As traditional sports become FULLY aware of the magnitude of esports they have begun to integrate esports elements into their marketing strategy. Hey, that's a good start, but let's be honest, this is in most cases a desperate move to "stop the bleeding" of losing a large segment of a fan base and of course the entire, future fan base itself... young people.

There is a video game version of every major sport in the world and most of these are made with the mission to be as, "true to life" as possible. That's cool, but what if it's backwards.

If traditional sports really want to stop their slide and ensure their longevity, perhaps they need to look at integrating esports elements into the SPORT itself, and not just into the marketing. The best and most popular esports are; accessible, fast paced, require a ton of skill, require a ton of strategy and are over quickly. In a word, they are... EXCITING. How can traditional sports grab onto that ideal and incorporate those elements into their own game, without becoming a fundamentally different game altogether?

Let's look at Formula One as a candidate for change. First let's analyze how it measures up to the eSports success criteria;

1. Accessibility - Nope, and never. F1 can certainly become more accessible to the fans and through eSports, but the sport itself is about as hard to break into as any on the planet and it's ok. It adds to the mystique that is Formula One.

2. Fast Paced - This should be a slam dunk, it's Formula freaking One for crying out loud, but frankly... it's far from it. How can cars that are this fast have such a hard time passing each other? At least the broadcasts do a good job showcasing the raw speed that is F1... oh wait, no they don't.

3. Skill - F1 regularly claims to have the best drivers in the world, and I for one am willing to give it to them. It is a shame that the skill required is not made obvious to the casual viewer (ie. future hardcore fan).

4. Strategy - Which tires and when? 1 stop or 2? Undercut or overcut? This is all fun stuff and the broadcasts do a good job highlighting the strategic elements of the race. This is a winning element, but I think it can be so much more.

5. Over Quickly - Another winner, of all the major sports in the world, F1 races may be the shortest time commitment.

The areas of focus clearly need to be; increasing the "action" that is happening on track, better showcasing the skill required to drive an F1 car and slightly enhancing the strategic elements in the race.

Here are some solutions from the esports playbook.

1. Better cameras - put the viewer in the cockpit a lot more, in fact let us choose who we are watching and from what camera.

2. Driver showcase - I want to see them working the wheel, adjusting the inputs and I want to hear them them talking to the team and spotter. Not a snippet here and there, but all of it. Make me love the driver, make me hate the driver, either way... make me care.

3. Invert the grid - This is the most controversial suggestion for sure, and the one that will make most "racing purists" have an aneurysm, it is also the suggestion that is most needed. There are a couple ways to do it, but my preferred method would be to grid the field based on Championship points and then invert them. This way there is no "tanking" the qualifying to improve your grid position.

Admit it, you love to watch Daniel Ricciardo move through the field after a grid penalty puts him down in the order. If you play any racing game, you love to start at the back and see if you can work your way to the front even it's just against a bunch of AI.

IT IS EXCITING and as importantly it is still racing.

Imagine the strategic elements that get added to the race by simply inverting the grid. You think the start of the race is exciting now? Times ten thank you very much. You think the middle of the race is boring now? No more. From start to finish, we will all be on the edge of our seats, wondering what is going to happen.

Thank you esports!


In the future, people might just say that if you want to make a name for yourself in sim racing, the Majors Series is the best place to do it. Who knows... it could happen.

Here's what I do know... back in the day if you wanted to make a name for yourself in oval racing, the Copper World Classic was the place to do it. It was the southwest, short track version of Daytona Speed Weeks. Every year the Copper Classic was the kickoff event for the season and whether you raced; trucks, stock cars, sprint cars, midgets, modifieds or Silver Crown cars. This race could launch your season and in many cases your career. The Silver Crown race was the “crown jewel” of the Classic and as such has a star studded list of winners; Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jason Leffler, Ken Schrader, Mike Bliss and Kenny Irwin to name a few. Tony Stewart credits the Copper Classic as one the most important races in making his future career possible.

The race may not exist in the real world any longer, but its' spirit lives on through the Majors Series. So... who makes a name for themselves today, who announces their presence in the world of sim racing?

In the International Region, two 100% green heat races were not a good predictor as the Main Event saw 14 cautions fly and the drivers had to enter full on survival mode. Californian Mark Hertzog made the pass that mattered going around New Zealand's Robert Northway just moments before the final caution would come out, ending the race. The Alliance Evolution driver, maximized his lone guest drive of the season by taking the win and 250 points back to the Pacific Region. New Zealand's Chistopher Norton was able finish 4th and edge John King by two spots, or just enough to move into a tie atop the standings in International Pro. Kinetic Racing had a statement race overall and now own a commanding lead in the Constructors.

The European region would continue the theme started in International... clean heats followed by messy Mains. iRacing World Championship driver Jamie Fluke of Apex Racing UK was the dominant driver on raw pace, but one small mistake cost the Irish driver a chance at the win and threw the door wide open for what felt like a slew of Finnish drivers. In the end it was Teemu Toikka who was able to fend off countrymen Antti Pihlaja and Marko Penttinen for the victory. With the win the Team Buschfink Racing driver was also able to wrest the points lead away from fellow Finn, Tapani Linnaluoto. Spaniard, Fernando Antolí Busquets secured a top 5 and maintains 4th in the championship and Markus Niskanen had a way more eventful race than he would have liked, but is still clinging to third overall. No surprise that Inertia SimRacing were able to build on their lead and are now 200 points clear of nearest rival Torque Freak.

British driver Ashley Howell had the field covered in the early going of the Atlantic Region, but internet failure cost him a likely win. Mike Kelley who was bad fast all day as well, happily stepped into the void and took over dominating the field. Mike would lead most of the last 100 laps and cruised to victory, extending his points lead 89 over Carl Burk of Northwest. Robert Tarbox Jr of New York came home second and Josh Tanner completed the podium. J & S Motorsports lead by Kelley were able to power past vApex Racing Atlantic for the Team lead, three races into the season.

The Pacific region also saw a British driver take command of the race early on and in fact with tons of green flag running, it seemed conceivable that Kinetic Racing's, Christian Challiner might lap the majority of the field. However, a couple of timely cautions and some alternate pit strategies mixed up the field and it became clear that there would be a massive fight at the front and that fight would come in the form of Travis Warling. The Unorthodox Motorsports driver would lead 43 laps and it appeared that a good jump on the final restart of the night had sealed the win for him, but it was not to be as Challiner was able to recover and get past Ridin' Shotgun and fellow NASCAR Peak Antifreeze driver, Blake Reynolds on his way to tracking down and finally passing Warling.

It was a legendary battle among dozens of legendary battles as the race featured only 6 cautions and an innumerable amount of passing throughout the field. Steve Driscoll completed the podium and championship leader Blake Reynolds came home fourth. Alliance Racing's top driver was Lionel Calisto, but they were able to maintain the lead in the Contructors race over junior team Alliance Evolution. Ridin' Shotgun holds down third but there are a slew of hungry teams ready to jump into the coveted top 3 spots.

At the end of the day, a number of drivers have made names for themselves and many of these are "new" names. The new guard, might just be here to challenge the old.

Next stop, Circuit of the America's on April 8th.