Online gaming is a force to be reckoned with. In 2018, the gaming industry alone brought in $139 billion in revenue—more than the film industry, music streaming services, NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL…combined. Major sports leagues have reason to shake in their boots, but there’s one sport that is joining forces with the gaming world to great result—racing.
On this episode of Recalibrate, a Samsung podcast, we dove into the world of E-sports and online simulated racing with Sean Ambrose— commentator for The Global SimRacing Channel, a YouTube broadcaster for the online SimRacing platform iRacing, as well as Denis McInerny, MarketScale creative producer. Simulated car races have been around since the ’90s, but with recent improvements in streaming software and high-speed connections, real-time racing has (pun-intended) taken off.
Ambrose described iRacing as “full immersion, simulated motorsports.” This means it reflects the likes of Nascar, Formula 1, and other high-profile global races. With a simple $200 at-home wheel-and-pedal setup and a modern computer, anyone can join in these high-intensity, high-profile races.
The Global Sim Racing Channel (GSRC), broadcasts the races and plans the events from the ground up. From scheduling commentators, writing scripts, preparing graphics, and composing scoring, GSRC handles the step-by-step process to getting a simulated race to viewers and racers around the world.
iRacing is for everyone, “Anywhere from 8 years old up to 68 years old,” Ambrose said. And the bridge between real-world racing and simulated racing is slimmer than you might think. Famous and successful racing drivers like Dale Earnheart Jr frequent iRacing. Competitors that meet on the platform often form in-person racing partnerships off-screen.
Ambrose predicted “E-sports being a 2.5 billion market in 2023,” giving reason to believe that the race to democratize high-speed streaming simulated sports has just begun.
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