When the cooperation of Porsche Motorsport and Coanda Esports was announced 12 months ago, the overarching goals were ambitious to win races, write another chapter of the success story, and level up the Esports racing game. The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team is now chasing those titles and race wins as the official Porsche Esports works team. In its first outing at the Le Mans Virtual Series, the team topped the standings and won the championship. A runner-up spot at the 24-hour virtual Le Mans race in January was also a huge success. So naturally, the ambition for the first ESL R1 season was equally high. After celebrating a third place in the team championship after the final online round, the team heads to the ESL R1 Spring Major on 3rd and 4th June in Munich with three drivers. There the Porsche Esports works drivers Joshua Rogers, Mitchell deJong, and Mack Bakkum will have a chance to win the driver’s championship title. On the two days, they will face an exciting race format that Esports racing has yet to see on this level of competition.
Saturday’s racing format. Who makes it top 12?
During the regular season, the 48 best sim racers maximised their points on Friday’s quarter-finals and Monday's semi-finals and final races. Only the top 24 in points standing qualified for the Spring Major. It was a true nail-biter for the Porsche Coanda team: Mack Bakkum got already eliminated on Friday. Though he still was within reach of the top 24 list. Due to the competition’s results, he qualified for the Spring Major on P24. He will race with his teammates Joshua Rogers and Mitchell deJong for crucial championship points there. The top 24 will be split into two groups with 12 drivers each. The allocation is based on the championship standings after round 8. Mitchell deJong and Mack Bakkum will be Group A. Joshua Rogers will chase race wins in Group B. Each group will have four races on Saturday, and the race winner gets 25 points. Except for P12, every other driver will also receive points. After 8 races in total on Saturday evening, the list of drivers for Sunday will be decided: the top 12 qualify for the second day of the Spring Major and maintain their chance to become champion.
Finalist Mode on Sunday. Who will be crowned champion?
We'll see the best 12 drivers fight for the championship on Sunday. The points will be converted into a new system to increase the intensity. With an elaborated calculation procedure, Saturday's first-placed driver will receive 100 points, respectively 100%. Drivers 2-12 will receive their points according to the percentage ratio to the first-placed driver. For example, a driver with half the points of Saturday's first-placed driver will get 50 points on Sunday. Then, the drivers must unlock the so-called "Finalist Mode". To do so, they need to surpass 160 points in total. The scoring is the same as we saw on Saturday: 25 points for P1, 20 points for second place, etc. Once a driver unlocks "Finalist Mode", all he got to do is to win the next race to crown himself champion. If the driver doesn't win the following race, he stays in "Finalist Mode", and another race is held until a driver with unlocked "Finalist Mode" wins a race. Fans of other Esports disciplines might already know this exciting format. It will be interesting to see how the Esports racing community adapts.
Live from the ESL R1 Spring Major and the Rennsport Summit.
The grand ESL R1 Spring Major finale on the 3rd and 4th of June will welcome drivers and team managers in Munich at the "Dampfdom”. A remarkable location for the championship finale yet also the venue for the Rennsport Summit that happens simultaneously. Like last year, the people behind the project will present news on the simulator, updates, and an announcement on the highly anticipated Closed Beta for everyone. The ESL R1 races will be live-streamed on their YouTube and Twitch channels. The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team invites all fans to follow the action on the Coanda Esports and Porsche Motorsport Social Media channels. There, they will communicate the racing action and give everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the ESL R1 Spring Major. For all information and news about the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team and the new ESL R1 racing series, follow Coanda's social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook), the Porsche Twitch channel, the Porsche Motorsport Instagram channel, and the Porsche Motorsport Hub.