By: Matthew Rondina
The summer primes thousands of racetracks around the world for sizzling motorsports action and Forza eSports racing is also cranking up the heat. The season 3 grand final of the Forza Porsche Cup ended in dramatic fashion in France alongside the real life 24 hours of Le Mans. Learn about the The Porsche Cup Finals.
You read that right: The best Forza Motorsport 6 racers from 12 different countries were flown in to compete in a virtual 24 hour race while the world famous event took place around them. As real life LMP and GT class racers sped around Circuit de la Sarthe in a 24 hour grudge match eSports Forza players competed virtually in the same venue for their very own title. Aspiring eSports racers should take notice of this event as it signals a new frontier for virtual racing as Le Mans is the biggest stage for racing in the world.
12 virtual racers emerged from earlier stages of competition for a shot at a $100,000 prize pool and a place on the real life Le Mans Podium – an incredible first for eSports racing. The Forza Season 3 Championship made history in another manner as well with Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO) the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, adding a new title to the eRacing landscape to commemorate the event. Forza developer Turn 10, Porsche and the ACO teamed up to form an all-new eSports racing class known as the “Official Endurance eSports Category.”
The event required all competitors to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid, use the Xbox One console and controller. This was a purposeful move, welcoming a very broad audience to compete in this event from the casual to the hardcore. This trend is one that looks to continue with eSports racing as the ACO has been looking to attract a younger audience to Le Mans and gaming tournaments of this nature reach their target audience.
Once the dust settled on the 24 hour race a new Forza Racing Champion was crowned and it was a new face to the elite racing scene. The new champion, Michael Coyne (aka AMS RoadRunner) walked away with $20,000 and was the first to be awarded with the new eSports racing category title. AMS RoadRunner was a newcomer in a racing pack that has been traditionally dominated by experienced drivers. Rounding out the top three were CAR Laige, who finished second, and CAR Lightning, third.
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Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with teaching, technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on Twitter and join in on the fun!