SingaporeThe McLaren Shadow Project returns with ‘Race to Singapore’ as its first Asia-Pacific live qualifying event for regional gamers to win coveted spots at F1 2019.

Gamers on their marks for McLaren’s e-sports race

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Singapore will host the British Motor Racing Team’s Asia-Pacific qualifiers for its popular e-racing competition: McLaren Shadow Project, live on 19 September 2019.

Throughout August, casual gamers and e-sports enthusiasts from the world over are invited to race online to clinch a coveted spot at the ‘Race to Singapore’ live qualifiers. The top eight contestants will then be flown to Singapore to compete at F1 2019: the official videogame of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced their new partnership for the McLaren Shadow Project – in search of the brightest and best racing talent in e-sports. ‘Race to Singapore’ will see the nation play host to the Asia-Pacific leg of the live qualifying event, happening on 19 September 2019.

Throughout August, casual gamers and e-sports enthusiasts from the world over are invited to race online to clinch a coveted spot at the ‘Race to Singapore’ live qualifiers. The top eight contestants will then be flown to Singapore to compete at F1 2019: the official videogame of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The competition highlight: e-driving not only in the same McLaren MCL34 that drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz will use at the Singapore Grand Prix that same opening weekend on 20 September, but also racing-off live against Norris, a passionate gamer himself.

The winner of ‘Race to Singapore’ will then face off other qualifier rounds’ winners in December’s grand finals at McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK.

“In 2018, the competition [saw] a strong proportion of talent coming from this region including Xiang Gao from China and Kazuki Cho from Japan who beat off some tough global competition to join us in the last stages of the competition,” said Ben Payne, head of e-sports at McLaren.

“The [STB] gives us a unique opportunity to engage with online gamers across the Asia Pacific market…we look forward to uncovering talent that will join our finals through this key qualifier series.”

The final winner of the Shadow Project will not only earn a coveted spot on the McLaren Shadow e-sports team, but also receive a suite of custom sim-racing prizes, plus access to the McLaren DNA driver development programme – sitting through the same physical tests required of a Formula One driver.

McLaren’s inaugural Shadow Project saw more than half a million entrants worldwide signing up. The winner, Brazilian Igor Fraga is now racing in the new European F3 Regional Championship.

Jean Ng, executive director, sports, STB shared that “adding an e-sports dimension to the Grand Prix Singapore Season line-up will broaden the race’s appeal to visitors and locals who enjoy both gaming and motorsports”.

Add to that Southeast Asia’s position with the fastest growing e-sports audience globally, Ng also hopes that “the virtual race will attract the attention of younger, millennial visitors,” especially since Singapore has a compelling list of entertainment events coming up, including Singapore Comic Con, and gamescom Asia making its Asian debut in October 2020.


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