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Too bad they don't pick Brazilian pilots, there's a lot of good people and even better here than out there. But it's a start and nothing stops Ford from looking at Brazil and testing some for their team.

Ford announced at Gamescom, Germany, the largest gaming fair in Europe, the creation of its first official team of drivers for eSports (virtual sports) competitions. The team, called Fortzilla, will be made up of national teams in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, as well as a European team with the stars from each country — watch the video. Players recruitment started at Gamescom itself and the debut is scheduled for 2020.

“Ford has an enviable legacy in racing. It's time to bring this know-how to the world of eSports, inspiring the new generation of virtual drivers to drive Ford Performance cars,” says Roelant de Waard, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Services at Ford Europe.

In 2019, the global eSports market is expected to generate revenue of $1.1 billion, a growth of 26.7% over the previous year, with an audience of 453.8 million — made up of 201.2 million eSports enthusiasts and 252.6 million occasional viewers. Unlike the popular stereotype, the average player is just over 30 years old.

Games and Mobility

Ford is increasingly attentive to the interaction of games with mobility and how this can help create the means of mobility in the future — both for drivers and passengers in autonomous vehicles.

“The distinction between the real world and the virtual world is disappearing. Games are now part of the general culture. Top players challenge professional racing drivers in real life and many of our daily activities are 'gamified', from using fitness apps to collecting loyalty points for free coffee,” says Amko Leenarts, Design Director at Ford Europe. “Taking advantage of the passion and experience of the gaming community will help us develop a vision of how people will get around in the future, something we're committed to and excited about.”

In 2017, Ford was the first manufacturer to have a booth at Gamescom, which brings together more than 1,000 exhibitors and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Last year, the company was also the first to launch a vehicle at the fair, the Ford Ranger Raptor, a high-performance version of Europe's best-selling truck.

Fortzilla will compete in games such as Forza Motorsport 7, developed by Turn 10 Studios of Microsoft Game Studios, the best-selling racing franchise of the current generation of consoles. The Forza series brings together one of the largest racing communities in the world, with millions of players, of whom 1 million choose Ford vehicles.

“We're glad to see Forza Motorsport continue to be the game chosen by major brands like Ford when launching eSports initiatives,” says Justin Osmer, partner development manager at Turn 10 Studios.

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