After a thrilling showdown at the 2017 MotoGP™ eSport Championship in Valencia, two Italians mounted the inaugural podium in first and third position. The youngest finalist in the Championship, 16-year-old “ivangamer2346” was there to throw down the glove, and steal into the spotlight as the world’s third fastest racer in MotoGP™17. After the event, esport.motogp.com spoke with “ivangamer2346” to learn a little more about how he felt when the time came to shine.
Was the Grand Final in Valencia as your expected?
ivangamer2346 - For the Grand Final, I expected something big. But not as big as it has been. Everything was perfectly organised, from the bus that took us to the circuit in the morning and back to the hotel in the evening, to the lunches we had and the activities we did. Besides, our grandstand was outstanding, with a perfect gaming setup. Dorna and Milestone took care of us like a father takes care of his child, I want to thank them for what they were able to do. It was a dream that came true for me, living a VIP experience in the paddock, knowing a lot of stuff that there is behind every race weekend and playing against the best e-riders in the world to the game we all prefer: MotoGP 17 (it is a new, fantastic version).
Is it surprising to see so many Italian and Spanish gamers in the Grand Final? If it was a surprise, where did you think the finalists might come from?
ig2346 - I expected many Spanish and Italian gamers in the Grand Final. Firstly, because we knew each other, so every finalist had an idea about who they were going to race against, then because there's a Spain-Italy rivalry also in real life. I did think though, that at least one Asian gamer could make it to the Grand Final, they are so passionate about this sport, and they are very good at playing video games.
Prior to qualyfing for the MotoGP eSport Championship, did you think about getting involved in eSports at this level?
ig2346 - Since MotoGP 15 (was released), I always believed that I would have the chance to participate in an important event regarding a MotoGP video game. I knew I was one of the strongest gamers. The problem was that there wasn't any competition, but as I said, now the dream has come true: I am a MotoGP eSport Championship podium man!
Given your success this year, will you be training to qualify for the MotoGP eSport Championship again in 2018?
ig2346 - Of course, next year I will try to qualify again for the MotoGP eSport Championship. I know how strong I am, and if I have been able to make it to the podium when I was 16, why shouldn't I try to win the competition next year, being 17, with a general improvement of my mind.
Do you have friends that want to get involved too, now that you have been on the podium in Valencia?
ig2346 - They saw me on TV, and they went crazy due to the breathtaking races and manoeuvres. They now want to buy the videogame and play against me. They want to know all my secrets, and they asked me a lot of questions about my experience. It's amazing!