Last weekend, on November 3, the Grand Final Porsche eSport Championship Russia took place. It was the largest virtual motorsport championship ever held in Russia! In the debut season, the venue for the Grand-Final event was Gamer Stadium in Moscow. The cyber sports arena had established itself as a modern interactive entertainment complex and no less than the 48 fastest virtual racers from all over Russia competed for the title.
At the very beginning, all participants of the Grand-Final event were greeted and instructed by the star jury, which included several champions from the Russian Motorsports scene including Alexey Vasilyev, Yefim Gantmacher, Yuri Loboda and Henri Egoyan. The voice of Russian motorsports, Sergey Bednaruk, was responsible for the atmosphere during the whole race day, the hot battles on the tracks and incredibly positive emotions during the winners ceremony.
During the draw of the tracks for Grand-Final event stages before the start of the competition, the track for the first stage was selected to be the legendary German circuit Nürburgring. In the course of two 10-minute sessions in time-attack mode, among all the Grand Final participants, twenty-eight semi-finalists were determined. They further were divided into 2 groups of 14 participants and moved to the semifinal stage, in which the competition switched to multiplayer races.
In the second stage of the competition, each group of 14 semifinalists held 2 races at Spa-Francorchamps and Moscow Raceway tracks, broadcasted live for the on-site audience with commentary from Sergey Bednaruk and racing analytics from Alexey Vasilyev.
According to results of semifinal races, the best 14 virtual drivers moved on to the final stage, where they had to challenge not only each other, but also the Hockenheim circuit, known for its high-speed turns and very technical sections of the track.
In the qualification before the start of the final race, Kirill Antonov secured the pole position, ahead of Egor Ogorodnikov and Alexey Azyrkin, who took the 2nd and 3rd places on the starting grid respectively. Behind them were Roman Ivanov, the best performer of the online championship, and Alexander Galakhov. The top 6 drivers were separated by less than 7 tenths.
From the very start of the race, Kirill Antonov and Yegor Ogorodnikov began to break away from their pursuers, retaining their leading positions. Alexander Galahov, who started from the 5th position, followed in third position. But not for all participants the first lap of the race was just as successful. Roman Ivanov made a mistake under braking in the 8th turn and flew off the track, dropping back to 11th position at once. In the remaining 20 minutes of the race, Roman had to do a real comeback drive in order to get on the podium. And Roman started to take back lost positions, gradually overtaking rivals and coming closer to the leaders.
The fights on the track went on for the entire 20-minute race distance, on each stretch of the track, throughout the whole field. The sharpest and most uncompromising battles were between Antonov and Ogorodnikov: The gap between them never exceeded 5 tenths throughout the whole race!
Having demonstrated an excellent pace and impeccable driving, Kirill Antonov was the first to cross the finish line, becoming the champion of the first season of Porsche eSport Championship Russia. Silver went to Egor Ogorodnikov, Alexander Galahov became the bronze medalist.
All winners were awarded with trophies and certificates, and all participants received numerous prizes and gifts from Porsche Russland, RaceRoom Russia and LG. The special prize from the technical partner of the championship, LG, was won by the champion of the online part of the championship – Roman Ivanov.
Title image by Denis Bushkovskiy.