Brendon Leigh crowned inaugural F1 eSports champion following heated finale
Formula 1 has its first eSports Series Championship winner, with British gamer Brendon Leigh taking the crown in a feisty finale in Abu Dhabi.
The 18-year-old drove the Toro Rosso car in the game and started the weekend handsomely with a win in Friday's Race 1 at Canada's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve from pole.
The Race 2 at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday saw Leigh only eighth, as Cem Bolukbasi took the win, while Leigh's nearest rivals Fabrizio Donoso and Sven Zurner were second and fourth respectively.
With the deciding race at the Yas Marina Circuit, it was a heated battle among Leigh and Donoso as it came down to the final lap, where the British racer made a last-gasp attempt to pass his Brazilian rival.
Donoso was handed a time-penalty which sealed the deal in Leigh's favour, with the reaction from the British gamer becoming a highlight of the event - much to the amusement of the media present in Abu Dhabi.
With 74 points in all, Leigh deservedly took the title from Donoso, who finished with 68, while Zurmer was third with 64 points to his name. The Top 5 was rounded by Patrik Holzmann and Bolukbasi.
As a winner, Leigh will get a VIP experience in Abu Dhabi's finale, while he will be given an automatic entry to the semi-finals of the 2018 event and will attend a grand prix of choice on an all-expenses paid trip for two (excluding races in Australia, Singapore and Brazil).
The British racer will also become a non-playable character in the game, and act as an expert for 2018. The second and third place finishers will also get a VIP Abu Dhabi experience with a cash prize of $1,000 and $500 spending money in UAE Dirhams (AED).