Formula E will pit drivers against gamers in virtual race

The initial test run will be at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.

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Roslan Rahman / AFP via Getty
Roslan Rahman / AFP via Getty

The joys of motorsport are in watching the perfect fusion of mechanical engineering and human ingenuity, right? Apparently not, as Formula E's leaders have decided that the competition will now expand to include virtual races. In an interview with Reuters, Formula E chief Alejandro Agag says that the competition's first battle will take place at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. The event will put professional race drivers against pro gamers, duking it out on simulators with a track that won't be disclosed until the day. The action may be imagined, but the stakes are high, with the victorious driver in line to win a $1 million payoff.

It's a one-off, but the move opens the door to ever closer union between sports and its electronic counterpart. Agag believes that esports is a "huge opportunity" that his organization wants to be "immersed in." It's also a chance to determine who is better: professional drivers or the gamers who maybe haven't had the same opportunities. Formula E is also investigating the potential for virtual drivers to compete in real-world races as they're going on. While the technology to implement that is still far away, it seems like being a mere spectator won't be an option in the future.

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