The 2019 MotoGP™ eSport Championship enters its final phase next week with the 12 fastest gamers from around the world kicking off the Global Series at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Italy’s vibrant east coast.
So what better time than now to look back at the 2019 season so far? To get this far, players had to navigate a way through three months of online selection, six Online Challenges and three Pro Drafts to book a spot in the three-round Global Series. As many as four million kilometres were covered by the best gamers around the world’s most spectacular tracks on the brilliant MotoGP19 game.
It all started in mid-June as gamers took on Argentina’s undulating Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit using Jorge Lorenzo’s Repsol Honda RC213V for he first Online Challenge. The aim was to post the fastest time over the five days during which the challenge period ran.
At the end of June, the second Online Challenge required players to take on the historic Assen track aboard Andrea Iannone’s Aprilia Racing Team Gresini.
Taming Ducati’s powerful Desmosedici GP19 around the narrow twists of the Sachsenring was among the toughest tasks for gamers in this year’s Championship. The fourth Online Challenge saw title hopefuls take Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati Team GP19 around the German venue, with a host of interesting results.
The fourth Online Challenge was something different: a wet Motegi awaited gamers using Alex Rins’ Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR, and the results had a different flavour as a result.
Double Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco has had a tough debut year with KTM. Therefore, taking his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing RC16 around the Circuit of the Americas represented a tough task.
The sixth and final Online Challenge was the last chance for gamers to enter into the Pro Draft stage of the Championship. Using Valentino Rossi’s Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP M1 around his home circuit at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
72 players in total – 36 from Europe, 36 from the Rest of the World – then qualified for the Pro Draft, the second stage of this year’s MotoGP™ eSport Championship.
This was separated into three stages: the Rest of the World Draft, which saw the three fastest names selected for the Global Series, the championship’s final stage; the European Draft, which selected the nine fastest riders from Europe to compete in the Global Series; and the Final Draft, which determined which gamers would compete for which current MotoGP™ team in the Global Series.
In the Rest of the World Draft, set in Thailand’s Chang International Circuit, and using Jack Miller’s Pramac Racing Ducati GP19, the Australian MrTftw qualified courtesy of his fastest PS4 time. The Brazilian Mereja (Xbox) and Indonesia’s moe (PC) also made their way through a tough heat.
The highly competitive European Draft placed participants at France’s famous Le Mans Circuit aboard Miguel Oliveira’s Red Bull KTM Tech 3 RC16. Of those using the PS4, Christianmm17, EleGhosT555 and Rllorca qualified. XxBoMbeR_45xX, Juan_nh16 and Trastevere73 were the fastest of the Xbox contenders while AdrianDP26, Wimp and AndrewZh qualified via their times on the PC.
The Final Draft, which pitted riders against one another on Qatar’s Losail International Circuit using Fabio Quartararo’s Petronas Yamaha SRT M1, saw AdrianDP26 come out on top. EleGhosT555, AndrewZh and trastevere73 were close behind in a highly competitive heat.
It means the stakes couldn’t be higher as the Global Series approaches. 12 gamers from six different countries still harbour hopes of becoming the 2019 MotoGP™ eSport Champion.