The 24 Hours of Le Mans is, without a doubt, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of motorsports.. Close to fulfilling its first century of existence (the first edition was held in 1923), it tests, more than any other, the endurance of pilots and cars (a plethora of very distinctive looking prototypes). A challenge that, as its name suggests, forces vehicles to make the most of those 24 hours to travel as far as they can. The winner, of course, is the one who has covered the most kilometers after the deadline and crossing the finish line.
Traditionally, the race has always been held in June but, of course, this year 2020 few things can be done in the traditional way as a consequence of the coronavirus. The Le Mans organization, judiciously, announced as early as March that the 2020 edition would be delayed a few months until September 19. However, today we have learned that, finally, the competition will not miss its classic meeting in June, since your organization has reported that a virtual edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans will be held on June 13.
The virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans will put professional drivers and sports stars in a 24-hour endurance race with the rFactor 2 PC game, a title available on Steam, with very positive reviews by the community, and which for 40.98 euros (29.99 euros for the game plus 10.99 euros for the circuit of this competition), will become the alternative the Circuit de la Sarthe, which this year will have to wait until September.
As in the real race, these 24 hours of virtual Le Mans will measure the endurance of the drivers, forcing each of the participants to remain behind the wheel for no less than four hours and a maximum of seven. For this purpose, teams will be formed that, according to Gérard Neveu, the head of the FiA WEC, will bring together automakers, competition teams, professional drivers And, on this occasion, of course, the doors to esports professionals who have been competing on virtual circuits for years.
In addition, as with the traditional race, this virtual edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans will be broadcast. It is not yet known, however, if the organization will sell the broadcasting rights to television networks around the world or, on the contrary, as it is an event of this type, it will choose to use some online platform, such as Twitch, Youtube or Facebook Gaming to send the signal, openly, to everyone.
One of the few positive consequences that the pandemic is having is that, due to the cancellation of all “traditional” sporting events, esports have gained prominence that they had been claiming for years and that, finally, they seem to have. The professionalization they have undergone for years, together with the fact that professionals from the offline versions of certain sports disciplines have joined their virtual variants, are giving an important boost to online sports. And these 24 hours of Le Mans are another step in that direction.
Personally, and as a regular consumer of Twitch, I admit that I find it phenomenal, although I can also understand those who claim that they have a lot of virtual, but much less sport. What is your opinion? Will you see the virtual 24 hours of Le Mans? Do you consume esports regularly? Do you think they will continue to enjoy such popularity when, finally, we return to normalcy in our lives? Do you practice any kind of esport?
Image: Nic Redhead