Maybe It's The Quarantine Talking, But NASCAR's Esports Takeover Is Hilarious Fun

from the this-is-serious dept

As we all live through this bad but real life knockoff of a season of The Walking Dead, we've talked about how professional sports leagues are dealing with forced shutdowns. With auto-racing leading the way, several leagues and/or broadcast stations have turned to broadcasting athletes playing video game versions of their sports since they cannot broadcast the real thing. This has been done over varying mediums and to varying degrees of professionalism, but it's quite clear that there is a thirst during what is nearly a national shutdown for something like the live sports the country regularly enjoys.

And maybe I've been confined to one space for too long, but NASCAR's version of all of this, broadcast on Fox Sports, is getting genuinely entertaining. Not only as intended, either, but also due to the wild variance with how serious those involved are taking all of this. Let's start with the NASCAR driver who failed to take it as seriously as those around him would have liked.

The eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series event, where NASCAR drivers are racing each other on the internet because they can’t currently do it in real life, is already giving us some spicy sports action. During Sunday's race, which was televised, Bubba Wallace quit in the middle of a race after tangling with a rival in the most video game way imaginable.

In case you can't see the embedded video or tweet, Wallace got bumped a bit during the video game race and decided to rage quite on national television. When a whole bunch of people gave him shit about his tantrum on Twitter, he essentially responded by telling everyone to screw themselves since this was just a video game, not real life.

But here's the thing: video game or not, the iRacing broadcast on Fox has very real sponsors, one of which was not at all pleased with Wallace's attitude and actions.

And if you can't see that one, the tweet is Wallace's sponsor telling him it's dropping its sponsorship of him. As the earlier tweet stated, esports are sports now, and that includes the fact that athletes need to maintain their image when sponsored by corporate interests easily swayed by public perception and pressure.

But if you thought it was only the corporate goons taking all of this seriously... nah.

In the same event, as The Guardian reports, driver Erik Jones missed qualifying because of connection issues, and “seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson fired his spotter less than 20 laps into the race after falsely being told he was clear of another car, only to crash.”

If that isn't entertaining on some kind of level then you just don't like sports or video games or weird and interesting events that feel like the future. If all sports is esports now and that means pro athletes getting hammered by sponsors for rage-quitting games on national television, then I'm all for it!

Filed Under: bubba wallace, competition, esports, racing, sponsorship, sports, video games
Companies: nascar


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Chris ODonnell (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 7:49pm

    I watched some NBA2K on ESPN last weekend and it was more entertaining than watching the NBA on ESPN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Apr 2020 @ 8:11pm

    Video games can not perfectly replicate the real sport, but I think that would just make it more interesting to watch. Some skills will translate to the games, but many people will lack some of the more video game related skills. As a result, many individuals will be a mixture of both a professional and an amateur.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 2:25am

    I remember many years ago, a world renown Snooker player was challenged to play a game of Jimmy White Whirlwind Snooker on TV. He lost. He'd just recently lost in the final of the World Snooker Championships that year, because yes, the player was Jimmy White.
    Hell I could probably have beaten Jimmy white on that game, even though I knew I was nowhere near his standard at actual snooker. And I know that, because 2 years earlier, I too had played the man that beat him in that Championship (John Parrott) and got my clock cleaned a lot worse than Jimmy did (happened to run into John at my local club, he'd go to random ones in the city to avoid stalkers, and wouldn't play against adults, only youth players to give us some tips on where we needed to improve our game while we were still young.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2020 @ 2:40am

    Trump saves the world!

    How can you spend so much time writing about video games while Trump is literally saving the world? His malaria miracle drug, which he alone pointed out, yesterday saved the life of the 95 year old father of Dr. Siegel, a commentator (and medical doctor) on Fox News. It’s a Miracle, and all you write about is video games. Sad and pathetic. He could cure cancer and solve world hunger, and you would ignore it in favor of video gaming. What a sad bunch of losers you are.

    Trump 2020 And Beyond!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 2:51am

      Calling you an idiot would give you too much credit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2020 @ 3:12am

        This is real news (in this post) not Fake News

        Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News medical contributor, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday that his 96-year-old father was recently weak and struggling to breathe but recovered after he was administered an anti-malaria drug and antibiotics.

        Siegel was discussing hopeful signs that hydroxychloroquine has shown in recent studies when combined with antibiotics for coronavirus treatment.

        Siegel said his father, who lives in Florida, recently complained about weakness, shortness of breath and feared that he was going to die.

        Siegel said that his father’s cardiologist prescribed hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics and the combination proved effective.

        "He got up the next day and was fine,” Siegel said.

        Trump is the savior of this one man, which his persistent, visionary’s potent actions made prescribing this drug possible. Without Trump the Savior, this man would be dead. The father of a doctor. Real news. Not Fake news.

        And so it shall be written, for ever and ever, amen.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 3:17am

          Anecdotal experience is not empirical evidence.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2020 @ 3:24am

            Re:

            So we should all consider your opinion superior to that of Dr. Siegel, a medical doctor because you’re a trained expert at ... what again? Oh yeah, you’re an expert in phoney balony fake news.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 3:36am

              Someone could make a daily meal out of exclusively Doritos and Mt. Dew for every day of their adult life and ultimately lives to be 100 years old. That singular experience still wouldn’t mean everyone can live a hundred years if they have a Dortios/Dew meal every day.

              What works for one person, or even a group of people, won’t work for everyone. Hydroxychloroquin might — key word there, might — have some effect on COVID-19. Science has yet to prove that theory beyond anecdotal experience and one small study from one country. If it worked for this one person (and I’ll remind you that we have no hard proof of that), great. But until further scientific study can be done on the effectiveness of that drug in treating COVID-19, touting it as a “cure” for COVID-19 is intentionally irresponsible.

              Oh, and I have a question I’m sure you’ll dodge: If Trump is responsible for the saving of that man’s life, does that also make him responsible for the 12,000-plus Americans who’ve died from COVID-19?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Bloof (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 4:13am

              Re: Re:

              'Absolutely. And over 300,000 deaths in the United States alone when all the figures were counted. And let me tell you something, this virus should be compared to the flu. Because at worst, at worst, worst case scenario it could be the flu.'

              Dr. Marc Siegel on how dangerous the Coronavirus is.

              https://www.mediamatters.org/sean-hannity/foxs-dr-marc-siegel-says-worse-case-scenario-coronavir us-it-could-be-flu

              But wait, there are other examples of him downplaying the virus, calling it overblown for political gain, calling the WHO alarmists, excusing failures...

              https://www.mediamatters.org/coronavirus-covid-19/heres-how-foxs-medical-commentators-ha ve-been-spreading-misinformation-during

              But hey, he's a doctor, he can't possibly be full of crap and spouting the party line to keep himself on TV.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 4:18am

                And I bet Trump himself lacks an ulterior reason to push hydroxychloroquine~.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Bloof (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 4:23am

                  Re:

                  Oh but Trump would never, ever exploit his office and a crisis for personal gain, all the evidence of him doing just that are lies! Who are you going to believe, Donald or your lying eyes seeing Donald and his family using his role for self enrichment over and over and over and over and over?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 5:55am

                  Re:

                  Bloody hell that article is full of nightmare fuel and corruption. Copy/pasting the parts dealing with corruption and conflict of interest would involve many paragraphs given how much of it there is, so I'll just throw up a rather notable, and horrifying, bit about who's being listened to versus who isn't during a global pandemic.

                  Mr. Navarro, who earned a doctorate in economics from Harvard, defended his position on Monday despite his lack of medical credentials. “Doctors disagree about things all the time. My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I’m a social scientist,” he said on CNN. “I have a Ph.D. And I understand how to read statistical studies, whether it’s in medicine, the law, economics or whatever.”

                  Mr. Trump made clear on Sunday whose side he took in Mr. Navarro’s confrontation with Dr. Fauci. At his briefing after the meeting, he said it was wrong to wait for the kind of study Dr. Fauci wanted. “We don’t have time,” the president said. “We don’t have two hours because there are people dying right now.”

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2020 @ 6:10am

                    Re: Re:

                    Excuse me did you say “bloody hell”?

                    You fucking foreigner asshole Brit. You go look after your own PM, he needs everyone’s prayers, not a leftists foreigner globalist superior disgusting critique of their obvious superiors (in America), the chief being POTUS. MAGA and fuck you.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 6:47am

                      I don’t see you refuting their actual point.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2020 @ 6:52am

                      Re: Re: Re:

                      How is it possible that Trump has not yet been assassinated?

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Bloof (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 7:29am

                      Re: Re: Re:

                      Xenophobia, leftist, maga, cursing for the sake of cursing, thoughts and prayers, hypocrisy (calling for non americans mot to comment while commenting on their nations affairs)... Just one accusation of cuckoldry away from completing my right wing idiot bingo card.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:45am

                      Re: Re: Re:

                      "the chief being POTUS. MAGA and fuck you"

                      Yet, your great leader is desperately trying to bribe Germans and Chinese to get the supplies he needs.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Toom1275 (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:13am

                    Re: Re:

                    It's just a little "honest" graft...

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:43am

          Re: This is real news (in this post) not Fake News

          "Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News medical contributor"

          That's the point where you should understand he's lying.

          "his 96-year-old father was recently weak and struggling to breathe"

          Had he been positively tested and confirmed as having been suffering from COVID-19? If not, your anecdote is irrelvant. What if he was literally suffering from malaria or one of the other known conditions that the drug has been proven to work for?

          The anecdote is useless, but your account shows that you didn't even bother to ask relevant questions, you just bought the story that known frauds sold you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Strawb (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 4:09am

      Re: Trump saves the world!

      He could cure cancer and solve world hunger

      Then why doesn't he?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:13am

      Re: Trump saves the world!

      Plaintiff provides no facts in his Complaint to support these contentions.

      Plaintiff's complaint is summarily dismissed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hegemon13, 8 Apr 2020 @ 6:34am

    This is to be expected. There's a huge difference between having esports competitors play esports, and actual real-life competitors play them. Esports competitors know the rules and expectations. They take it seriously because it's what they're experts at.

    Throwing an actual Nascar driver into a video game simulation and expecting them to take it as seriously as the real track is just not going to work. Are we going to start watching NFL players in Madden next? It's just a silly idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2020 @ 7:04am

      Re:

      It's really all about perspective. This guy said "I don't care about moving your pixels around" like it didn't matter. He forgot that, in the bigger picture, he's really good at driving a car in a circle.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        hegemon13, 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:28am

        Re: Re:

        I get that. I'm not talking about a matter of importance. Personally, I can't stand watching Nascar. I find it dreadfully boring, and I find the crashes horrific and stressful, not cool and entertaining.

        The point is, we're effectively throwing these guys into a different job where they aren't experts, and expecting them to compete and treat it as if they are. True, he's really good at driving a real car in a real circle, which involves a whole lot of physical sensory cues and feedback from the car and environment. Even a state-of-the-art simulator is missing most of that, and it does not feel "real" to someone who's at a Nascar competitive level. They aren't going to react to a video game simulation the same way a career eSports competitor will, and it's not reasonable to expect them to.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          " They aren't going to react to a video game simulation the same way a career eSports competitor will, and it's not reasonable to expect them to."

          Who says they do? The point is, this spectacle was entertaining, and since these people are paid huge amounts of money to entertain and they can't entertain on the track at the moment, what's the problem?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Strawb (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      I half-agree with you here. It's fair not to expect them to take the game itself seriously, but as long as there's a lockdown going on, their job is, in part, to play the game, and they should be taking their job seriously. At least to the point where they don't ragequit, and then mock people for holding it against them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:50am

        Re: Re:

        "It's fair not to expect them to take the game itself seriously... and they should be taking their job seriously."

        They did apparently. Nobody who's not taking a game seriously ragequits.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 8:47am

      Re:

      "Throwing an actual Nascar driver into a video game simulation and expecting them to take it as seriously as the real track is just not going to work."

      Did they throw in tracks where they had to turn in other directions occasionally to confuse them?

      "Are we going to start watching NFL players in Madden next?"

      Why not? Whatever else you put on them, they're still just entertainers playing a kids' game. Why shouldn't they earn their money by playing it in another way when their normal method is not available?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 9:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Whatever else you put on them, they're still just entertainers playing a kids' game.

        If there is any game more poorly suited to being played by kids than American football, I can't think of it at the moment. Unless you count boxing and MMA as games.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 9:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If there is any game more poorly suited to being played by kids than American football, I can't think of it at the moment."

          Well, frankly I consider any sport to be rooted in kids games, maybe that's my non-American perspective. But, I have certainly seen kids play it in the US, especially if you include variations like touch football, and games played a schools still count in my mind even if it's high schoolers rather than 6 year olds.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Talmyr, 15 Apr 2020 @ 8:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I remember getting American visitors when I was 6 or so and they gave me an age-appropriate American Football shirt. I think I was 9 or 10 before it fit me normally.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.