Joshua K Rogers is one of the most talented esports racers. A portrait of the defending Porsche Supercup champion.
Reading time: 7 minutes
From karting to professional esports racer
The 20-year-old Australian made his first attempts racing the classic way. He started with karting at the young age of eight years. Participations and victories at Australian tournaments followed, and eventually, he entered a whole new world: esports racing.
Originally, Rogers and his friends from karting ventured into the virtual world of racing just for fun. But they quickly used the simulations as a practice tool to race whenever they could not be at their karting track.
He started with Grand Turismo and Codemasters’ F1 games and mostly played around in career mode. But the simcades were not enough to satisfy Rogers who is used to real racing. In 2014, he found his master discipline with iRacing and from then on, he pursued esports racing quite seriously.
As he explained to The Race, a huge part for his shift to iRacing is the fierce competition in the game. To him, the simulation has the tightest margins in terms of speed between the drivers, giving him “a rush that no other sim can.”
As an Australian, he faces some additional struggles when it comes to competing, for example high pings and an unstable internet connection when racing at European or US championships. The different time zones are another problem he had to master. As he explained in an interview with Motorsport Porsche, he often starts races at midnight and finishes at sunrise. To prepare for online matches, Rogers needs to adjust his sleep pattern days in advance so he can still perform at his best during the event.
Entering the competitive scene
Rogers quickly took his new passion to a serious level and played his first tournaments. In late 2015, he competed in V8SCOPS league under the banner of TTL Esports finishing his first full season at the end of 2016. He then qualified for the 2017 Blancpain GT World Championship Series.
With his drive for competition, Rogers started to enter highly stacked events and had his first full season in iRacing’s GT World Championship Series. Afterwards, he successfully qualified for the 2018 World Championship Grand Prix Series through the Road Pro Series. Not only did he achieve podium places in those tournaments, he also got to the top 5 in the iWCGPS that year.
His breakthrough year occurred in 2019: He won the VRS GT iRacing World Championship, claimed the Porsche SimRacing Trophy at the ADAC SimRacing Expo at Nürburgring and most importantly: He became champion of the Porsche Esports Supercup, awarding him two championship titles in one year.
The Porsche Supercup champion
The Australian racer made headlines when he dominated the first season of Porsche Supercup in 2019. Being only 19 years at that time, he managed to claim his victory with a margin of 34 points.
Rogers definitely proved he deserved the champion title. The Australian led the Porsche points for almost the entire season. In ten out of 20 Supercup races he set the fastest lap. In an interview with iRacing.com, he explained that the new format and racing style of Supercup were initially difficult to adapt to.
He also experienced greater pressure than ever before due to the money that was on the line. But he was able to withstand all pressure and on top of his world champion title, he also was awarded $28,800 prize money.
The defending champion has already had some success in the 2020 Porsche Supercup. Rogers made it to the podium with a third place at Circuit Park Zandvoort in the first race this year. There will be nine more rounds for him to establish his lead and eventually claim the back-to-back title. The next stop of Supercup is Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 9. You can find more information and all dates on this year’s Porsche Supercup in our event calendar.
Not only an esports racer
Rogers does not only race himself, he also shares his extensive knowledge as a coach at Virtual Racing School. On top of his racing career, he also pursuits an academic path and studies Digital Media at an Australian university. Racing, coaching and studying – Rogers has a tight schedule considering that he usually spends 15-20 hours a week on practicing esports racing.
While he enjoys university and focuses on completing his degree, he would “definitely take the cake” if he could make a career in esports. He expressed his hopes for the esports racing scene to further grow and host more offline events in the future, so eventually there will be more possibilities to find a safe job.
His career so far:
- Jan 2015 – Dec 2015: Allstar Motorsports
- Dec 2015 – Dec 2018: TTL Esports
- Apr 2018 – Dec 2018: Burst eSport
- Dec 2018 – Present: Coanda Simsport
- 1st place VRS GT iRacing World Championship 2019
- 1st place Porsche Supercup 2019
- 1st place iRacing 12 Hours of Sebring
- 1st place Gfinity Supercars Eseries
Sources: VRS, The Race, Motorsport Porsche
Photo credit: iRacing YouTube / Simracing wiki