Following another evening of excitement and drama at the second live show of the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series, Ferrari Driver Academy’s David Tonizza extends his lead in the drivers’ standings, with Red Bull Racing Esports Team’s Frederik Rasmussen in second place and Renault Sport Team Vitality’s Jarno Opmeer completing the top three. Red Bull Racing Esport Team top the Teams’ Championship, ahead of second-placed Ferrari Driver Academy and Renault Sport Team Vitality in third.
This evening’s live event was hosted at the Gfinity Esports Arena in London and saw all ten official F1 Esports teams battling it out head to head on F1 2019, the official F1© videogame developed by Codemasters, for the second of four times this season.
The first race of the night saw the drivers take on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montreal, Canada. Tino Naukkarinen and Jarno Opmeer went head to head in the first wet race of the series so far, with the Finn receiving a 3-second penalty for colliding when entering the pits. Renault achieved their best finish of the season with Cedric Thome and Jarno Opmeer finishing 1st and 3rd respectively. Reigning champion Brendon Leigh made up good ground from starting 8th to 4th, and achieving his best finish of the season yet in 2nd place.
The second Grand Prix of the evening took place at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, which proved to be a dramatic and tricky race for the drivers. Tonizza bounced back to snatch pole position and, with multiple penalties given throughout the race, was able to hold Rasmussen at bay, blocking Red Bull the home victory they wanted. The Dane finished a close second with Marcel Kiefer taking 3rd position.
Silverstone set the stage for the event’s final race of the night with an exhilarating battle between some of the top teams. However, a surprise win for SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports Team put Marcel Kiefer on the top step on the podium in their first win of the series so far. Marcel was closely followed by Rasmussen in 2nd and Daniel Bereznay in 3rd.
With the dust barely settled on an incredible evening, attention now shifts to the next live event on November 6 and all things to play for ahead of the final on December 4 to win a share of ultimate prize fund of half of million dollars. Red Bull Racing Esports Team will look to defend its position at the top of the team standings in the face of fierce competition. Likewise, David Tonizza will seek to maintain his lead, with all the action set to take place in Germany, Belgium and Italy.
Following this evening’s show, the overall standings are as follows:
The live show was streamed online via Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast on global television by broadcast partners such as Sky (UK), Ziggo (Netherlands), MTV (Finland) and Fox (Australia).
With a significant increase in interest in the F1 New Balance Esports Series, and for those who missed out this year, qualifying rounds for the 2020 Series are now officially open and running until the end of the calendar year. Anyone with a copy of F1 2019 can take part – all they have to do is load up the game and enter. The qualifications are open globally and there are two qualifying rounds left. For more information, please visit www.f1esports.com.
Julian Tan, Head of Growth & Esports at Formula 1 said:
“The spectacle of the F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series continues to reach new heights as the world’s best racers on our official F1 video game elevate their performance to stunning proportions. It’s terrific to see the interest and engagement in our series transcend the “traditional” gaming world and move strongly into broader audience demographics as everyone enjoys the quality racing content being put on. The realistic graphics of the game, competitive field and raw emotions of our drivers are putting racing esports on the map in the wider world of sports simulation esports, as we at F1 continue to unleash the power of F1 Esports to break down borders in our sport.”
Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters, said: “We’re at the halfway point of the F1 Esports Series and it’s still anyone’s title to win,” said Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters. With over half the field still in with a chance of taking the title, the final two races promise to deliver action and drama and our racing community will be counting down the days until 6th November to see what happens next.”
Graham Wallace, Global Chief Operating Officer at Gfinity, said: “Once again the Gfinity Arena was rocking with excitement. The level of competitive intensity increased with each race. The drivers are amazing athletes. Fans around the globe are marveling at their exploits. It is why esports is so popular and why the audience is growing with each and every show”.
For more information on the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series visit www.f1esports.com.
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Formula 1® racing began in 1950 and is the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition, as well as the world’s most popular annual sporting series. The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to December and spans 21 races in 21 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of Formula 1® and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™. Formula 1® is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LSXMA, LSXMB, LSXMK, BATRA, BATRK, FWONA, FWONK) attributed to the Formula One Group tracking stock. The F1 logo, F1 FORMULA 1 logo, FORMULA 1, F1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX, PADDOCK
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Esports (electronic sports) is watching or playing competitive video gaming. Leading titles include League of Legends, Counter- Strike: Global Offensive, Defense of the Ancients 2 (DotA 2), Call of Duty and Rocket League. The industry is growing rapidly, with new communities developing around more and more titles. The global esports market generated US$493 million of revenue in 2016 and is expected to make $1.5 billion by 2020. The global esports audience in 2017 was 191 million people, 80% under the age of 35 and 70% male (source: Newzoo). Online streaming channels Twitch and YouTube command the biggest audiences, although esports events are also now being broadcast on conventional TV. The 2015 League of Legends Championships finals in Berlin were watched by 36 million people, with a peak concurrent viewership of 14 million viewers, while at DotA 2’s flagship annual championship ‘The International 2016’ competitors from around the world competed for a prize pot of over $20 million.
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