The UCI Taps Virtual Reality for its UK Cycling eSports Competition

Although it hasn’t been the best year for virtual reality under any circumstance, some improvements are shaping up. In the United Kingdom, a British Cycling eRacing Championship will commence in 2019. This will be accompanied by a VR event in preparation for launching full-fledged esports world championships. An interesting take on using VR technology in the sports industry.

The UCI Has big Plans for eSports

Those who follow cycling will know the UK has produced a fair few impressive talents. To ensure succession is guaranteed, efforts need to be launched to effectively find new and younger talents accordingly. British Cycling is looking to do exactly that with the help of virtual reality technology. A new esports championship will be launched in which participants can race from the comfort of their own home.

The current plan revolves around launching this competition in February of 2019. Thousands of participants will compete by using their bike, a turbo trainer, and the Zwift application. This decision is also designed to get more people excited to ride a bike, either for competitive or professional reasons. A lot of opportunities are abound in the eSports industry, and cycling cannot remain behind in this regard.

British Cycling’s Jonathan Rigby comments:

“The esports market is particularly exciting for cycling as it enables so many more people to participate and be active,” he added. “We are also excited about what this could mean for identifying talent. We are proud to have a wealth of gifted riders competing on the world stage and we are confident that Zwift technology will enable us to unearth more future stars.”

The main question is whether or not this venture will be successful. Although the UCI sees a lot of merit in this particular approach, one also has to wonder if it can boost the VR industry as a whole. There are plenty of options to explore. Engaging people to perform sports of any kind is extremely difficult. An immersive and competitive ecosystem may yield some unexpected results in this regard. An interesting venture worth keeping an eye on for the future.

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By JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a FinTech, VR, and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium.