Mercedes Dominant In F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series

Mercedes continues to dominate both the Formula 1 real world and the virtual one. As Lewis Hamilton secured his fifth FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship at the Mexican Grand Prix last weekend, reigning F1 Esports champion Brendon Leigh – who now has a 43-point lead on Frederik Rasmussen– is on track to secure his second title. Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports leads the Teams’ Championship with 208 points, with Toro Rosso Esports Teams second (137) and Red Bull Racing Esports third (59).

The first race of the event was held at the Circuit Paul Ricard, where the French Grand Prix took place last June. With two laps to go, Leigh and Toro Rosso’s Frederik Rasmussen made contact in their battle for the lead, with the Dane finishing off track and then overtaken by his teammate Patrik Holzmann. Leigh was initially given a five second penalty as a result, but then the decision was later reversed by the stewards – securing him the win.

Silverstone was the stage for the second race of the event and the continuing battle between Leigh and Rasmussen. After Hype Energy eForce India’s Donoso Delgado was given a penalty for speeding in the pit lane, Leigh and Rasmussen were left to fight it out for the race win. The Mercedes driver eventually secured his fourth win, followed by Rasmussen in second. The podium was rounded out by Hype Energy eForce India’s Marcel Kiefer.

The final race of the event took place at the infamous Spa-Francorchamps. With Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports’ Daniel Bereznay out in front by some margin, an intense battle for the other podium place developed on the final lap. Red Bull Racing Esports Team’s Joni Tormala took second after Donoso Delgado was given a penalty for exceeding track limits. Rasmussen stole third in the four-way battle across the line, with Sauber F1 Esports Team’s Salih Saltunc taking fourth from Leigh on the final straight.

The second Pro Series event was streamed live via Facebook and broadcast globally on selected TV networks. Viewing figures are expected to be strong, after the first live event of the Pro Series accumulated 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 comprises 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 most recent event was the second in the series and is followed by the Grand Final across November 16th and 17th.

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:

“The second Pro Series event has delivered another round of dramatic racing – with millions of fans watching around the world. It’s great to see that the F1 Esports Pro Series has captured imaginations and is bringing the excitement and exhilaration of Formula 1 to a new generation of fans across the globe. Like all those watching, we’re excited to see how the season ends at the final in a few weeks, and who will be crowned the driver and constructor champions.”

Paul Jeal, F1 Franchise Director at Codemasters said:

“Once again we have been blown away by the quality of the racing in the F1 Esports Pro Series. The involvement of the Formula 1 teams has helped to lift competition to the next level. It is a fantastic showcase for our F1 2018 game and we cannot wait for the final round in November.”

Mark Brittain, Chief Commercial Officer at Gfinity said:

“We saw the pinnacle of F1 Esports tonight at the Gfinity Arena and the worldwide audience was treated to an incredible masterclass by all the drivers. The action was intense, from lights out to the chequered flag and tonight provided another example of huge opportunities available through the convergence of real and digital sports. We look forward to welcoming back the drivers and to crown the 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Series Champion.”

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.

To celebrate their title partnership of the F1 Esports New Balance Pro Series, New Balance will be opening up its flagship store on Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4 to give fans a chance to win tickets to the F1 Esports Grand Final on November 17, plus £500 worth of New Balance product. F1 racing simulators will be set up and open to the public in both New Balance and JD Sports on London’s Oxford Street for the whole weekend, giving everyone the chance to get out on the virtual racetrack and find out more about the competition. For more information please visit https://www.newbalance.co.uk/f1esports

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 1 Results

Race 2 Results

Race Results 3

Driver’s and Team’s Championships Standings

 

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™.

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 FORMULA 1 logo, FORMULA 1, F1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula 1 company. All rights reserved.

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.

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