Virtual Racers Like James Baldwin Might Soon Replace Traditional Racing Drivers

James Baldwin is a professional eSports driver who will soon race in the real-world 2020 GT World Challenge. He could be opening the way for more eSports drivers to make it onto real tracks in the future.

James Baldwin, eSports

James Baldwin could be the first of many eSports drivers to make it on the real tracks. | Source: Veloce Esports/Shivraj Gohil/Handout via REUTERS

  • James Baldwin is an eSports driver who recently won the World’s Fast Gamer contest.
  • As part of his prize, Baldwin will have a chance to drive in the 2020 GT World Challenge.
  • This could pave the way for more drivers to move from simulations to real-world racing.

Whether by outsourcing or by automation, technology is threatening many jobs. Esports driving champion James Baldwin is now coming for jobs of racecar drivers.

James Baldwin
Baldwin’s victory and subsequent racing career will have a significant impact on the future of other esports racers. | Source: Twitter

Baldwin recently won the 2nd World’s Fastest Gamer contest. As part of his prize, he’ll have the chance to drive in the 2020 GT World Challenge. Baldwin’s ability to race doesn’t seem to be hindered by his minimal real-world racing experience.

Could virtually-trained drivers one day replace their real-world counterparts?

James Baldwin Didn’t Need Much On-Track Time to Get Here

According to, James Baldwin had minimal real-world experience before winning the World’s Fastest Gamer contest. One of the four finalists in the competition had no real-world racing experience.

With James Baldwin going on to race the 2020 GT World Challenge endurance cup, there’s now a path for racing gamers to make it onto real-world tracks. Clearly, the training you can get from virtual racing has value on the field.

If this trend continues, we could see more and more races involving drivers who were trained primarily through simulation. As drones move closer to replacing pilots entirely, the sweep of technology is marching ceaselessly onwards.

The Future of Simulation-Trained Drivers Is Resting on the 2020 GT World Challenge

If James Baldwin does well at the 2020 GT world Challenge, more teams could start actively scouting driving sim players. Many of those players have dreams of real-world racing, as Baldwin himself has also admitted.

With the world becoming more accepting of eSports in general, it’s nice to see more avenues open up for professional eSports players. While some die-hard racing fans will undoubtedly balk at the idea, the future is as inevitable as the tide.

One day the differences between real-world athletes and eSports professionals will have eroded to nothing. I don’t think the world will be a worse place when that happens.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:38 PM
William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at [email protected], see his LinkedIn profile here.
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