Sim Racing Expo 2018: Great Platform, Potential to go Massive

Sim Racing Expo is pound for pound, the biggest showcase of dedicated simracing talent in the world. Drivers from many different countries congregated at the Nurburgring to witness some of the latest developments on the technology side as well as seeing some of the best drivers in the world take to the virtual track. But from my experience of my first Sim racing Expo, I was thoroughly impressed with the event on the whole, and I am using this platform today to showcase some of my experiences.

Image (c) ADAC Simracing Expo

To me, Sim Racing Expo should be viewed as simracing’s Mecca. Some of the highest profile teams all gathered and witnessed some exceptional racing as well as great promotion for their franchises moving forward. From humble beginnings four or five years ago to where it dominated proceedings inside of the main hall, there is not one dedicated event of its kind that can truly say it matches on magnitude. Add to the fact that in the last couple of weeks that simracing in Germany has been classified as an official racing category, there are a lot of reasons why this event will look to continue from strength to strength.

Germany is well set to be the international hub of simracing for the foreseeable future, be it the great contacts in the broadcasting world such as Rene Buttler and Tobias Brockmann, or to go even further to the representation of world class German talents such as Max Benecke, Max Wenig, Patrick Wolf, Laurin Heinrich, Kay Kaschube, Angelo Michel etc. etc.

Then factor in the work that exhibitors like Porsche have been putting into events like these, and you have the foundations built for a world profile event that should put simracing on the map for years to come. Similar to the likes of The International or a CS:GO Major, This is the foundations for the simracing global boom, and more events like these will need to crop up for the future. LAN is the way forward. However, because I say Sim Expo is the perfect platform, does not mean that the event is perfect after 2018.

Perfection is almost impossible to achieve. The big thing on the drivers side, is equal competition. Legitimacy of competition needs to be looked at after 2018 due in part to the different simulators that are on display. While this stage is as much of a platform to show off hardware, which Astur Sim Race did, all simulator rigs need to be the same for any future competitions. Anything less than that will devalue competition, frustrate drivers and teams and ultimately damage the credibility of Sim Expo moving forward.

Picture of the english commentary team from simexpo

As well, for Sim Expo to truly be a world player, the event needs to move to an English centric language base instead of a German centric base for the foreseeable future. It is nothing against the people who worked hard at the event, but more people globally know English rather than German. For this event to have widespread reach, it needs to be able to access as many people as possible, which will be limited in part due to the German language, because most fans won’t be able to understand.

This is more than just the iRacing argument. Far from it in actual truth. Sim Expo could be the defining event for the genre, where every platform dedicates a racing series to the event and opens up the eyes to new people who want to race various different platforms. Sim Expo can be the eye opener, enhanced by those already within the community and could be a force that goes global and brings in the money that other esports platforms are able to do.

The only way this will happen though is if Sim Expo wants to have this sort of growth. The work with ADAC and the various regions has led to a politics battle over the last few years but if this is to snowball into the corporate juggernaut many a person wants to see, then Sim Expo has a lot of avenues to explore to get to the promised land of esports immortality. I believe this is the path everyone needs to think about pushing for the future, a LAN based world where everyone has the ability to put their name in lights. Hopefully, this is what we will see for a bright future in our simracing world.

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