Local simulation racing league seeks racers
The Legion of Racers (LOR), Singapore's first simulation racing league that combines both motorsport and the gaming world, is on the lookout for aspiring racers.
At a media conference yesterday, it announced its search for e-sports racing enthusiasts from next month till September through school outreach and online tournaments.
Then, the podium finishers of Gamestart 2019, an annual gaming convention, will be given training and part-time contracts with the LOR.
The league has already signed three youngsters on year-long deals after last November's tournament. They are Jaden Low, Jason Tay and Ar Muhammad Aleef.
The trio are given training in sim-racing - where they are supplied with equipment such as steering wheels and paddles - and kart-racing, which is done at a circuit in Kranji once a month.
In September, one of them will get his first taste of car-racing in a Porsche in Sepang, Malaysia.
The league was founded by professional racers Lim Keong Wee, 38, and Melvin Moh, 30.
Moh, who took part in his first karting competition as a 14-year-old, said: "We hope to get the public more interested in sim-racing. Reaching out to schools is one of our priorities for that. But also, we want to show that there is a chance to do more than just sim-racing."
Lim added: "We felt that there was a need to make racing more accessible to the general public. We found e-sports as the opportunity, as it is engaging to the youths and has a much lower price point."
The youngest of the lot, Aleef, 20,is the most experienced. The fan of Lewis Hamilton had his first taste of sim-racing at a Formula One roadshow in 2008 and started competing two years later.
He said: "I grew up watching F1 and have always wanted to be a real racing driver. To train myself in the virtual world is the next best alternative."
FUN TO WATCH
Low, 23, a National University of Singapore undergraduate in environmental studies, believes sim-racing can be fun to watch, just like karting.
He said: "You see a lot of action, with the hands and feet moving along the car.
"There's a personal engagement from the audience's perspective."
Sim-racing may not be among the e-sports for this year's South-east Asia Games in the Philippines, but the trio hope that will change in future.
Tay, 23, an accountancy student at Singapore Management University, wants to debunk the perception that e-sport is not a sport.
He said: "If you want to prove anything about e-sports, sim-racing can be the one to do it." - ADEENA NAGIB