Updated: Apr 1
This article was produced by simracingloft.com
Anyone reading this knows that sim racing boarded a virtual rocket ship in the last year. Drivers have been given opportunities to make names for themselves and teams have been able to attract more notoriety than ever in just 1-year's time. However, for every pro-driver turned sim racer, Formula 1 driver turned eSports owner, or first-time league racer, there is someone or some people that have undoubtedly produced a stream that made your race available to hundreds if not thousands of people on the internet. This is an appreciation article for those of you who produce a phenomenal product that keeps fans coming back to watch week after week.
That Saturday session being streamed by Racespot or your league race that is accruing a decent following on twitch is all thanks to these people right here:
The voice of your league, so please don't be cheap and try to haggle these people because they can make even the best leagues intolerable to watch. Alternatively, when hiring a commentary personality, you can reserve the right to be picky because if someone really isn’t that great at what they do it's your stream's name on the line, not theirs. Anyway, commentators deserve a lot of credit if they are good at their craft meaning that they are able to relate, educate and entertain viewers all at the same time without sounding too corny or obnoxious. The below-average brained person always likes to say that “anyone can talk, but not everyone can drive so who cares?”, for the idiots that take this stance we implore you to pick your favorite non-racing sport and research any retired pro that went into broadcasting; about 10% of them can actually do it without making viewers want to change the channel immediately. Being a skilled commentator is a unique skill that can rarely be developed on the first go around, so next time you want to hire your brother’s cousin’s nephew that streams warzone to handle your league's commentary, think twice because it could cost your league sponsors and viewers.
In both the simulated world and the real one, the role of a race controller is a thankless one so here we are to say thank you. Between deciding to put out the caution, black flagging drivers, dictating restarts, and everything else that goes into ensuring that the race runs smoothly, there isn’t a lot of credit that gets handed down to these forgotten souls. If you haven’t noticed racing is fast, think about the last race that you ran that involved full-service pit stops (fuel, tires, adjustments, repairs) and just how much you had to think about in your own race and how to make it as efficient as possible. Now think about the team that has to factor all of that in for every single driver on the track. While they have no obligation to make certain calls that are convenient for drivers, they usually get caught between a rock and a hard place which typically leaves at least a few drivers peeved in the process.
There is an art to any type of video production, designing a stream deck that makes sense to you on the fly is difficult especially when a lot is happening at the same time. Once you get your stream deck built they have to ask themselves “is this too specific” the last thing you can have going on in the middle of a stream is realizing that your stream deck isn’t suited for the broadcast you’re trying to produce. Next is camera operation; if you watched the Fox eNASCAR broadcast from Bristol this week you would have seen the beauty of a job they did with the cameras. Choosing the right angles that project the right information in coordination with what the commentary team is doing is a difficult task and sometimes it isn’t always a pretty shot. Aside from the in-race production that goes on, they have to monitor network statuses to make sure the stream isn’t choppy or low quality, they have to monitor temperatures of multiple computers to make sure that they aren’t melting their own setups, and they have to essentially make sure that both race control and the commentary team are actually doing their jobs. They basically do the job that your mum did every day when you and your siblings were in grade school.
To the league owners that hire these guys and the drivers that complain that they didn’t get enough airtime on the stream, take a step back and understand that these folks aren’t just out running things willy-nilly. Much like the drivers, the behind-the-scenes team usually loves the work they do and some of them are actually trying to make a career out of it. Before the days of Twitch and YouTube everyday people really had no way to practice or get experience in commentating or production, now they have an opportunity to do both from the comfort of their home setup. With access so readily available to aspiring young people, make sure to be nice to them, don’t bash the stream in discord, or badmouth them in the post-race comments because they can go ahead and pull the plug on your entire in-race existence whenever they may please.
Sim Racing Loft (simracingloft.com) is a lifestyle and culture brand focused on bringing niche Sim Racing content to the masses. You won't find in-depth product reviews, regurgitated press releases, or on-track tips and tricks here. What you will find is original content focused on life, business, and pop-cultural aspects of Sim Racing. We feel that there is more to this industry than the typical hot lap video or pedal review, there is real substance to be discussed and we’re going to bring it to you. While satire and comedic energy run through our content, you can expect to see consistent quality entertainment. We know what you’re thinking “Sim Racing doesn’t need a ‘lifestyle and culture blog”, but respectfully, we disagree. All sports have an off-field side that is heavily influenced by the world around them and that’s where we come in by providing content that can be enjoyed by casuals and professionals alike. Want to gain access to exclusive content, offers, and updates? Join our newsletter!