McLaren has announced that its esports initiative, Shadow Project, will return for a second season.
The aim of the project is to find the best sim racer across a number of titles and platforms and to ultimately recruit them to McLaren’s ranks.
Starting in July, prospective sim racers will be able to enter qualifiers for the Shadow Project through Real Racing 3, rFactor 2, and Forza Motorsport 7 on mobile, PC, and console respectively.
Ben Payne, Head of Esports at McLaren shared his thoughts on the news in a release: “We’ve said before that the transference of skills between virtual and real racing are both direct and profound. Seeing both Igor and Enzo [Bonito – another member of the McLaren Shadow team] racing single seaters is incredibly exciting, and we couldn’t be more excited to launch the second season of the McLaren Shadow Project.
“Following the success of last year’s competition, we’ve been working hard off-season with our best-in class technology and gaming partners including Logitech G, Alienware and Sparco to deliver a format and prize that excites and engages gamers and fans around the world. We are looking forward to the qualifiers kicking-off soon and seeing who we get through the qualifiers to join us at finals in December.”
Shadow Project will return to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, United Kingdom, in December for the grand finals – replicating the final process that was utilised in the first season.
Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Racing also commented: “At McLaren we’re proud to be at the forefront of esports, and McLaren Shadow Project season 1 exceeded all expectations. Our experience across the McLaren Group puts us in a unique position to be able to deliver a competition of this calibre and one that truly shadows McLaren’s real-world racing programme. It connected us with new audiences, partners and generated a huge amount of excitement internally. I’m looking forward to seeing how this year’s talent shapes up.”
Esports Insider attended the McLaren Shadow Project finals for its inaugural season in January and interviewed Ben Payne once it had all wrapped up.
Esports Insider says: We think McLaren did a good job with the execution of the Shadow Project in its first season, this time round though we anticipate efforts being made to make it for visible for racing fans. We’re looking forward to seeing how that’s undertaken.