E-sports uber geek? I still prefer the real thing, says Formula E star and gaming whizz Rosenqvist
Swiss Mahindra driver laughs off reputation as a video games buff after shining on Formula E simulator
Felix Rosenqvist says don’t believe the hype.
Word had gone around that the Mahindra driver was somewhat of a whizz when it came to e-sports and those rumours seemed to be confirmed when Rosenqvist finished second overall in an innovative competition – with US$200,000 at stake – waged between Formula E drivers and 10 simulator racers in Las Vegas last February.
But the driver says the image being portrayed of him as an uber geek is wrong.
“I think that is more of a rumour than truth,” said Rosenqvist, laughing. “I’m never actually home long enough so I don’t have time to play these games much any more.
“But when I was younger I played more. Most of my time I spend these days is on actual simulators – like everyone else.
“So I think this rumour about me was other drivers just making an excuse because I beat them in Vegas, painting me as some kind of freak who just sits at home every night and plays.”
Regardless, Rosenqvist and Formula E’s stable of drivers leap at every opportunity given to delve into the world of e-sports – and to test their skills against the best e-gamers the cities the circuit visits around the world can offer.
Rosenqvist & Co will get their chance at the 2017 FIA Formula E HKT Hong Kong E-Prix e-Race Tournament, to be held inside the Gaming Zone at the Allianz e-Village at Tamar Park on December 2 and 3.
Gamers will get to use an actual Formula E simulator which will pit them against the Hong Kong track, and each other, with all the twists and turns of Central Harbourfront circuit.
“E-sports is sweeping the world and we see a bright future for Formula E and the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix in this space. The e-Race is a natural fit within race weekend because of the extraordinary level of direct interaction we can have with fans,” said Alan Fang, chief executive of Formula E Racing Hong Kong Ltd.
“It is our aim to find new and innovative ways to actively engage our audience, and after the thrill of watching the drivers speed by them on the track, fans in Hong Kong can actually race against them in the E-Race Tournament.”
Expect Rosenqvist to be there in the thick of the action as he fine-tunes the skills he thinks can help him lay down a serious challenge for the Formula E driver’s title this season.
He comes to town full of confidence after finishing third on debut for Mahindra last season – and the smart money will be on the Swede being one of the four Formula E drivers set to face off against local gamers in the e-Race finals.
“It’s fun and we all enjoy it,” said Rosenqvist. “The concept of gaming is great because everyone is on the same level and that’s the thing that haunts us all in motorsport – is their car better, is my car better? Did I win just because I have a better car? It’s never ending.
“So it’s a cool concept when everyone is on exactly the same level and only a computer can provide that. It makes for a really good sport.”