The official kick-off of the ESL R1 Spring Season on February 10 and 11 was a blast.
The ESL R1 Spring Season kicked off with the first official race weekend during IEM Katowice, drawing attention to the world of virtual racing. Hosted by the ESL FACEIT Group, the championship saw teams from our automotive license partners compete against big names in esports such as FaZe Clan and G2 Esports. The complete lineup is available at eslr1.com.
Starting the esports division of RENNSPORT was something that we have worked on very hard since the beginning. As you could see over the past months, this process also came with some challenges, which influenced the fact that we needed to postpone the Closed Beta release. However, we hope we could entertain you with Round 1 and Round 2 of the ESL R1 Spring Season. You can check out the VODs of these two days here if you want to relive the vibe.
The weekend offered everything you need for an entertaining virtual racing event: a big stage, charismatic hosts, talented racers, and first and foremost, an amazing crowd on-site and in the stream. It has always been a dream of ours to create a sustainable professional esports series around the best racers from the biggest teams in virtual racing. Seeing the current top 48 racers finally participating in an official esports race weekend in RENNSPORT and bringing ESL R1 to life was an indescribable feeling. The vibe on-site was amazing, with everyone involved being absolutely motivated to put on a show for you guys, but also to get the first wins for themselves and their team to bring the first points to the leaderboard. You can always see the current and updated leaderboard here, or within the RENNSPORT companion app.
Two racers of the 48-racer grid, MOUZ’ Max Benecke (Winner Round 1 on Spa-Francorchamps) and Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team racer Josh Rogers (Winner Round 2 on the Hockenheimring), could gain the first wins of ESL R1. By bringing very concentrated efforts throughout the respective days and two outstanding performances from qualifying to the final lap, it was hard for the other competitors to get past the two. Max Benecke’s teammate Moritz Löhner showed an insane battle with Josh but had to admit defeat in the end of the Round 2 final.
With many engaged viewers in the livestream and on the social media channels of RENNSPORT, ESL R1, the teams, and drivers, it is safe to say that we created quite a buzz over the weekend. Those who followed the whole weekend in the livestream could get a good first impression of the current build of RENNSPORT and also received one of the limited ESL R1 liveries through our RENNSPORT Companion App – our first livery drop ever!
We have seen that ESL R1 has the chance to excite and involve many fans and what RENNSPORT as a platform can bring to the professional esports scene. We took a huge first step into the future of virtual racing, and we know we have many more to take.
We have read your comments across all channels and believe that the RENNSPORT community liked what they saw. You also gave valuable feedback on what to improve from a gameplay and broadcast perspective. A long season lies ahead of us, with a lot of learnings to build upon now. The next big event will be our Spring Season Major in May. Until then, we are looking forward to a great online season and hope to see you guys in the stream.