|Rudy Van Buren|
The World Fastest Gamer competition, which began in May 2017, saw gamers from around the world compete for a coveted position in this month’s gruelling finals. After numerous heats across a variety of different games and platforms, 12 grand finalists were invited to McLaren’s Woking headquarters to go head-to-head in one last week of testing.
Finals Week included rigorous tests around some of the racetracks where McLaren has enjoyed its most legendary days of competition, including the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500; Japan’s Suzuka Circuit; Brazilian Grand Prix venue, Interlagos; and the world’s most famous 24-hour race, Le Mans, where finalists were tested over a full day-long race distance.
After the 12 contestants were whittled down from six to three, and then finally two, van Buren went up against Schothorst in the ultimate test – an extensive evaluation behind the wheel of McLaren’s hyper-accurate racing simulator, the exact same kit that’s used by the actual F1 drivers to develop their cars ahead of each grand prix.
|They put the gamers through all sorts of tests|
To triumph, van Buren not only needed to demonstrate the speed and agility required by all top racing drivers, but also the engineering know-how and mental and physical ability required to develop, refine and engineer an F1 car for the team’s two race drivers, double world champion Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
World’s Fastest Gamer is a partnership between global sports and technology brand McLaren and the founder of virtual motorsport’s GT Academy, Darren Cox, in collaboration with founding partner Logitech G, a global leader in gaming gear, and two further partners – sports media platform GiveMeSport and esport racing innovator Sparco.
Alex Igelman, CEO, Millennial Esports:
“Watching the story of World’s Fastest Gamer unfold over the last two weeks has been enthralling. This is the first step of Millennial Esports creating top quality content around esports properties.
"Once again Millennial Esports are leading the charge in esports and I congratulate the team at McLaren and our people at IDEAS+CARS for pushing the boundaries in the motorsport world."
Darren Cox: Founder of IDEAS+CARS and CMO Millennial Esports:
“Rudy is a worthy winner and his story of being lost to racing, then rediscovering his passion though gaming and having his talent recognised by an F1 team is almost a fairytale.
“World’s Fastest Gamer has established itself as the new reference for esports racing, and McLaren has grabbed a huge first-mover advantage amongst the F1 teams.
“The hidden story though is the impact that this process will have on the lives of all the participants. I can’t wait for season two, which will be even more fiercely contested now that everyone knows how seriously McLaren are taking this."
Jae Chaflin, Founder, GiveMeSport:
“We are so proud to be part of World's Fastest Gamer. The partnership has been really exciting to work on and allowed us to be innovative in new ways. We wish Rudy all the best in his new role."
Ben Payne, Director of esports at McLaren:
“World’s Fastest Gamer has been an outstanding success for McLaren, and stands as a real demonstration of just how powerful and pervasive esports has become. With more than 10 million people viewing the competition, we’ve demonstrated the real value of esports within F1.
“The competition has inspired everyone at McLaren to work even harder next year to ensure that this competition becomes bigger and better. We are already working to consolidate and improve World’s Fastest Gamer’s position as the pre-eminent virtual racing competition in the world."
Ujesh Desai, VP and General Manager of Logitech Gaming:
"Congrats to all the talented contestants who participated in World’s Fastest Gamer, and especially Rudy. Rudy’s skills as the best virtual racer in the world will be invaluable in helping Logitech G improve our next generation racing wheels. We look forward to working with him."
Claudio Pastoris, CEO of Sparco :
“This outstanding initiative has given the racing world a unique insight into the sim world. As a worldwide leader in safety and racing equipment, Sparco is committed to working with pro gamers to help them maximise their ergonomic performance and compete at the optimum level. I would like to thank McLaren for this amazing experience and I looking forward to the next chapter together."