Mercedes takes the double in F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series

In a dramatic climax to the F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series, Brendon Leigh has secured yesterday night at the Gfinity Arena in London his second Drivers’ Championship title in a row after the 2017 success in Abu Dhabi. His clear dominance of the Series, combined with teammate Daniel Bereznay’s second place, also propelled Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports to victory in the Teams’ Championship.

Having dominated Formula 1 in both the real and virtual worlds, Mercedes had yet few more trophies to take home this season. Emulating Lewis Hamilton’s recent victory, Brendon Leigh also demonstrated he is a force to be reckoned with in the virtual world, having controlled much of the racing across the Series to secure his second title with one race to go.

On the Hockenheim circuit Salih Saltunc gave Sauber F1 Esports Team their first success in the Pro Series, with Leigh and Joni Tormala (Red Bull Racing Esports Team) respectively on the 2nd and 3rd steps of the podium. Singapore’s Marina Bay track saw another success for Leigh, who dominated the race, finishing with a 3.8s margin over Williams Esports’ Alvaro Carreton. Marcel Kiefer (Hype Energy eForce India) completed the podium. By the end of rounds seven and eight, Leigh was leading the driver standings with 171 points, followed by teammate Bereznay and Toro Rosso’s Frederik Rasmussen in third.

The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, USA was the stage for a penalty filled penultimate race. However, Leigh remained dominant from pole to finish, crossing the line comfortably in the lead to secure his second title. He was followed by teammate Bereznay to seal a one two for Mercedes, inching the team closer to the Teams’ title. Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports Team’s Patrick Holzmann rounded out the podium in third.

The final, adrenaline fuelled race of the Series took place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. With double points on offer and a cut of the $200,000 prize fund at stake, there was all to fight for in the Teams’ Championship. A dramatic penultimate lap saw a three-car battle between Leigh, Bereznay and Rasmussen emerge, which eventually resulted in Leigh being given a penalty for exceeding the track limits. McLaren Shadow’s Bono Huis used the battle to his advantage, catching up with the leading pack on the final lap. In a nail-biting finish to a hard-fought race Bereznay secured first place in the final race of the Series, followed by Huis and Rasmussen in third.

Asked about how he felt after securing the drivers’ title with a 50 point margin over the runner-up, Leigh said, “I can’t say where my head is at, I’m feeling very emotional. I just want to say thank you to Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports, we’ve put in hours of practice. I spent the last few laps enjoying it, you can never relax, but I was enjoying the moment.”

Christian Dixon of Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports added, “To win the first F1 Esports Teams’ Championship in our inaugural season is a great result for Mercedes – and it really shows how much work everyone put into this. Winning the team title by finishing one-two in the Drivers’ Championship is testimony to the outstanding skills of both Brendon, Dani and the whole team behind them. They’ve been super committed in the preparation, pushing each other to continuously raise the bar. It’s been really rewarding to watch the hard work from the entire team be converted into great results on track.”

The final Pro Series event was streamed live via Facebook and broadcast globally on selected TV networks. Viewing figures for the whole Series are expected to be strong, with the first live event accumulating 23m impressions and 3.2m views on social media, bringing the excitement and exhilaration of Formula 1 to a new generation of fans across the globe.

The F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series has brought together the most talented motorsport gamers in the world for the second year in a row. This year, the drivers had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race with the backing of some of the most prestigious names in motor racing following an intensive selection process.

The Pro Series comprised of three live events held at London’s Gfinity Esports Arena, with drivers competing for the coveted prize fund of $200,000 – allocated to the teams based on their positions in the team standings.

The Pro Series is the exciting finale of the award-winning F1 New Balance Esports Series, which saw 66,000 players compete over four online qualifying rounds earlier in the year to secure a coveted place in the inaugural F1 Esports Pro Draft in July. At which they completed 1.1 million laps in F1 2017, the official game of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and PC. The Pro Series is the first time that the competing drivers have raced on F1 2018, which was released on 24th August 2018.

Julian Tan, Head of Growth & F1 Esports at Formula 1 said:

“Over 66,000 players competed in this year’s F1 New Balance Esports Series, and tonight’s final saw the best of the very best race as part of their real F1 teams. We’d like to congratulate Brendon Leigh and Mercedes on their championship titles, and all the teams and drivers for making this such an exciting Series. By its very nature esports delivers thrilling racing, thanks to the equalised cars and the willingness of drivers to take risks – but, the skill and talent demonstrated has also been incredible. Hours of dedicated practice by the drivers and the investment in training made by the Formula 1 teams has fuelled some extremely exciting on-track drama. Millions of fans around the world have watched the white-knuckle ride that was this year’s Series unfold, bringing the exhilaration of Formula 1 to a new generation of fans across the globe.”

Paul Jeal, F1 Franchise Director at Codemasters said:

“The F1 Esports Series 2018 has been a huge success. A breath-taking spectacle of racing and a fantastic showcase for our F1 2018 game. It was great to see several different winners over the course of the season, from several different teams – helped by the drivers racing with equal car performance.  Ultimately though, as in the real world of F1, it’s a huge congratulations to Mercedes for winning the first ever F1 Esports Teams Championship in comprehensive fashion, and to both of their drivers Brendon Leigh and Daniel Bereznay. Special congratulations go out to Brendon, who is now an F1 Esports Double Champion, with some fantastic drives and hugely consistent performances throughout. We cannot wait for the next Series to begin.”

Mark Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer at Gfinity said:

“The 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Series saved the best to last and delivered an adrenaline-fueled experience that had everyone at the Gfinity Arena and the millions watching around the world out of their seats. As the real and digital sporting landscapes continue to converge, the final weekend demonstrated perfectly the opportunities that exist to sports rights holders and brands wishing to enter the exciting esports sector. The younger generation has truly embraced the F1 Esports Series and the competition is creating the F1 fan of the future.”

The F1 New Balance Esports Series is operated in partnership with Codemasters, the developer and publisher of the official Formula 1 video game franchise and Gfinity, one of the world’s leading esports companies. New Balance was recently named the title sponsor of the competition, joining the established sponsors DHL and Fanatec.

For more information on the F1 New Balance Esports Series visit www.f1esports.com or follow all the action on F1’s official Facebook page.

Race results

RACE 7 – Germany

 

Pos. Driver Race Time Gap Fastest Lap Points
1 SALIH SALTUNC 21:09.208   1:13.031 25
2 BRENDON LEIGH 21:10.673 +1.465 1:12.825 18
3 JONI TORMALA 21:11.126 +1.918 1:13.121 15
4 FABRIZIO DONOSO 21:14.020 +4.812 1:12.959 12
5 ALVARO CARRETON 21:14.920 +5.712 1:12.588 10
6 DANIEL BEREZNAY 21:15.365 +6.157 1:13.198 8
7 PATRIK HOLZMANN 21:16.175 +6.967 1:13.105 6
8 CEM BOLUKBASI 21:17.242 +8.034 1:12.083 4
9 MARCEL KIEFER 21:17.390 +8.182 1:12.520 2
10 TINO NAUKKARINEN 21:18.927 +9.719 1:13.349 1
11 OLLI PAHKALA 21:21.745 +12.537 1:13.362  
12 ENZO BONITO 21:24.863 +15.655 1:12.964  
13 MICHAL SMIDL 21:25.563 +16.355 1:13.569  
14 KIMMY LARSSON 21:26.873 +17.665 1:13.405  
15 MARTIN STEFANKO 21:30.984 +21.776 1:13.016  
16 SVEN ZUERNER 21:45.333 +36.125 1:12.503  
17 GRAHAM CARROLL 21:45.690 +36.482 1:12.553  
18 SONUC SALTUNC 21:59.163 +49.955 1:11.684  

Race 1

RACE 8 – Singapore

Pos. Driver Race Time Gap Fastest Lap Points
1 BRENDON LEIGH 24:45.215   1:36.163 25
2 ALVARO CARRETON 24:49.047 +3.832 1:36.598 18
3 MARCEL KIEFER 24:50.151 +4.936 1:36.547 15
4 DANIEL BEREZNAY 24:51.562 +6.347 1:36.799 12
5 MARTIN STEFANKO 24:52.439 +7.224 1:36.786 10
6 CEM BOLUKBASI 25:03.241 +18.026 1:36.962 8
7 GRAHAM CARROLL 25:08.168 +22.953 1:36.725 6
8 MICHAL SMIDL 25:08.692 +23.477 1:36.732 4
9 OLLI PAHKALA 25:09.407 +24.192 1:37.004 2 2
10 KIMMY LARSSON 25:10.068 +24.853 1:36.934 1
11 SVEN ZUERNER 25:10.178 +24.963 1:36.523  
12 PATRIK HOLZMANN 25:16.157 +30.942 1:36.806  
13 SALIH SALTUNC 25:20.858 +35.643 1:38.374  
14 JONI TORMALA 25:25.298 +40.083 1:37.388  
15 TINO NAUKKARINEN 25:26.690 +41.475 1:38.575  
16 MADS SOERENSEN 25:27.049 +41.834 1:38.326  
17 SONUC SALTUNC 26:05.332 +1:20.117 1:35.498  
18 ENZO BONITO   DNF 1:39.489  

 

RACE 9 – USA

 

Pos. Driver Race Time Gap Fastest Lap Points
1 BRENDON LEIGH 22:08.250   1:32.600 25
2 DANIEL BEREZNAY 22:11.380 +3.130 1:33.066 18
3 PATRIK HOLZMANN 22:14.763 +6.513 1:33.072 15
4 SALIH SALTUNC 22:18.492 +10.242 1:33.518 12
5 FREDERIK RASMUSSEN 22:21.004 +12.754 1:33.201 10
6 SVEN ZUERNER 22:22.007 +13.757 1:33.101 8
7 MARCEL KIEFER 22:22.284 +14.034 1:33.107 6
8 ENZO BONITO 22:22.669 +14.419 1:32.812 4
9 BONO HUIS 22:26.175 +17.925 1:32.919 2
10 JONI TORMALA 22:27.391 +19.141 1:33.388 1
11 TINO NAUKKARINEN 22:27.808 +19.558 1:33.172  
12 KIMMY LARSSON 22:30.800 +22.550 1:32.950  
13 GRAHAM CARROLL 22:33.009 +24.759 1:33.252  
14 FABRIZIO DONOSO 22:33.075 +24.825 1:33.330  
15 ALLERT VAN DER WAL 22:33.421 +25.171 1:34.054  
16 MARTIN STEFANKO 22:38.607 +30.357 1:33.192  
17 MICHAL SMIDL 22:40.827 +32.577 1:34.375  
18 ALVARO CARRETON 22:54.492 +46.242 1:32.203  

 

RACE 10 – Abu Dhabi

 

Pos. Driver Race Time Gap Fastest Lap Points
1 DANIEL BEREZNAY 46:15.184   1:37.015 50
2 BONO HUIS 46:16.772 +1.588 1:37.330 36
3 FREDERIK RASMUSSEN 46:17.421 +2.237 1:36.916 30
4 ENZO BONITO 46:17.778 +2.594 1:36.653 24
5 BRENDON LEIGH 46:22.581 +7.397 1:36.841 20
6 ALLERT VAN DER WAL 46:38.227 +23.043 1:37.454 16
7 MARTIN STEFANKO 46:43.858 +28.674 1:36.732 12
8 SALIH SALTUNC 46:44.596 +29.412 1:36.415 8
9 FABRIZIO DONOSO 46:53.710 +38.526 1:36.895 4
10 MARCEL KIEFER 46:55.467 +40.283 1:35.869 2
11 GRAHAM CARROLL 46:59.678 +44.494 1:37.423  
12 MICHAL SMIDL 46:59.736 +44.552 1:36.268  
13 KIMMY LARSSON 47:00.910 +45.726 1:37.176  
14 JONI TORMALA 47:02.134 +46.950 1:37.484  
15 SVEN ZUERNER 47:02.973 +47.789 1:35.693  
16 TINO NAUKKARINEN 47:18.579 +1:03.395 1:37.340  
17 ALVARO CARRETON 47:28.383 +1:13.199 1:34.917  
18 PATRIK HOLZMANN   DNF    

 

Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships Standings

 

DRIVER STANDINGS
Position Driver Team Points
1 BRENDON LEIGH Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports 216
2 DANIEL BEREZNAY Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports 166
3 FREDERIK RASMUSSEN Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports Team 127
4 SALIH SALTUNC Sauber F1 Esports Team 83
5 MARCEL KIEFER Hype Energy eForce India 65
6 BONO HUIS McLaren Shadow 62
7 JONI TORMALA Red Bull Racing Esports Team 54
8 PATRIK HOLZMANN Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports Team 51
9 ALVARO CARRETON Williams Esports 40
10 ENZO BONITO McLaren Shadow 37
11 FABRIZIO DONOSO Hype Energy eForce India 34
12 CEM BOLUKBASI Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports Team 32
13 TINO NAUKKARINEN Williams Esports 29
14 GRAHAM CARROLL Red Bull Racing Esports Team 27
15 MARTIN STEFANKO Haas F1 Esports Team 23
16 ALLERT VAN DER WAL Sauber F1 Esports Team 22
17 SONUC SALTUNC Sauber F1 Esports Team 14
18 JAMES DOHERTY Renault Sport Team Vitality 14
19 SVEN ZUERNER Renault Sport Team Vitality 8
20 MICHAL SMIDL Haas F1 Esports Team 4
21 OLLI PAHKALA McLaren Shadow 2
22 KIMMY LARSSON Renault Sport Team Vitality 1
23 MADS SOERENSEN Hype Energy eForce India 0
24 TOM PARKER Haas F1 Esports Team 0

 

 

TEAMS STANDINGS
Position Team Points
1 Mercedes AMG-Petronas Esports 382
2 Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports Team 210
3 Sauber F1 Esports Team 119
4 McLaren Shadow 101
5 Hype Energy eForce India 99
6 Red Bull Racing Esports Team 81
7 Williams Esports 69
8 Haas F1 Esports Team 27
9 Renault Sport Team Vitality 23

 

 

ENDS

 

Norman Howell, Director of Communications, Formula 1

E: nhowell@f1.com

M: +44 (0)7920 181 929

 

Formula 1 Press Office

E: f1media@f1.com

T: @f1media

 

Edelman Press Office

E: Formula1@edelman.com

 

About Formula 1®

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 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to November 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™.

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About Codemasters

Codemasters (AIM:CDM) is an award-winning British video game developer and publisher with over 30 years of heritage. The company specialises in high quality racing games including DiRT, GRID, ONRUSH and the BAFTA award-winning official F1® series of videogames.

For more information on Codemasters’ product portfolio, please visit www.codemasters.com. Join in the conversation with @codemasters on Twitter or Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/codemasters.

About Gfinity

Founded in 2012, Gfinity has established itself as one of the world’s leading esports companies.  The London-based business enjoys strong relationships with game publishers, players and the wider esports community and has built a solid reputation for delivering high quality competitions, both on-line at www.gfinityesports.com and off-line, in addition to producing industry leading esports broadcasts. The Gfinity Esports Arena at Fulham Broadway, London is the home of UK esports showcasing regular tournaments across the full range of competitive games. Beyond its own tournaments Gfinity provides a full turnkey solution for brands wanting to create their own esports tournaments and has staged premium esports events around the globe for leading publishers and brands including Formula 1, Microsoft, Activision, EA, Xbox, Gillette and HP.

About esports

Esports (electronic sports) is watching or playing competitive video gaming. Leading titles include League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Defence 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.