25-year old sales manager, Rudy van Buren from Lelystad, Netherlands has climbed his way up by beating over 30,000 competitors for the title; World’s Fastest Gamer, an e-sports initiative started by the McLarens Formula 1 team to find the best virtual racing driving on the planet.
When it came down to the final two, van Buren beat his countrymen Freek Schothorst, a 20-year-old science, business and innovation student in a four-hour long assessment using the state-of-the-art Formula 1 simulator designed by the McLaren company.
Van Buren now holds one of the greatest jobs in e-sports by becoming one of the F1 team’s official simulator drivers for the upcoming season in 2018.
Van Buren background
Rudy van Buren started career in racing karts at the age of eight which lead him to winning the Dutch Karting Championship in 2003. Because of the lack of funding for his passion, he had to give up karting when he turned 16.
“You search for a replacement because you’ve still got that racing feeling inside you. You want to go on but there’s no option or route available. That burn inside to win, doing a lap quicker and quicker, lap after lap, it’s a feeling that you can’t express. Every boy that starts karting dreams about F1, and at a certain point that dream just vanishes. Now by winning World’s Fastest Gamer, I can relive that dream.” – When asked about quitting racing.
The World’s Fastest Gaming Competition
The competition was started the McLarens F1 team in order to find the best of the best in virtual racing. With the super-fast pace driving capabilities of the virtual vehicles, the team needed a person with the speed and agility to match those of the best drivers in the world as well as having the engineering and refining abilities of F1 cars for McLaren’s race drivers, double world champion Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
The contents were put through numerous games on various platforms to test their skills and experience. The competition began in May 2017 and was eventually whittled down to 12 grand finalists who received invitations to McLaren’s headquarters to show-off their skills by going head-to-head during the last week of the testing.
The rigorous tests involved racing around some of the famous racetracks such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Japan’s Suzuka Circuit, Brazilian Grand Prix venue, Interlagos, and the world renown 24-hour race, Le Mans.
Extreme Test of Endurance
After going through the extremes of the tests while trying to out-do every other contestant, two finalists showed, Schothorst and van Buren. The finalists were put to the ultimate test of being extensively evaluated while using McLaren’s hyper-accurate racing simulator, the same kit where F1 drivers use to develop and change their cars ahead of different grand prix.
Van Buren now has the title of the World’s Fastest Gamer as well as in partnerships with global sports and technology brand McLaren and the founder of virtual motorsport’s GT Academy, in collaboration with founding partner Logitech G, sports media platform GiveMeSport, and e-sports racing innovator Sparco.
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