NASCAR Enters Esports Scene with RTA & iRacing
February 7, 2018
NASCAR announced its intention to enter the esports industry by working with RTA and iRacing. RTA is responsible for organizing the teams who will compete in the NASCAR esports events. iRacing, on the other hand, is the racing simulation game which the competition will use.
NASCAR fans and racing esports enthusiasts are sure to have a blast in the upcoming NASCAR esports events. Bitcoin sportsbooks like Bet365 and William Hill may offer odds for these digital racing competitions if the esport garners enough popularity.
Build the NASCAR Esports League
NASCAR’s digital racing event has organizations that will draft skilled players. These players will race for a money prize pot in online tournaments that will be streamed online via popular venues that may include NASCAR.com and Motorsport.com.
Management behind the venture has a business plan to commit a six-figure salary to each esports team for the first tournament. These charter teams will be under the Race Team Alliance (RTA) and there will be a total of 30 chartered teams. Each team’s car will get a franchise. Rob Kauffman, chairman of the RTA and co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, will lead the efforts to build the esports league.
The digital race will run on the iRacing motorsports simulation. This is a subscription-based game that runs various motorsports like IndyCar and V-8 Supercar. NASCAR cars in the esports event will have the same paint schemes as its counterpart in the real world. This can provide value to the motorsport’s sponsors.
The esports venture is not likely to launch along with Daytona 500. The start of the Daytona 500 season is Feb. 18 while NASCAR esports may launch sometime early this year.
iRacing Advantage as an Esports Platform
Among the many NASCAR game choices available, the brand chose to partner with iRacing. iRacing was picked due to its simulation gameplay that appeals hard-core racing game players. Its real environment simulation is the closest as one can get to a stock car race.
Blake Davidson, vice president of Licensing of NASCAR, said:
“Esports is somewhat a misnomer. With iRacing, one gets the real experience first hand of the sport.”
Otto Szebeni, director of sales and marketing of iRacing, said:
“iRacing was designed to be the ultimate esports platform. The business model was to create the most precise model for the public with millimeter accuracy.”
iRacing was built from the ground up with esports in mind. The software simulates real-world team racing aspects. These team racing functions include driver swaps, a private radio, and multi-team roles like a pit crew.
Another esports feature of iRacing is its ranking system. A player is matched in a competition based on his rank. RTA will likely base their drafting method on the game’s rank system.