May 29, 2019 / 5:01 PM / 7 months ago

Esports: McLaren hoping for more diversity in 2019 Shadow Project

LONDON (Reuters) - McLaren launched the second edition of their esports “Shadow Project” on Wednesday, hoping to attract even more than the half a million gamers who entered last year and with greater diversity.

The winner will have a seat on the Formula One team’s esports roster and access to the driver development program.

Last year’s winner, Japanese-born Brazilian Igor Fraga, is now competing on track in the European F3 regional championship as well as racing in the virtual world.

“This year we are going to come back and do it all over again, but bigger, better and more,” McLaren’s head of esports Ben Payne told reporters.

“We have massive aspirations to make sure we broaden the program even more.

“We want to try and bring some more diversity this year. We were inspired by the (all-female) W Series, what they are doing on the track, we want to see how we can tell those stories virtually as well.”

All of the finalists competing for teams in last year’s official Formula One esports series were male.

The Shadow Project finals will be held in December, after the end of the Formula One season.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

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