Esports Racer Beats Two Racing Champions in Real-World Races

Enzo Bonito proves that sim skills can transfer to real vehicles.

Esports Racer Beats Two Racing Champions in Real-World Races

Esports Racer Beats Two Racing Champions in Real-World Races

Can skills gains though video games translate to real-world situations? While in most cases the answer is no, the world of racing seems to be a notable exception, with esports racing champions transitioning over to real-world vehicles with great success. 

Last week, 23-year-old Enzo Bonito showcased his racing prowess at the Foro Sol Stadium, challenging top tier racers at the "Race of Champions" (ROC) event, which pits top-tier drivers from all motorsport disciplines in head-to-head matches. Starting in 2018, the event began to allow esports racers to enter the competition, accepting the skills that can be developed within racing sims as legitimate in real-life racing scenarios. 

Now, this doesn't mean your skills with a gamepad or keyboard will translate to real-world vehicles, but it does mean that racers using physical steering wheels, pedals and other high-end simulation equipment can hone their racing skills in a way that can be transferred to real-world motorsports. This makes "sim racing"/"virtual motorsports" a new potential starting point for professional drivers. 

While driving the same vehicle, a Vuhl 05 ROC Edition 2019, Enzo Bonito managed to beat Lucas di Grassi, a former F1 (now FE) driver, in a real-world race, surprising the commentators at the ROC Nations Cup. A video showcasing the race is available to view below. 

The following day, Enzo Bonito also managed to best Ryan Hunter-Reay, a three-time Indy 500 winner, in another 1-on-1 match, proving that his win against Lucas di Grassi was no fluke. 

Enzo Benito's performance at the ROC Nations Cup proves that the world of racing esports can produce real-world champions, opening the world of racing to a wider number of drivers while further legitimising the world of esports. In the case of Bonito, all those hours of gaming were worth it. 

You can join the discussion on Esports Racer Enzo Benito besting two motorsport champions in real-world races on the OC3D Forums

«Prev 1 Next»

Most Recent Comments

23-01-2019, 07:57:58

It works. And it's worked for many years.

About 15 years ago I got my license. I had never driven a car before in my life. Three days later I was out with my wife driving her car (we'd been to the mall and out to eat) and on the way home it was a bit foggy. Well, all of a sudden this large deer was just standing there. Somehow (I know how) I managed to react and not only missed the deer but missed any other cars on the road and managed to stop without hitting anything at all.

How did I manage that with only two days of driving experience? NFSU. I bought a steering wheel from 2004. Some Nascar thing. It also had a manual stick and I learned to play the game using it (which was really tough at first, especially with a full manual trans). Well, if you've played the game you'll know how much crap it throws at you when you are leading the race. That was where I honed my swerving/control skills.

I originally only bought the wheel for the shifter for drag races, given I got all "Fingers and thumbs" with the controls in a race. I was not experienced with shoulder buttons as I had not had a console for a while.

So yeah, I'm living (could easily have been dead) proof that you definitely pick up real world skills playing racing games. Even before I played NFSU I used to play Midtown Madness 2, get on the expressway and hammer along it dodging cars. I'm certain now that it definitely teaches you something.

They should make it mandatory to spend so many hours learning how to drive virtually before you even go for your test. I'm certain it would save a lot of accidents, and a lot of lives.

The world always wants to hate on video games though and demonise them, when in reality they could be used for something far more positive.Quote

23-01-2019, 08:06:48

This has worked for sooo long.

The PS3 GT Turismo chanllenge with the 350Z was won by a player who then went on to win his class in professional racing. He is now a fully time race car driver.

back in the PS2 days we had WRC Championship where the winner became a professional.Quote

23-01-2019, 08:09:01

Something similar was tested a few years ago where they put a simracer inside an old formula 1(?) car, he could drive but wasn't fit enough for the G-forces so he basically did one quick lap or so and had to pit.

@AlienALX Did the car you had to maneuver in have neon lighting underneath and was Get Low playing? No but for real, virtual racing has helped me as well, though I did most of my racing in something as arcadey as trackmania.Quote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.