Latest Zwiftcast has some good info about the future of racing

Following the big news of the memo of understanding with the UCI about a “Zwift” (eRacing) World Championships next year, the Zwiftcast has some interesting and exciting stuff from Craig Edmondson (CEO of eSports at Zwift).

Racing has grown up from grass roots community efforts over the past 4 years, but never felt like a favoured route for Zwift. With this announcement, the grounds seem to be shifting, and I’m hugely looking forward to seeing where racing goes if Zwift really give it the attention it deserves.

There are a number of hurdles to overcome. For a start

  • ensuring fair competition
  • building an audience
  • making it really work as a spectator sport
  • simplifying participation (I guess it could stay under ZwiftPower or an equivalent, but it would have to be clearer that that’s necessary to be included in results, and a “one-click” op).

Loads more aspects too, but if they can nail them, make a success of the UCI Champs, then who knows? eRacing really could be just another cycling discipline alongside MTB, raod, BMX, track etc. And yes, maybe even the IOC will embrace video games. That’ll really upset some people! :smiley:

They need to make the races more unpredictable. Typical zwift race, huge effort from the start, loads of riders dropped. Bunch forms, race calms down…sprint finish. We need hilly courses to favour hill climbers, flat courses sprinters, punchy courses puncheurs etc. Within cycling there are many types of riders. Zwift races need to accommodate all of these otherwise it will be very dull to watch. Nice they talked about different types of races…eliminations, points etc. WTRL have been trying (with great success) to put on events like these and it’s nice that zwift acknowledges that they haven’t made it easy for people to set these up…

I agree. There are usually favourites of some type or other (Usain Bolt, New England Patriots) who you’d back to win. But it’s the fact that the favourites don’t always win that gives sport its unpredictability. (OK, both of my examples usually win/won).

What I’m less keen on though is the impact of power ups. At least in their current form. In a game sure. In a serious sport, that’s not how luck should be engineered.

If power ups are to remain in the eRacing scene, I think their application has to change. There are all manner of ways it could be done to force more tactical decisions and less RNG. e.g. everyone gets a PU bank of two of each type to use when they see fit.

They do add some unpredictability, of course. But it’s not the same as one unfortunate person out of an entire race having a puncture or sliding off on a corner.

I am very exited about the news, I do hope this will mean racing for the normal people will also improve.

I agree with this, I also hope there will be some sort of filtering before the race start. Almost like IRL a cat 2 cant race a cat 3 race just because he want a training race. Yes I have been banging on the same drum for a long time.

The more people that do these races the more of them will watch the live events. Lets say I race the monday a2z race every week then I will watch the other a2z races to see how the other racers are doing. Or I will watch the A group replay to see how things should be done.

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Power or Wkg is the wrong way to categorise people, not least because the “3.2 w/kg” rider might be very different on the flat vs on the hill.

I think I’d support a point-based system along the real world lines, although it’ll need some thinking about.

I’d also be happy to see more age-related categorisation. As I’m now in my fifties, I realise I’m never likely to be competitive amongst thirty- and twentysomethings, but I’d still like to have reasonable competition. Even if it’s just Junior, U23, Seniors and Masters or Veterans.

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O yes that is so true. but we all love the idea of competing against similar groups. Having a points system will be awesome, as you win races you get promoted.

Zwift can have so much fun with this, lets say we have a points system then There could be a race where you enter (you don’t pick a starting pen) but when the clock run out Zwift does a quick calculation and sort the riders in the pen into X many groups and let them go 20sec appart. Now you are truly against people of similar ability. Imagine how hard you will push your self if you know you have a good chance of winning or top 3.

Yes new Racers will need a ranking, but we have that IRL too. So you will have to do an open event first so that you can get your ranking. But Zwift have all our data so they should be able to make a good estimate where to start any rider.

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