YouTuber “Super GT” Talks Virtual F1 and How Esports Changed His Life

If you’ve not seen one of Steve Alvarez Brown’s virtual races yet, you’re missing out. The YouTuber, known as “Super GT”, set up his channel as a means of tracking his racing and recording his progress. Little did he know that a few years later it would lead to a thrilling career that would take him around the globe. caught up with the super star to ask him a few questions about esports, how he stays on top form, and what he thinks the future holds for virtual F1 games.

Did you always plan to work in either motorsport or gaming?

Not at all. I never really knew what I wanted to do as a job when I was younger.

I’ve always been interested in both motorsport and gaming but there certainly wasn’t a strict plan to get into either industry for a living.

When you set up your YouTube channel nearly 10 years ago, did you expect it to do so well?

I only set up the channel as somewhere I could watch back some decent races I was having online. I never really expected any sort of viewership at all in the beginning.

Even after a few years of growth, I still never thought I’d be able to do it full time. It’s only been in the last few years where I’ve genuinely thought the potential was there and, eventually in 2018, I went full time with it.

Are there certain training techniques or diets you have to undertake to stay on top of your game?

I don’t personally train or diet specifically for gaming at all. I’m sure that the very best esports players on any given game will be training many hours every day.

The best way to train is to surround yourself with good (better) players. Talk to them, ask advice, practice with them.

How have esports changed your life?

Esports has given me a great opportunity to travel the world, meet likeminded players who enjoy the same games and competing against these guys on the highest level has been a great learning experience.

More recently, being involved with the FRC and GT World Tour as a media personality has helped to boost my profile within the scene.

How do you prepare for races? How do you think preparing for virtual racing differs to the real thing?

The main thing is to go into each knowing what you’re doing!

You need to practice race strategy: improving your laptime, managing your tyres, managing your fuel. All of these factors need to be practiced so that you feel totally comfortable going into the race.

If you have doubts or question marks going into a race, it’ll affect your performance negatively.

The main difference would have to be the physical aspect. Real racing is very taxing on the body whereas simulation racing has almost no physicality to it (although endurance races can get tiring).

I’d say that the mental aspect of sim racing and real racing is actually quite similar for the most part but I would say I actually feel more nervous in sim racing. It largely depends on what pressures are put upon you in the race, though.

Do you compete in any other esports?

I wish I had the time (and skill) to do so!

I prefer though to play other games for fun and not have the stress of having to compete and improve.

What trends have you seen since the cancellation of major sporting events?

A lot of real series have been creating virtual series to keep interest up and to provide entertainment given the downturn in real-life entertainment.

More people are staying at home given the lockdown and more hours are being spent consuming online content. This is therefore a good time for content creators to make more content.

Have you noticed an increase in followers since lockdown? Any who weren’t esports fans before?

Views, yes. Followers, not really.

I have fans who aren’t esports fans per se but that was true before the lockdown. It’s hard to know whether the lockdown is getting new people into esports.

Do you have ambitions to take part in the Virtual F1 series?

I’d love to take part but it’s up to the organisers to choose me.

Do you believe that Virtual F1 and other games can really take off now – even when other sports return?

They can for sure but, at the same time, we must be careful not to do too much and make people bored of it!

I still think virtual racing has a long way to go until it is truly mainstream.

When ‘normal’ sports return, I can see the numbers stabilising as they were but who knows? Time will tell.

“Dirtiest player on Gran Turismo? Lewis Hamilton. You heard it here first.”

What are the most common misconceptions you find people have about esports?

The main one would be that it doesn’t take skill or dedication.

Just like any real world sport team, the players in esports have to practice a ridiculous number of hours. Perhaps even more than what a real world player would practice for football, for example.

The fact that you sit down when you play, doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t take skill. The skill comes from mental agility and not making mistakes.

Playing chess takes skill. Video gaming at a high level is just a faster version of chess.

The next would be that many question why anyone would want to watch esports. Video games in general is a massive industry and there are countless millions of players.

Most of these people are interested in seeing who is the very best in the world at any given game, and so the market for esports competitions is huge.

Are there any other esports gamers waiting in the wings to take part? Or any you’d like to see?

Judging by the comments I receive on my YouTube videos, there are a lot of people who want to get into competitive online racing.

Competing at a high level gives players something more to aspire to compared to just racing for fun.

I’d like to see Lewis Hamilton get involved with some of the virtual racing. He is usually quite elusive when it comes to this sort of thing! It would be great to see the 6-time world champion get involved.

Virtual F1 is taking part on weekends to match when real Grands Prix would’ve taken place. Is there a particular race coming up that you are most excited about?

Maybe the Monaco GP.

It’s usually a procession in reality but virtual races around there are often an absolute mess to put it mildly. That’s exciting to watch!

How great is it for esports that this Virtual F1 series is getting coverage on major channels such as Sky Sports? Especially when there are virtually no other sports to watch. Surely eSports is now attracting new types of viewers now to give people their “sporting fix”?

It’s great to get a lot of attention onto the racing game genre.

Any person that watches it is a potential new regular viewer and, the more viewers there are, the quicker the industry will grow.

I’m sure on the flipside though that many people just want to see the real thing, and that’s fine too. I personally don’t see esports as a direct replacement for the real life equivalent.

I’ve been watching the virtual F1 to see how celebrities compete against each other rather than seeing it as a direct replacement for Formula One.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to!

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