Benjamin Daly, better known to fans as Tiametmarduk, “makes videos sometimes” according to his Instagram biography. The statement is true to an extent, but what he doesn’t delve into is that he has an audience of over 200,000 subscribers all loyally watching his Formula 1 gameplay or vlogs which now have a total 77.7 million YouTube hits on his channel. Seriously impressive stuff seeing as Daly started making videos only a few years ago. I caught up with the Aussie to talk about his journey into YouTube, the opportunities he has received through his videos and what the future of simulation racing could look like.
“I discovered YouTube really early on, 2006 I think,” Ben starts. “Back then it was a place for weird and funny clips, nothing like it is now. People can now make a living from uploading, how times have changed!
“I then came across Formula 1 gaming videos where the fastest drivers would race each other in week to week league racing. But it wasn’t until 2012 when I discovered Youtubers commentating on career modes and online races where I got my inspiration from. The rest is history!”
Daly’s career mode videos are among some of his most popular with a F1 2013: Melbourne, Australia video pulling in nearly 500,000 views to date. Other notable entries on his YouTube channel include glitches and crashes from his time playing videogames and then there is gameplay itself – his most viewed video being F1 2013 Gameplay from Monaco which is centred around him racing as 3-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton; a video that has over one and a half million views.
“I think my passion for racing really captivated my audience and they could relate to that.”
“Obviously, I love Formula One! But my beginnings in motorsport stemmed from V8 Supercars in Australia. Those are two series that I will always watch. Endurance racing is quite entertaining too but I can never find a place to watch it!”
Talk soon turns to video games.
“My background in racing comes from the arcade spectrum of gaming, so I started of with the classic Crash Team Racing made way back in the day of 1999. However I properly honed in my skills with the TOCA Race Driver and F1 Series, often dabbling into the hardcore side of Sim Racing with Forza, Assetto Corsa and iRacing for that added Challenge.
“Currently, apart from F1, my favourite video game has to be Rocket League. It’s so fun and addictive, the concept of the game is quite simple and the physics are just so satisfying. It’s the perfect game to just sit down and have a laugh and some friendly competition with friends!”
As Daly’s subscription count rises, there is more and more talk of introducing simulation races into mainstream motorsport during race weekends. Sports such as the FIA Formula E Championship, already use sim racing as a way to engage with their fans over the ePrix weekend. It proved a hit and lead to Formula E hosting a ‘eRace’ where ‘profession gamers’ could take on full-time Formula E drivers. It was an event that got a lot of people talking about simulation racing and I was keen to get Daly’s thoughts on the matter as one of the industry’s leading sim racers.
“I think it was incredible that professional racing drivers were squared off against people from the sim racing world for the Vegas eRace. The exposure from the event inspired thousands of gamers like me to get involved and take sim racing more seriously.
“It was also a great opportunity for sim racers to prove their worth to sponsors and even talent scouts, because there are so many incredibly talented people who sim race but can’t afford to go karting as racing is too expensive.
“I think every aspect of Sim Racing has improved since I came on the scene. From the graphics, to the handling characteristics of cars, even the equipment that I use to race with is of such high quality and gives great feedback while driving. My racing wheel itself is a replica of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari F1 wheel from 2011!
“The $1 million prize share that was on offer was amazing too. It was enough to set someone up for life or potentially kickstart a racing career for a lucky individual.”
Based in Australia, mainstream motorsport opportunities can sometimes be hard to come by. However just last month Daly attended his first ever Grand Prix on the eve of hitting the 200,000 subscriber benchmark. His vlogs from his time in the Melbourne F1 paddock have entertained thousands already and from reading the comments it is clear Ben has had a huge influence on many fans. Almost all responses are supportive, brimming with passion and positivity, happy to see Ben enjoying his time immersed in the sport he loves most. To my surprise, there are also many responses to the video that explain Ben’s passion for his craft have lead to many new viewers of Formula 1. They discovered his videos and became smitten with the sport through simple Gameplay. I personally find that quite astonishing but it just proves how good Ben is at what he does.
“Just last year I got flown to the UK to test and give feedback for the new Formula 1 game,” Ben continues. “It was a huge honour that the professionals at Codemasters were eager to hear my opinion and I could in some small way have my input make the game better. Oh and I also got a few hot laps in a V8 Supercar, that was pretty cool.”
With growing interest into sim racing, I wanted to know how could motorsport incorporate sim racing into their championships.
“Perhaps hold a competition or championship aligned with a particular series, with the winner of the sim racing competition have the opportunity to drive the real life racecar! That’s every sim racers dream!”