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Csincsik wins €45,000 and first ESL R1 title

ESL R1 is a new sim racing concept that harnesses the power of e-sports, and the goal of ESL R1 is to create a form of virtual motorsport that is younger, using an as yet unreleased platform, racing audience reached.

The final, or “major” in esports parlance, took place in Munich (June 4th) with a personal LAN setup and 24 drivers. The teams’ championship was previously determined in previous online rounds and awarded to Team Redline.

An inimitable points format was introduced for the final day, with continuous sprint races until the set conditions were met. Initially, contestants wanted to reach 160 points (25 for a win) to unlock “Finalist Mode”. The first to be in finalist mode and then win another race became champion. Until then, however, the race continued uninterrupted.

That meant the event could have ended within four races or continued into the wee hours of the morning.

Ultimately, R8G Esports’ Csincsik reached the milestone after eight races, securing the crown and the €45,000 prize.

Before that, however, it was a Mercedes-AMG one-two, with Williams Esports’ Dáire McCormack leading ahead of Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ James Baldwin at Monza. McCormack followed suit in the second race, this time at Hockenheim, but the leader of the standings before the main race (previous results were still factored into the standings) finished Csincsik second, increasing his lead at the top of the standings.

As the race went on, McCormack received a slowing penalty in qualifying – a track limit violation – and started the Nurburgring race from the back. Manufacturer sibling Baldwin secured pole position but was never surpassed and clinched victory in commanding style.

Dáire McCormack ESL R1 Spring 2023

However, Csincsik was back on the podium. Moving on to Spa-Francorchamps, a third place ensured the Hungarian would be the first to achieve finalist status. Now, a win in the next race would secure the title for the former Formula Pro competitor.

Victory, however, went to Baldwin, who passed the R8G competitor on the last lap and also enabled finalist mode after Kevin Siggy and McCormack collided in the battle for the lead.

Back at the Nürburgring, Baldwin was on pole, while title rival Csincsik was second. Throughout the race, the AMG led the Audi up to the NGK chicane on the final lap. The R8 driver tried to get past the multiple GT World Challenge Esports Champion on the outside but came around the corner. In the hustle and bustle, his R8G driver colleague Erhan Jajovski caused Baldwin to skid.

James Baldwin, ESL R1 2023 Sim RacingJames Baldwin, ESL R1 2023 Sim Racing

Macedonian Jajovski took the win, Csincsik dropped to fourth and Baldwin was behind in the gravel trap, a poor 12th. The drivers crowded around race control like a Premier League referee. The verdict – keep playing.

In this case at Hockenheim, with the same two drivers who could win the title at this point in this race. McCormack bounced back and took the lead early but was then chased by Baldwin. However, the fight slowed down the dueling AMGs, causing the latter to drop to fifth place by the checkered flag.

The result meant that Luke Bennet, McCormack and Josh Rogers have now also unlocked finalist mode. Five participants now had the chance to win the title.

Marcell Csincsik wins in Monza for R8G Esports, ESL R1 Spring Major 2023

It all came down to Monza, and Csincsik delivered. Pole position and disappear into the distance to become the ESL R1 Spring Major winner.

“When I realized that I could win this championship, which I think is probably one of the biggest of the year in sim racing, I really couldn’t contain myself,” Csincsik told Traxion.GG.

“I’m not sure I can sleep now, it’s an amazing feeling.”

ESL R1 Spring Major 2023 Ranking

  1. Marcell Chinchik
  2. Luke Bennett
  3. James Baldwin
  4. JoshuaRogers
  5. Dare McCormack
  6. Erhan Jajovski
  7. Kevin Siggy
  8. Moritz Loehner
  9. Jiri Toman
  10. Enzo Bonito
  11. Joni Tormala
  12. Marko Pejic

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