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Driving Into a Digital Arena: A Formula One Racer’s New Esports Team

At this point, tons of pro athletes have invested money in the esports industry. From Michael Jordan to Mike Tyson, across the board it’s become a smart investment for athletes to put money behind esports teams. David Beckham has even gone so far as to co-found his own esports organization. Now, notable formula one driver Lando Norris has followed Beckham’s lead, launching his own esports and content creation team.

Image Courtesy Team Quadrant

Although Norris is not the first pro athlete to dive into the esports industry, at 20 years old, he’s definitely among the youngest to parlay a professional career in traditional sporting events into the digital realm. Norris is a Belgian-British Formula One driver competing for McLaren Racing Limited, the prestigious British racing team. Although his pro gaming endeavors may be new, his passion for esports is not. Even prior to the announcement about his new esports organization, Norris had more than 600,000 followers on Twitch.

Image Courtesy Team McLaren

In articles from Esports Insider and BBC Sport, Norris spoke a bit about how things came together for Norris and the launch of Quadrant. Apparently, the young racer had been interested in launching his esports organization for quite some time. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted industries across the world, when it came to esports and gaming, it actually caused a bit of a boom. The same is true for Norris, who saw an increase in his followers on Twitch after participating in virtual races when Formula One racing was suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak. With regards to the launch of Quadrant, his new esports organization, Norris says that “The lockdown accelerated things because I was doing a lot more streaming online and getting more into it… It definitely made me want to do it a bit quicker.”

Even if he is a successful racer, Norris won’t be the first driver to break into the esports arena. Fellow Formula One competitor Romain Grosjean actually launched his own esports organization back in April. Grosjean, a French F1 driver, started his R8G Sim Racing with an intention to focus on competing in online races. Norris, on the other hand, has a more holistic approach, looking to gain a footing in content creation at first and delve into competition after establishing an online presence. As such, Quadrant has also brought on “sim racing content creators Aarav ‘Aarava’ Amin and Steve ‘Super GT’ Alvarez Brown to its content creation team along with gaming content creators Niran ‘FNG’ Yesufu and ‘RiaBish.’”

He may be only the latest pro athlete to find his way into esports—and the second Formula One driver to do so—but Lando Norris is definitely gonna be one to watch. 

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