After an evening of dramatic racing in the first 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series live event, Ferrari Driver Academy leads the way, with David Tonizza taking the top spot in the driver standings. The Ferrari Driver Academy driver is closely followed by Red Bull Racing Esports driver Frederik Rasmussen in second place whilst SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports driver Marcel Kiefer claimed third.
Tonight’s event was hosted at the Gfinity Esports arena in London and saw all ten of the official F1 Esports teams go head to head on F1 2019, the official F1 videogame developed by Codemasters, for the first time.
The first race of the Pro Series saw the drivers take on the infamous Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. After starting an impressive third on the grid, Italy’s Tonizza dominated the first race of 2019, securing the first ever win for the Ferrari Driver Academy. The driver was closely followed by Renault Sport Team Vitality’s, Jarno Opmeer finishing second and Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports, Salih Saltunc finishing third.
The second race took place at the Shanghai International Circuit and witnessed a dramatic battle between Tonizza and Daniel Bereznay as they continued their tussle from the previous race. However, The FDA driver continued to triumph and took another win for the Italian team. Second place went to Red Bull Racing Esports driver Rasmussen and third to SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports, Marcel Kiefer.
The iconic Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan set the stage for the final race of the night and turned out to be a tense battle between Rasmussen and Williams Esports Tino Naukkarinen. Despite all the on track action, Rasmussen came out on top with Naukkarinen a close second and Tonizza in third.
The fight for the championships will continue at the next live event on October 2nd, which will see Ferrari Driver Academy defend its positions at the top of both standings.
Following this evening’s show, the current standings are as follows:
|1||David Tonizza||Ferrari Driver Academy||65|
|2||Frederik Rasmussen||Red Bull Racing Esports||43|
|3||Marcel Kiefer||SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports||31|
|4||Salih Saltunc||Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports||29|
|5||Jarno Opmeer||Renault Sport Team Vitality||28|
|6||Brendon Leigh||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports||22|
|7||Bono Huis||McLaren Shadow||19|
|8||Tino Naukkarinen||Williams Esports||18|
|9||Enzo Bonito||McLaren Shadow||8|
|10||Alvaro Carreton||Williams Esports||8|
|11||Daniele Haddad||SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports||8|
|12||Floris Wijers||Haas F1 Team Esports||8|
|13||Daniel Bereznay||Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports||6|
|14||Patrik Holzmann||Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports||4|
|15||Patryk Krutyj||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports||4|
|16||Joni Tormala||Red Bull Racing Esports||1|
|17||Cedric Thome||Renault Sport Team Vitality||1|
|18||Cem Bolukbasi||Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports||0|
|19||Amos Laurito||Ferrari Driver Academy||0|
|20||Isaac Price||Williams Esports||0|
|21||Jan Fehler||Haas F1 Team Esports||0|
|1||Ferrari Driver Academy||65|
|2||Red Bull Racing Esports||44|
|3||SportPesa Racing Point F1 Esports||39|
|4||Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports||35|
|5||Renault Sport Team Vitality||29|
|8||Mercedes – AMG Petronas Esports||26|
|9||Haas F1 Team Esports||8|
|10||Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports||4|
The live show was streamed online via Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Huya, as well as broadcast live 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 have launched early for the very first time. Now officially open and running until the end of the calendar year, anyone with a copy of F1 2019 can take part. The qualifications are open globally and there are three qualifying rounds left. For more information, please visit www.f1esports.com.
“Tonight’s event shows the level of determination and talent demanded to compete in the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series. To earn a prestigious position with an official F1 Esports team, each driver has had to prove their worth. The on-track action this evening has been thrilling, and it’s great to see new contenders dominate the leaderboard. David Tonizza, our first pro draft pick this year truly impressed and Ferrari have shown a masterclass performance in their first ever foray into esports. We can’t wait to see the championship continue to develop and what twists and turns lay ahead at the second live event on October 2nd as the teams continue to battle it out on the world’s most prestigious virtual racing championship.”
“The opening night of the F1 Esports Series is always special and tonight didn’t disappoint with all 10 teams lining-up for the first time,” said Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters. “With David Tonizza taking an early lead for Ferrari who are making their esports debut, there is the potential to see a changing of the guard. This promises to be the most exciting Series to date and we can’t wait until 2nd October to see what happens next.
“The drivers and teams yet again delivered world class competition and edge of the seat excitement for millions of fans across the globe. With every race the bar is being raised, with the drivers pushing each other to new levels. Bring on the next set of races. The Gfinity Arena is going to be rocking yet again.”
For more information on the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series visit www.f1esports.com.
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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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