At just 22 years old, Jarno Opmeer boasts nearly 650,000 subscribers/followers across the major social media platforms.
It’s not surprising, though.
Opmeer’s online presence is incredibly engaging. He’s down to earth, funny, and real—a quality that sometimes escapes most content creators who carve out a space for themselves on socials. With a tiny LED screen in front of us, it’s easy to become someone we think others will enjoy.
But Opmeer chooses to be every bit of himself. And put frankly, it’s a humbling experience to watch him do his thing in the sim rig.
Like tons of others, he began his career in a go-kart. At just nine years old, Opmeer was crowned the Dutch Champion in the Mini Juniors series.
The Dutchman claimed another in 2010, too.
He competed in karting championships around Europe and eventually joined MP Motorsport in 2016, where in his first season, he finished second overall.
It wasn’t until 2019 that Opmeer made the switch to Formula 1 Esports, joining Renault-Vitality and claiming fourth position in the season. And then, of course, his speed and skill in the sim eventually earned him his back-to-back titles.
He chalks up his determination and winning mentality to heaps of practice. We’re talking hours upon hours in the factory.
“At some point, I think we got here four weeks before the first esports event and basically practiced every day,” Opmeer told Thomas Harrison-Lord on the Traxion.GG Podcast.
“Took a few days off in between events at some points because just simply had to for my own sanity… it’s just almost nonstop practice.”
Though he struggled a bit in qualification, the key to better consistency came through his reps.
“The practice was definitely worth it.”
Opmeer says he was grateful for joining F1 esports in 2019, since the obvious rise in competitors came in 2020, during the pandemic. That first season had growing pains, which in turn motivated the Dutch driver to work even harder in the coming years.
He jokes about the seriousness of league racing, but admits it plays a crucial role in staying sharp during the endless amount of laps.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s not too serious. And the same time, it’s a little bit of practice. So yeah, I will continue doing it. I like doing it.”
That quote kind of stuck with me because league racing, to some, is unbelievably serious. The competition is extreme; the broadcasts are popular amongst the masses, especially since esport events mimic real-world racing in many ways.
To plenty of drivers, it’s their livelihood.
And yet, Opmeer chooses to enjoy the ride. It’s almost a reflection of how we should all try to live life, really.
A little less serious.
There’s a reason Opmeer shines brightly on his social media platforms. He’s authentically and unabashedly himself. Even after hours at the factory, he finds time to post content on his YouTube and TikTok. It’s a balancing act that has definitely paid off.
Even a quick trip over to Twitter, and his recent tweet is a blushing froggy holding a heart.
“Stream was good today, didn’t expect that many people tuning in after not streaming for a while but got 2000 peak pogmeer academy members.”
I, myself, am a content creator and have been through a rollercoaster of emotions online. I’ve found that it’s much harder to try to be someone you’re not than it is to just be 100 per cent yourself. Taking the time to genuinely interact with your fans and followers isn’t always at the top of the list when you research ways to improve your social media presence.
However; speaking from my own experience, it’s totally worth doing so.
Opmeer balances more than most. From practicing at the factory to consistently posting content, he still manages to prioritize humanity. It’s easy to cheer for someone and support their dreams when after watching just one podcast episode, you feel like you know the real Jarno Opmeer.
Just a 22-year-old who gets excited over the same delicious lunch snack every day.
“Whenever I’m home, I do have my toasted bread, and then I put Sriracha on it with three eggs, ham, cheese and salmon.”
The true lunch of a champion, both inside and out.
Don’t miss this awesome chat with Jarno Opmeer featured on our Traxion.GG Podcast.