Brendon Leigh becomes first F1 eSports World Champion
British racer becomes first ever F1 eSports champion after frenetic final race in Abu Dhabi; Alonso gives backing to tournament
Last Updated: 27/11/17 1:34pm
Great Britain's Brendon Leigh is the first F1 eSports World Champion after a thrilling finale in Abu Dhabi.
More than 60,000 racers signed up for the inaugural tournament as Yas Marina - the scene of this weekend's F1 race - played host to the 2017 eSports final, with 20 of the world's fastest virtual drivers competing over three Grands Prix in Abu Dhabi, Belgium and at Yas Marina.
Leigh, who won the first race in Montreal, entered the finale a point behind both Fabrizio Denoso Delgado and Sven Zurner - with the three drivers then locked in a gripping duel, all knowing a win would see them claim the championship with double points on offer.
After Leigh and Zurner twice made contact on-track, it appeared as though Denoso Delgado was going to ease to victory. However, Leigh quickly made up the two-second gap before a frantic final lap.
Leigh made the most of DRS down the straight in Abu Dhabi before a bold move up the inside of the Chilean, which again saw two cars come together, before taking the chequered flag.
"I feel really happy because these two [Delgado and Zurner] are two of the best in the world now," the 18-year-old from Reading said. "It's quite an achievement."
Prizes for eSports champion include:
- The right to be a non-driver character in the official F1 2018 game
- To be the F1 eSports Champion Expert for 2018
- Automatic qualification for the semi-final of the expanded F1 eSports Series 2018
2017 F1 eSports championship: Final results
|1) Brendon Leigh||Great Britain||74|
|2) Fabrizio Denoso Delgado||Chile||68|
|3) Sven Zurner||Germany||64|
|4) Patrik Holzmann||Germany||45|
|5) Cem Bolukbasi||Turkey||35|
Fernando Alonso became the first Formula 1 driver to branch into eSports by launching his own team, and the two-time world champion watched on as one of his signed drivers, Cem Bolukbasi, won the second race at Spa.
"It's a starting point," Alonso, whose team will be called FA Racing G2 Logitech G said. "[eSports] is going to get bigger and bigger and it will grow up very quickly in the next couple of years.
"I think we all have half a gamer inside of us and there are millions of people playing every day.
"I think its the right opportunity. If we put everything in place, to make this a huge thing, it's what we're looking for."
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