Why you should watch the V10 R-League.

image courtesy of Red Bull Racing.

We all very much enjoyed the variety of Esports action in the beginning portion of this year whilst real world racing was on hold. We had so much virtual racing to enjoy –  ranging from officially sanctioned events by major motorsport championships such as F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, Aussie Supers, MotoGP and Formula E – to originals like the All-Star Series by The Race and the VCO Cup of Nations.

Then you have championships that existed long before the sim racing boom, such as Formula Sim Racing, the Grand Prix Virtual World Championship, and prominent league racing series such as Apex Online Racing and Online Racing League. Well now, a new championship is coming onto the scene with an interesting format and has attracted some of the biggest teams in the world of both real and virtual racing.

The Global Racing Series V10 R-League is a sim racing championship that takes place on Assetto Corsa with a very intriguing format. You have eight teams and three drivers each, one team takes on another in a series of races, the first of which is a head-to-head. In this event, teams match up their drivers in three short one-on-one races with the first team to win two races getting the first point.

What follows is a relay race where each driver heads out on track one at a time, swapping in the pits with a team mate, the fastest team across all three drivers scores the next point. Finally you have a sprint race, all six drivers take to the track with team scores for the round based on positions, the highest score gets the point.

I believe it may be a case of it being like a tournament format, starting off with eight teams in the first round, four in the second and then two for the final. I may be wrong.

Who are the teams? Well the V10 R-League, with its prize pool of £100,000 to be distributed across the eight teams depending on the result at the end of it, has attracted some very big names. They are as follows.

Teams from F1 such as Red Bull, Racing Point and Williams are competing as are the sim racing divisions of BMW, Ford and even Suzuki in collaboration with Jean Alesi’s Esports Academy. Then the other two are Team RedLine in partnership with Porsche and a new Esports team from the UAE, Yas Heat which is working with Veloce Esports.

Some well known drivers are taking part too. Red Bull have the likes of Graham Carroll and Joni Törmälä who both raced for Red Bull in the 2018 F1 Esports Pro Series. BMW has former Toro Rosso F1 Esports driver Cem Bölükbaşı, as well as Formula E Race At Home Challenge sim drivers grid winner Kevin Siggy and Gran Turismo World Tour regular Coque López.

Racing Point are running their current F1 Esports drivers Lucas Blakeley, Daniele Haddad and their Pro Draft pick Shanaka Clay. They also have former British Touring Car driver Mike Epps, who during the sim racing boom quickly established himself as one of the best professional racing drivers in the Esports sphere as he starred in many big sim racing events.

Williams have a selection of Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzezinski, the two Polish drivers who were part of the overall winning entry in the Le Mans 24 Virtual. They have also acquired the services of Michael Romanidis, who competed in the Pro Exhibition races for Williams, and former Haas F1 Esports driver Martin Štefanko.

Another Czech former Haas F1 Esports driver Michal Šmidl will race for Porsche24 RedLine as will Atze Kerkhof, sparring partner of Max Verstappen and was teammates with Max and Lando Norris in the Le Mans 24 Virtual. Then we have Jaroslav Honzik with Yas Heat, you may know him better as the sim racing content creator and streamer Jardier.

Now onto the part you lot may have been wondering once you saw the name of the series, V10 R-League. Yes, V10, the cars that will be raced in this will be powered by a V10 so you can hear it bellow in all its glory like it’s 2005 all over again. The cars utilise a 3.0-litre 900 horsepower V10 that will rev to 19,000rpm. And because they only weigh 700 kilograms, they’ll go like stink! The predicted top speed for these cars is 220mph, and when it all goes wrong, there’s no traction control or anti-lock brakes to save the drivers.

These cars will race at top line racing tracks from around the world. These include Vallelunga, Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps, Laguna Seca, Monza, Nürburgring (and that’s including the 13-mile Nordschliefe) and Yas Marina. I have no doubt that these cars with their striking look will make for some great racing on these tracks, even Yas Marina!

So if this sounds like it’s right up your street, look for V10 R-League on social media which will lead you to their website and you can find out when and where to watch this happen. Watch team vs team, head-to-head, wheel-to-wheel, let’s bring the noise!

2020 F1 Esports Series season preview

The 2020 F1 Esports Series is almost upon us, and with it the official confirmation of who will race for all ten of the teams. Here’s your guide to who’ll be competing and what’s new ahead of the fourth F1 Esports season.

While drivers will be competing for individual honours, the teams will all be competing for a bigger share of the now $750,000 prize pool. Each team will consist of three drivers who will all take varying parts in the twelve race season between October and December.

In the annual F1 Esports Pro Draft which took place on August 27th, each of the ten teams must pick at least one driver who had qualified through the game, and the teams went in reverse championship order from the previous season.

Haas: Floris Wijers (NED), Cedric Thomé (FRA) and Simon Weigang (GER)

Haas have finished second-to-last and last in their first two seasons of competing, and will want to change that in 2020. Floris Wijers was their 2019 Pro Draft pick and Cedric Thomé raced last season for Renault which resulted in a victory on the Canadian GP circuit.

Simon Weigang is their Pro Draft pick for this year, he also raced last season for Renault. Wijers impressed in the first Pro Exhibition race earlier this year, and the two former Renault drivers are undoubtedly quick. Haas will want to lift themselves from the tail end of the virtual grid and finally now may be the time they do.

AlphaTauri: Joni Törmälä (FIN), Patrik Holzmann (GER) and Manuel Biancolilla (ITA)

After previously finishing runner-up in the team’s championship to Mercedes in 2018 primarily thanks to the efforts of Frederik Rasmussen, the cool-headed Dane’s move to Red Bull meant that the then-named Toro Rosso team didn’t fair brilliantly. They however have stuck to their guns with Patrik Holzmann and redrafting Manuel Biancolilla, and have also inherited Joni Törmälä from Red Bull.

Törmälä was part of the Red Bull team’s championship winning effort last season so he will be the one to watch in their B-Team now as he will be undoubtedly the one leading the charge for AlphaTauri. Whilst it may be seen as a demotion, they are all in equal cars so he will have every opportunity to prove Red Bull wrong for not having him in their main team.

Mercedes: Brendon Leigh (GBR), Bono Huis (NED) and Bardia Boroumand (IRN)

After dominating in 2018, two-time champion Brendon Leigh failed to win a race and Mercedes struggled after losing Dani Bereznay to Alfa Romeo. This seemed to coincide also with Leigh making the transition to real-life racing in the BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 championship, where he finished fourth in his first race. However he proved in the Pro Exhibition race on the Chinese GP circuit that he’s not lost any commitment to Esports, and this season he has some very strong teammates.

Former McLaren driver Bono Huis joined Mercedes this year after finishing a respectable 7th in last year’s F1 Esports season. Joining them is the highly-rated Bardia Boroumand who starred in his stint in the Pro Exhibition races for Alfa Romeo, notably when he took pole for the race in support of the Virtual Spanish Grand Prix. Mercedes have a strong bunch of drivers to help them get back to winning ways.

BWT Racing Point: Lucas Blakeley (GBR), Daniele Haddad (ITA) and Shanaka Clay (GBR)

Lucas Blakely (Formula 1 esports)

After being drafted in 2019, Scottish driver Lucas Blakeley’s star power has only risen as he went from doing four races last year where he got a best of second at Suzuka, to being able to hold off the reigning champion David Tonizza in the Monaco Pro Exhibition race for an incredible win. Blakeley and Racing Point scored the most points for driver and team across all those races and he could upset the established order this season.

Alongside Blakeley is the reliable Daniele Haddad (who you’ll recognise as being the voice in Jimmy Broadbent’s ears during the Virtual Grand Prix races) and also Shanaka Clay, who really impressed when he won the Canada Pro Exhibition race in very tricky conditions. Clay being a former karting rival of Lando Norris and George Russell, and being only his second race when he won, will have some spring in his step come the start of the season.

McLaren Shadow: James Baldwin (GBR), Dani Moreno (ESP) and Matthias Cologon (FRA)

With an all-new line-up, McLaren Shadow will be putting their faith in a relatively inexperienced set of drivers. First up is World’s Fastest Gamer James Baldwin, who raced a few times for Alfa Romeo in the Pro Exhibition races. He will be doubling up his efforts in the F1 Esports Series with competing in the British GT for Jenson Button’s team, of which he’s already won a race, taken a few pole positions and is in contention for the championship.

Baldwin’s teammates are relatively unknown quantities. Moreno impressed in some Play-Off qualification races, and Cologon was in the Pro Draft in 2019 though he wasn’t picked, but McLaren see something beyond their inexperience in the F1 Esports Series. So while it may be a gamble, it could very well pay off.

Williams: Alvaro Carreton (ESP), Salih Saltunç (GBR) and Michael Romanidis (GRC)

Having been with Williams since the beginning, Alvaro Carreton has improved massively over the years to the point that he could challenge for the odd win or two so Williams were not wanting to let him go that easily. Michael Romanidis started racing for Williams this year in the Pro Exhibition races and also competed for them in the Le Mans 24 Virtual.

Saltunç joins from Alfa Romeo where was overshadowed by Dani Bereznay and will be looking to remind people why he was the only driver in 2018 other than Bereznay and Rasmussen to win a race over the dominant Brendon Leigh. A very highly rated driver, maybe a move to Williams was exactly what he needs.

Renault Vitality: Nicolas Longuet (FRA), Fabrizio Donoso Delgado (CHL) and Caspar Jansen (NED)

Having lost their star Jarno Opmeer, Renault quickly snapped up the services of former Red Bull driver Nicolas Longuet who only raced one time last season and got a podium finish out of it. He’s also joined by 2017 runner-up Fabrizio Donoso Delgado who sat out 2019 and will be hoping to remind everyone why he was the one who came close to denying Brendon Leigh the inaugural championship.

Renault’s final pick is Caspar Jansen, who has been performing very well in league racing and will undoubtedly benefit from Donoso’s experience to get him performing well in the Esports series too. A varied but balanced line-up at Renault that they think will help them hold onto or even improve on fourth in last year’s team championship standings.

Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen: Dani Bereznay (HUN), Jarno Opmeer (NED) and Dominik Hofmann (GER)

When it was announced in the run-up to the Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix that Opmeer had signed for Alfa Romeo, I immediately said that Alfa would be the favourite for the team championship and I stand by that. Opmeer was fourth and Bereznay third in last year’s F1 Esports series and are both utter machines, I was concerned that whoever would be Alfa’s Pro Draft pick may get the short end of the stick.

Nevertheless, the highly-rated Dominik Hofmann is also very rapid so it’s odd to think he’s only been picked up now. It’s going to be interesting to see the dynamic within the team, as both Opmeer and Bereznay are capable of fighting for the championship though Hofmann will also be racing at some point. But like team manager Jamie MacLaurin stated on the Pro Draft broadcast, it’s a good problem to have.

FDA Hublot: David Tonizza (ITA), Enzo Bonito (ITA) and Filip Prešnajder (SVK)

Enzo Bonito and David Tonizza, FDA (Scuderia Ferrari Media)

Now onto Ferrari’s Esports team, having joined the virtual racing party a year later than everyone else and drafting the eventual champion in David Tonizza. The teams championship however eluded them as Tonizza was the only one amongst the three Ferrari drivers to score points.

To fix that, Ferrari have now signed former McLaren driver Enzo Bonito, and together both Tonizza and Bonito have been doing the Pro Exhibition races, competing together in the SRO GT E-Sports Series and even shared a Ferrari GTE car with Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi in the Le Mans 24 Virtual.

As for their Pro Draft pick, Slovakian Filip Prešnajder was the one they went for after he impressed them with his speed in the play-off races on his gaming platform.

Red Bull: Frederik Rasmussen (DNK), Marcel Kiefer (GER) and Tino Naukarrinen (FIN)

The ever calm and cool character that is Frederik Rasmussen was third in 2018 and fell short of the championship last year, so it’s probably fair to say that the championship this year would be the most fitting result. He is joined by former Racing Point driver Marcel Kiefer, who won a race during the F1 Esports last year at Silverstone, and also won in the Pro Exhibition race around Interlagos.

Then we have Tino Naukarrinen, who was drafted after departing from Williams. All three drivers are proven quantities within the F1 Esports world and are very much capable of collecting very valuable points for Red Bull in their effort to retain the team’s championship.

What else is new?

After the outcry of the community to up the race length, the upcoming season will have races that are 35% distance of an F1 race (upwards of 25% from previous seasons) and will also have full knockout-style qualifying that will also be broadcast this year.

There will be four events with three races each so twelve races overall. Held on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the first event will take place on October 14-15 with races at the Bahrain, Vietnam and Chinese Grand Prix circuits.

The second batch of races will be on the Zandvoort, Montreal and Red Bull Ring circuits on November 4-5, followed by races at Silverstone, Spa and Monza on November 18-19. Then finally on December 9-10 will be Suzuka, Mexico City and São Paulo which will round off the fourth season.

You will be able to watch the F1 Esports drivers racing on F1’s official YouTube, Twitch and Facebook pages as well as your appropriate TV channels.

(Featured image courtesy of F1 2020 game by Codemasters)

Things we want to see in the new BTCC game

After 22 years, a new British Touring Car Championship game is finally coming. The game was recently announced by Motorsport Games, the team behind the NASCAR Heat series.

There are still so many questions to answer as the game is not due out until 2022. There are a few things BTCC fans are sure to want to see in this new release, the first BTCC-centric game since 1998’s ToCA 2 Touring Cars.

With the technology available nowadays, the scope for this game is huge. In 1998 the original PlayStation could only do so much, but with the PlayStation 5 now on the horizon, the potential is huge, it’s whether Motorsport Games can unlock that potential.

Career Mode?

In the 90’s games, there was no fleshed out career mode. It’s been done before in games such as 2001’s ToCA Race Driver and Project CARS 2, the former even had the ToCA licence, but both were merely small cogs in a larger machine. This time with the support of Alan Gow and ToCA, Motorsport Games can really tailor this game to the BTCC diehards.

The options include starting in a test day and teams can scout you and sign you depending on your performance, or perhaps there is another option available.

Utilising The Support Series’

A BTCC weekend is so much more than just the touring cars. There’s also the Ginetta Juniors and Supercup, the new for 2020 Mini Challenge, British F4’s and the Porsche Supercup. Perhaps the career mode can have you starting off in a feeder series such as the Ginetta Juniors, and allowing you to progress up to the end goal of the BTCC. Again teams may scout and sign you dependant on your performances.

Alternatively you could just stick in the support series if they float your boat. The Ginetta series’ were in Project CARS 2 but as standalone championships, never have they been placed into a ToCA style package like we see in real life. Hopefully Motorsport Games have the access and ability to recreate the whole package, not just the BTCC.

Arcade vs Sim

Sim racing is growing, even more so after the Virtual F1 events we saw during Lockdown. But the balance between arcade controls and sim controls is a difficult one. Some games such as DiRT Rally and Assetto Corsa are built to be simulations, as close to the real thing as they physically can. Or we can see arcade style games, which cater to the more casual racers.

Motorsport Games have some tough choices to make, do they try and please everyone with an arcade style game, like the old ToCA games? Or, do they try and appease the diehard sim racers with a detailed, some would say tricky, game which mimics all the challenges of racing a touring car? There’s a chance they could try and merge the two, much like DiRT does, but it’s a lot more work for the developers.

Classic Content?

As brilliant as the current crop of touring cars is, it’s important to remember the past and some of the amazing cars the BTCC has seen over the years. It’s a chance we could see classic cars such as the Ford Sierra RS500’s and Vauxhall Cavaliers of the 80’s, the Renault Laguna or the Volvo 850 Estate of the Super Touring era, or the dominant Vauxhall’s of the 2000’s. It could work like the Formula One games where the classic cars are integrated into the career mode in the form of invitational events. Where you can enhance your reputation with a team with a good showing in these one off events.

Capturing the Essence

The BTCC is a special place, the paddocks are all intertwined, the access to drivers from fans is much easier than the likes of Formula One. There’s a sense of bravado and camaraderie that is seldom seen elsewhere. It is vital for Motorsport Games to try and translate that into this new game, some would argue this is the most important aspect of the new game.

Driver Personalities

There’s nothing worse in a racing game than poor AI. Computer controlled racers who are soulless and stick to one line, regardless of where you position your car. Will the developers be able to accurately install the personalities of drivers into the game? The phrase ‘rubbing is racing’ is more prevalent in touring cars than most other format. Will the AI drivers give as much as they get in terms of close physical racing?

Esports

The world of esports is growing, it is a huge aspect of gaming nowadays. Can the BTCC game have an esports aspect? With Motorsport Games having the full backing of ToCA, they can work closely together to create an esports event, perhaps at the final weekend of the BTCC season, with a huge tournament and prizes on offer.

One of those prizes could be a test in a BTCC car. The BTCC have often offered incentives to people, such as Matt Neal’s famous 1999 win at Donington Park. Famous as Alan Gow had offered a prize of £250,000 to the first independent driver to win a race outright. If a team or ToCA themselves can front the prize of a test in a real touring car, the chances for anyone to enter the series is possible. Much like James Baldwin who is now a full time professional racer, despite his background being in virtual racing.

There’s so many questions to answer, and Motorsport Games will most likely give updates to answer any questions we may have. But the potential and hype for this game will only grow more as we reach the 2022 release date.

Image Credit: BTCC Media

Racing game content creators to follow

In the run-up to the launch of the upcoming F1 game, I know plenty of us are planning on enjoying all there is to offer. Whether you are diving in the deep end with the new My Team mode, ringing the neck out of the four new Michael Schumacher classic cars or just overall being a tool by piledriving into people at the first corner in an online race. However in anticipation of F1 2020 being released, I’d like to let you all know about five content creators who you should consider following if you’re looking for some amazing videos centred on racing games.

Tiametmarduk


This is one that a lot of people in the F1 community will know already. Benjamin Daly is an Australian content creator who has amassed nearly 450,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel. If you subscribe to him, you can expect to find mostly F1 game career mode videos as well as online races, whether it be random lobbies, open to subscribers of his or even organised events.

Daly has been racing a lot of the F1 drivers in the Veloce Esports – of which Daly is a part of – Not The GP events as well as taking part in the last two F1 Virtual Grand Prix races with McLaren (who he has also become the Esports ambassador for). He’s probably the most naturally quick of all the big F1 gaming content creators on YouTube, and plays the game religiously.

This isn’t to say that Daly only ever plays the F1 games, he has branched out a few times though it’s safe to say that as far as the Codemasters F1 games are concerned, he’s the most well known and in my opinion, the best in the business. For a more varied set of racing games, you may like my next pick.

Jimmy Broadbent


Now this is a guy who everyone loves. Known by many names such as Jamble Wanglebork, Sheddy Irvine or the shed dweller, and also for being a bit of a jack of all trades. Jimmy is mainly known for driving more dedicated simulators such as iRacing, rFactor 2, Assetto Corsa Competizione etc. but he also isn’t shy to play the F1 games.

Like Tiametmarduk, Jimmer has been taking part in the Virtual Grand Prix races with Racing Point. Infact where there has been sim racing action in the past few months, it’s been very difficult not to find this wonderful man involved one way or another. Not only that, but Jimmy is also a commentator for the FIA Gran Turismo championships and you can just feel the enthusiasm, this man lives and breathes racing, and it’s just a joy to watch him and his videos.

Broadbent’s YouTube channel hit half a million subscribers during the Le Mans 24 Virtual that he was competing in, and on his birthday too. I cannot stress enough just how wonderful this guy really is and I highly implore you all to go seek out his channel, you will not be disappointed. Also, no he did not portray Frank Butterman in Hot Fuzz.

IntoTheBarrier


A bit of a left field selection I reckon for a lot of you, he’s gone very much under the radar and is someone who I think is very unappreciated. Scott Wallis is someone who I am sure is one of the backbones of the F1 Gaming community on YouTube, as his content is simple yet effective.

Scott often pairs up a short race with overenthusiastic post commentary and throws in a few in-jokes whether that be about aliens, horsey or a very brilliantly delivered “OH NO”. His editing is amazing too, what he lacks in ability on the game (which he would agree with so no I am not insulting him) he makes up for in video making.

What I mean by being a backbone of the F1 Gaming community is that before Scott came along, the F1 games didn’t attract much of an audience on YouTube outside of their little niche. Not many people wanted to hear some monotone 12-year old talk over a car going round a track, but Scott took that concept and perfected it for the mainstream. This opened up the doors for all his peers to start making videos and the F1 games could flourish.

This is why I include IntoTheBarrier here. He’s just short of hitting the 100,000 subscriber mark and he should get there because he deserves it. You have him to thank for the prominence of the F1 gaming community, even if he isn’t as serious or capable at driving as the likes of Tiametmarduk.

He hasn’t been able to participate in a lot of these big Esports races due to the fact he isn’t on PC, but maybe his in-joke about aliens could land him a sponsorship deal with Alienware? Maybe?

Maxime MXM


Another one who may have flown under the radar but understandably so, MaximeMXM is a Dutch content creator who has her channel sitting at 77,000 subscribers, which when you factor in that the content isn’t even in English, it’s honestly very respectable. She used to be a Call of Duty Esports pro player for G2 Esports, but has since focussed more on creating videos on a variety of games, whether that be Call of Duty, Fortnite, but mainly F1 and racing games.

Maxime really turned a lot of heads during F1’s own #ChallengeHeinekenLegends event where former F1 drivers David Coulthard and Nico Rosberg went head-to-head in a series of challenges on the F1 game. In one of the races, Maxime along with a bunch of other content creators (including Tiametmarduk) took to the US Grand Prix venue and she really stole the show. She led a couple of laps and finished third!

She has since been picked up by Veloce Esports and will start uploading English language videos to a second channel called MaxSim, and I for one am very interested to see where this takes her. I would highly recommend subscribing to her.

TRL Limitless


Now for someone who is very alien-level quick on the game. James Doherty is someone you may know from the F1 Esports series, where in 2018 he was drafted by Renault’s Esports team. However he is mainly known for his over 100,000 subscriber YouTube channel in which he uploads setup tutorials, analysis of onboard laps of some of the quickest drivers on the game and he even streams his online league races.

Doherty’s background was in karting, and he competed in both British and European Rotax races. His channel serves as more informative driven rather than entertainment, but his success as one of the most successful F1 game league racers in the world is not to be sniffed at.

Limitless is undoubtedly one of the fastest drivers on the game and his channel is completely dedicated to it so if you want to learn some tips on how to get faster on the F1 game and to learn more about it, then his channel is definitely the one you need to go to.

Honourable mentions

A list about racing game content creators wouldn’t be legitimate without mentioning Aarava. Like his Veloce stablemate Tiametmarduk, his channel is primarily F1 career mode focused but he also doubles that up by being the team principal of Alfa Romeo’s Esports team.

I’d also like to mention Super GT and BlackPanthaa, who both primarily don’t really play the F1 games and are more into Gran Turismo and Need For Speed respectively, but they are both worth a mention if you like those games.

Last but not least though, if you are a fan of GTA Online then you’ll really appreciate the next guy I am going to mention, his name is Broughy1322. He is the go-to guy if you want to know the performance of every car in GTA, as he religiously laps every single car in the game and he doesn’t get enough appreciation.

Alright! Hope I’ve given you all some good channels to go watch whilst we are all stuck inside. Enjoy them as we await the new F1 game!

MotoGP eSports 2018 Final: Trastevere73 Becomes Double World Champion in Valencia

After several rounds of qualifying and two semi-finals, the twelve fastest MotoGP 18 riders arrived in Valencia for the final of the 2018 MotoGP eSports Championship.

Ahead of the final race of the second season of MotoGP eSports, there was a ten-minute qualifying session, in which reigning champion Trastevere73 took pole position on the factory Ducati GP18. EleGhosT555 (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda) and Cristianmm17 (Repsol Honda) joined him on the front row for the final. Meanwhile, paul_ig7 (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha), AndrewZh (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Luigi48GP (Gresini Racing Aprilia) made up row two; Vindex813 (Givi LCR Honda), ADRIAAN_26 (Pramac Ducati) and timothymcgarden (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completed the third row. The fourth and final row of the grid featured Davidegallina23 (Angel Nieto Team Ducati), RLLORCA26 (Reale Avintia Ducati) and XxBoMbeR_45xX (Ecstar Suzuki) who completed the grid, 0.5 seconds off pole position.
Between qualifying and the race, pole sitter Trastevere73 received his Tissot pole position watch from Jorge Lorenzo.

 

Trastevere73 receives a Tissot watch from Jorge Lorenzo. Photo curtesy of MotoGP.com

 

The start of the ten lap race was extremely action-packed, with two riders going down before the first two turns: Cristianmm17 dropping the Repsol Honda in turn one, before Davidegallina23 crashed the Angel Nieto Team Ducati on the exit of the first turn. It was unclear from the cameras, but it seemed like contact may have been involved in both of these incidents. This isn’t surprising with such a tightly-compacted group going into the opening corners, and the pressure involved in a situation like this too; a pressure which was only heightened by the addition of Marc Marquez in the commentary box.

From an early stage, it was clear that Trastevere73 and EleGhosT555 had a pace advantage on the field, maybe with the exception of AndrewZh. The gap between the Ducati Team rider and the EG 0,0 Marc VDS pilot went back and forth for the entire race, and it never looked like any other rider could get involved.

What became clear were three things: track limits, with all riders looking to maximise their lap time; the pace between all the riders was very close, as had appeared in qualifying; and that in turn caused overtaking to be extremely tough. Especially because of the incredibly short braking zones, and the high amount of time the riders were spending on the side of the tyre, at maximum lean angle.

From experience playing this year’s MotoGP game, I can say that it is not possible to brake a little bit later than your limit because you lose the front very fast and have no chance to save it. Since these riders were on the absolute limit (the front tyres were completely locked for 20 metres or more on almost every corner entry), braking later was not much of an option. The slipstream effect also seemed almost completely negligible from more than a bike length or two. So, the riders found it difficult to get alongside one another in a straight line to make a pass. EleGhosT555, therefore, spent the entirety of the MotoGP eSports Final staring down the virtual exhaust pipe of Trastevere73, unable to do anything about it.

 

Trastevere73 wins the MotoGP 2018 eSports Championship, his prize is a BMW M240i. Photo curtesy of MotoGP.com

 

So, with a lights to flag win, Trastevere73 took the second MotoGP eSports crown in history, and the second of his career. If you like, it was also Ducati’s first MotoGP World Championship since 2007, and their first win at Valencia since 2008. It also seemed like a precursor to Sunday’s premier class race, which Andrea Dovizioso won for Ducati to end the 2018 season.
EleGhosT555 was just 0.298 seconds away from the MotoGP eSports crown in second place, ahead of AndrewZh who completed the podium.

Fourth place went to timothymcgarden, ahead of paul_ig7 in fifth; then came Luigi48GP, Cristianmm17, Vindex813, RLLORCA26, XxBoMbeR_45xX, Davidegallina23 and ADRIAAN_26 who was the last of the 12 riders.

eSports tends to get flack from some motorsports purists, but whatever your opinion on it, you cannot deny that the emotion is there. Trastevere73’s celebrations were a prime example of that. For a lot of people video games are just that: games, but for the elite players, who dedicate themselves to it, it is a way to show their talent. Now with MotoGP eSports it is possible for these gamers to showcase their skills on the world stage, in front of a live audience who are the same as them: MotoGP fans (as well as people like Marc Marquez and Paolo Ciabatti).

 

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Brendon Leigh interview – ‘If the right people help grow the series then it can reach the same viewership.’

Brendon Leigh made headlines last year when he won the inaugural Formula One Esports event last year. Aaron Irwin caught up with the reigning champion to discuss his way into sim racing, the Esports event, and his future.

TPCO: What got you into sim racing? Also which sim did you start off on?
BL: I started Sim racing because i watched Formula 1 on TV so when F1 2010 game came out by Codemasters it was natural for that to be my first racing simulator.
What was going through your mind when you overtook Fabrizio on the final lap of the Grand Final?
I cant fully remember as it was a long time ago.
Do you feel F1 learned from the issues faced in the Vegas eRace when staging their own Esports competition?
It is hard to say as i don’t know anything about the behind the scenes in the F1 Esports, What i do know is that experience will iron out problems so they probably did learn a little from the eRace.
With Esports continuing to grow, do you think it has the chance to be as big as the real deal?
Its possible, If the right people help grow the series then it can reach the same viewership but we will have to wait and see.
There is a now famous ‘finger wagging’ gif from the Esports competition which features you, how do you feel seeing the Formula 1 community using it on race weekends?
I highly doubt it, The finger wag is not a few thing to Formula 1 or the Motorsport world. People waving a finger is frustration isn’t a new thing so I doubt me doing will change a huge amount.
Has your life changed at all since the Esports final? 
Massively, I have gained a lot of self confidence from the Esports series and I have lost a lot of weight to go with that.
Are you a big F1 fan? If so who do you think will win the title this season?
Yes I am a big Formula 1 fan, Its hard to say who will win it. Only with pre-season testing done and none of the top teams have shown their true pace yet.
You’ve lost an incredible amount of weight since the competition, how have you managed to do it?
With the help from Esports+Cars and the amazing help from Simon who helps me train two times a week. That has been the main key to the weight loss, having the best team around you.
What are you up to currently? Racing in any leagues?
Mainly just getting my weight down and getting ready for next F1 esports series. Yes i race in the Apex Online Racing league.
Lastly, Any advice for anyone looking to get into sim racing?
Enjoy the time sim racing, You cant win every race but try to end each race with a smile.
Thanks to Brendon for giving us his time to answer the questions and we wish him the best of luck in his sim racing exploits this season.