Video games are getting much realistic as a guy pro in video games beat a former Formula 1 driver on a real track. This victory happened this weekend. Virtual racing can hence teach one how to race in the real world as well. This guy beat the former Formula 1 driver without having decades of real-world racing practice.
The 23 years old, Enzo Bonito, beat Lucas di Grassi who was a Formula E and ex-Formula 1 driver on a winding race track on January 19 in Mexico. This victory left the commentators speechless. As it is known, Bonito gained his experience in esports which the incipient world of the competitors who play video games for prizes. Esports are now becoming so popular that the prizes recently topped out at $100 million for a Fortnite tournament last year.
For years, I've been arguing that the top sim racers are really good drivers, and would kick ass given the proper training. Now we are seeing more and more get the chance to prove it. I couldn't be more proud of @EnzoBonito17. The future is bright @iRacing.
— Ray Alfalla (@rayalfalla) January 20, 2019
Since 1988, the Race of Champions has been playing off the best drivers from all the kind of motorsport fields against each other. This year, it took place in Mexico. The competition allowed people who play video games regarding racing i.e. virtual racers to participate as well in 2018.
“Virtual motorsports” or “sim-racing” imitate car racing down to the fine details like exact suspension design, tire wear, and handling of the real-world racing cars unlike the first-person shooters or real-time strategy games. Also, sim-racing pros use physical steering wheels and pedals.
When it comes to real-world racers, they usually go through years of training and work their way through different championships. Simulators now are so good that they can turn an esports pro gamer into real-life champion just like Bonito. One can say that the skills picked up in virtual racing are transferable and applicable inside the real-world cars.
— Formula 1 (@F1) January 20, 2019
This phenomenon is not one-directional only as the real-world racing professionals are now competing in the virtual racing platforms. Sim-racing has now made major tread in recent years. The first professional esports race team was launched in 2016 and is now a part of a much bigger network of racing leagues and competitions.
The shock was still there as nobody was expecting and esports pro to come this far beating the real world racing pros. Bonito also beat three-time Indy 500 winner, which is one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world, Ryan Hunter-Reay the next day.