Williams Esports reached the final of both rounds at the inaugural ESL R1 event held live at IEM Katowice last weekend.
The team were taking part in the new series, run by esports giant ESL, on the new, as-yet-unreleased Rennsport game in Poland, alongside one of the world’s biggest esports events, the CS:GO Major at the IEM Expo.
In the new competition, across three rounds, 48 drivers are whittled down to just 12 who compete for points in the teams’ championship, with a prize pool of £500,000.
The BoP did not favour the Mercedes, which our drivers are using for the series, however, there were many success stories from what promises to be one of the biggest competitions in sim racing.
Our four drivers, Daire McCormack, Dennis Schoniger, Kuba Brzezinski and Nikodem Wisniewski took part across the quarter-finals on both days of the event.
Round 1 - Spa
Day one started excellently for the team, with Dennis taking P4 in the first quarter-final, securing qualification to the semis, alongside Nikodem. Kuba was gutted to miss out in his race, after finishing in P7, just outside the qualification spots, while Daire was spun early on as he went around the outside at Les Combes and couldn’t recover from the setback.
It was Nikodem who stole the show in the semis, with a storming P4 finish taking him to the final. Dennis sadly missed out, but it was a solid result for the German driver who was taking part in his first event for the team.
Niko would battle hard in the final race, finishing P8 and achieving great points for the team.
As we said farewell to the Expo and headed back to the hotel, the only question we had was what socks would Kuba wear tomorrow?
Round 2 - Hockenheim
Day two followed the same format as day one, but sadly it would be filled with misfortune, with only Daire making it past the quarter-final stage.
Kuba sadly missed out after another P7 finish in his quarter-final, but the major heartbreak came for Niko, who was spun around by a competitor when inside the top six qualification spots.
Daire, however, successfully navigated his semi-final and made it into Williams’ second final of the event. In a closely fought race, he finished in P11 to add more points for the team and leave us in 8th place in the overall standings.
With the Mercedes car potentially looking stronger over the next few rounds, the drivers are optimistic they can challenge some of the biggest esports teams in the world.