The most successful esports racers of all time

The most successful esports racers of all time

For years, esports racers around the world have been competing in countless cups and tournaments for victory and reputation. But in the end, there are some drivers that seem to win race after race. Who are the best virtual racers in the world? Here’s the answer:

Reading time: 10 minutes

Maximilian Benecke

According to iRacing’s driver rating system, German talent Maximilian Benecke is the best driver currently playing the simulation. His latest titles seem to support this claim. Winning the Audi Sport Seyffahrth R8 LMS eCup and placing second in the Porsche Esports Supercup, Benecke had a great year 2019.

His greatest achievement however was the VRS GT iRacing world championship with Pure Racing Team one year before that. In Summer 2019, he also won the iRacing Spa 24 Hours, teaming up with F1 stars Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

Benecke is not only a very competitive driver, he is also a dedicated streamer on Twitch. On his channel, more than 400 viewers regularly watch the German competing on the track.

Ray Alfalla

After moving to the United States at the age of six, young Ray Alfalla started visiting races and quickly became very passionate about motorsports. But since real racing was too expensive for him and his family, he took up online racing in 2003.

RAY ALFALLA
Source: Ray Alfalla Twitter

Looking for an alternative, he started his virtual racing career on NASCAR Racing 2003 Season’s stockcar platform and quickly became a much-noticed driver. Ever since then, NASCAR has been his favourite esports racing class.

After being chosen as one of the 50 best drivers in iRacing in 2010, he was allowed to race in the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series. However, his first season didn’t go too well and he finished on a disappointing 8th place. But just one year later he started dominating the eNASCAR scene in a unique manner.

dominating the eNASCAR scene

Alfalla became NASCAR iRacing world champion in 2011 and 2012, also setting multiple records. He was vice world champion in the following three seasons and put himself back on the throne in 2016 and 2018, making him one of the most successful iRacing drivers of all time.

Aurelien “Laige” Mallet

When it comes to Forza Motorsport, Aurelien “Laige” Mallet has been the pole sitter for the last few years. He won the first two seasons of the Forza Racing Championship Series in 2016 as well as the Forza Racing Championship World Final in 2017. The Frenchman started his racing career on a real karting track when he was a teenager, where he was able to claim some local karting championships.

Being a great racer on his own already, he joined “b0x” and “Venom” at Red Bull Racing Esports in 2019, forming a very strong line-up for upcoming tournaments. The team delivered what people expected: They took the 2019 Forza Racing Championship. With his fourth world championship title, Laige became the most successful Forza player of all time.

Brendon Leigh

The young Brit began his esports racing career in his children’s room. Being a fan of Formula One he started competing online in F1 2012. In 2017, he beat more than 66.000 players to earn his invitation to the grand final of the first Formula 1 Esports Series. What followed were two years of pure domination.

In the first F1 Esport Series Season in 2017, he won four out of five races and claimed the world championship title. When the Esports Series was remodelled in 2018, the competition became significantly harder. In order to keep up with his competitors, Leigh lost more than 20kg in preparation for the season. Also, he joined the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team.

Brendon Leigh Twitter
Source: Brendon Leigh Twitter

The 20-year-old continued where he had stopped in the previous year, winning six out of ten races and being on the podium in eight. With a huge gap to his team-mate Daniel Bereznay in the second place, he became back-to-back world champion.

In 2019, Leigh had to face a season of disappointment. He kept falling behind his opponents and wasn’t able to keep up the pace of the previous seasons. In the end, he finished the season in fifth place, which clearly missed the mark he set for himself and his team. For the next season, Brendon Leigh is working hard to reclaim his title and prove that he is the number one in Formula 1 Esports.

Bono Huis

Bono Huis, actually named after the U2 singer, has climbed to the top of esports racing throughout for the past years. The Dutchman made his competitive debut in 2005 in Dutch leagues when he was just eleven years old. Just three years later he started dominating Formula SimRacing in rFactor and became the world champion four times in a row.

Today, Huis is still dedicated to Formula racing. In 2017, he won the Visa Vegas eRace and with it $225,000, the biggest prize money in competitive esports racing up to that day. His victory in Vegas made him the best-paid esports racing driver of all time.

Since 2018 he’s been part of the Formula 1 Esports Series where he is driving for Team McLaren. Besides Formula, Huis also drives in iRacing where he regularly fights for victory in world championship races. However, his favourite game remains rFactor2 because he considers it the best sim in terms of feeling.

Frederik Rasmussen

G2 Esports’ talent Frederik Rasmussen has despite his young age already achieved many victories in various esports racing disciplines. The Dane, born in 2000, started his virtual racing career at the age of 13. He quickly climbed the ladder and today he is a top-tier driver in many games.

Since its establishment in 2017, Rasmussen has been a part of the Formula 1 Esports Series, always competing for the title. He finished his seasons in 6th, 3rd, and 2nd place and won the constructors championship with Red Bull Racing in 2019. Besides F1 he also competed in the ESL Project Cars Final and won the Porsche SimRacing Trophy in 2017.

Frederik Rasmussen Twitter
Source: Frederik Rasmussen Twitter

Rasmussen’s favourite racing simulation is iRacing, where he is very passionate about driving in GT cups and tournaments. He celebrated his greatest success at the age of 17, when he became VRS iRacing world champion with his team CoRe SimRacing. In the following years he made it to the podium again, placing 2nd and 3rd with G2 Esports and Red Bull Racing in the following championships.

Joshua K Rogers

Over the last years, Joshua K Rogers has popped up as one of the best GT racers in iRacing, claiming multiple titles in different championships.

Being dedicated to the Formula 1 games since 2009, Rogers switched to iRacing in 2014. A year later, he made his first steps into one of the greater competitions by participating in the V8 Supercar Online Premier Series.

The Australian has an incredible pace in GT racing. In 2017 and 2018 he participated in the VRS GT iRacing World Championship with some fellow countrymen, but they couldn’t make their way to the podium.

GT racing

However, Rogers seemed to have found the nitro button on his wheel, winning tournaments and championships both domestically and internationally in 2019. He won the Australian Gfinity Superstars Eseries title and found himself victorious in the Porsche Esports Supercup against the esports racing world elite.

For his return to the VRS GT iRacing World Championship, he teamed up with Ricardo Castro Ledo and iRacing superstar Martin Krönke. Winning every race of the championship, Rogers finally found himself on top of the world and took his first world championship title. If he keeps his pace from 2019, we are sure there will be many more to follow.

Greger Huttu

There is just no driver as fast as this man: Without a doubt, Greger Huttu is the greatest esports racer of all time. With multiple world records, more than 100 senior titles and five iRacing World Championship titles, Huttu has become a living legend within the scene.

The 37-year-old Finn started playing racing games in the early 90s with Indy 500 and F1GP. His online career then began with Grand Prix Legends. When he earned his first iRacing World Championship in 2010, he won an incredible number of 15 out of 16 championship races.

Huttu has been a member of famous Team Redline since his debut in the iRacing World Championship. Today, he’s still driving for the team and also operating as its manager.

Mitchell DeJong

Mitchell DeJong has had a successful career both in real racing and esports racing. At an age where most kids still play with toy cars, DeJong was already winning race championships. His racing career started in karting, where he won his fist championships at the age of nine. The American quickly moved from karting to off-road racing. There he won several championships as well, being only twelve years old.

In 2013, 13-year-old Mitchell signed up for iRacing and discovered his passion for sim racing. He quickly became very successful and already participated in the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series in 2014, finishing one race at third place.

Mitchell deJong Twitter
Source: Mitchell deJong Twitter

But like in real-life racing, the young driver found his biggest success on the dirty tracks of iRacing. He became the iRacing Rallycross World Champion in 2018 and vice world champion in 2019.

Mitchell DeJong’s biggest dream is to compete in a GT Series and drive races around the world in real-life. One can tell that a team would be well-advised to sign the 22-year-old driver. In iRacing, he is already showing off his GT skills. He became third in the VRS GT iRacing World Championship in 2017 and 2018. The year after he claimed second place.

DeJong has already proven that he is a very versatile driver, being able to compete for world championship titles in several classes. He is still very young so we expect him to add more titles to his esports racing career in the next years.

Martin Krönke

In the early 2010s, Greger Huttu was the undisputed king of iRacing, winning five world championship titles. Martin Krönke already finished the 2014 and 2015 season in second place. In 2016, he stepped up and ended the reign of the current champion back then. The German became world champion of the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series and started and incredible winning streak.

Krönke’s 2016 season had already been impressive, but his 2017 season was for the history books. He won each of the twelve races of the world championship and is the only driver to do so up until today. He proceeded to win in the next year and took home his third world championship title.

Krönke switched to the VRS iRacing GT World Championship in 2019. He had already driven this championship in 2017, placing eight at the end of the season. He teamed up with Ricardo Castro Ledo and Joshua K Rogers. Expectations were high for the team and once again they surpassed them all. Krönke and his team-mates drove another perfect season, winning all six championship races.

If Greger Huttu was the king of iRacing, Martin Krönke is the crown prince. If he keeps on winning and dominating in the way he did for the last years, Huttu will have to forfeit his seat on the throne of esports racing to the German.

Maik Jahn
born and raised close to the Nürburgring.