnership with data provider Splunk to include their esports team. The McLaren Shadow esports team will have the Splunk logo on their kit now – along with a few other labels, of course. McLaren aren’t the only ones who invested in esports either – other racing brands like Williams are equally active in the space.

Williams race ahead

The Williams board just approved an investment proposal worth millions of pounds. The end result includes an expectation to double their dedicated esports staff year-on-year. To put things a little into perspective, Williams only has five full-time esports employees at the moment, however doubling that number is still an impressive achievement. It’s no small goal – and it’s happening just three years after Williams entered the world of sim racing. Recently, they cooperated with the UK org Resolve, to enter Rocket League as an esport.

“Sim racing was a good place to start and we’re expanding beyond it,” Steven English, the head of Williams Racing, said. “The fact that Rocket League has done a deal with Formula One and the teams like Williams have livery in it, that’s helped us take a step forward there. And in the future we’ll be looking at titles beyond the sectors we began in, and that will only bring more growth, areas of specialisation and careers in the future. So, three years in [to our esports journey], we’re still snowballing out of control as an esports business.”

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