Esports racing, just like track racing, is not safe from dominant drivers. Here are three of the most dominant esports racing drivers ever.
Image credit: Studio 397
Domination can mean different things. Either it can be a demonstration of someone’s outright ability, someone being placed in a category too low for their skill level or in the case of those people who deny drivers like Lewis Hamilton’s ability, just perfect luck.
To a true neutral, it is understandably a bit dull to see the same people winning all the time. Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that if a driver can dominate either a single race or a whole series, it’s a true demonstration of their ability. Especially in the more accessible world of virtual motorsport.
So who are the drivers that come to mind when it comes to dominant performance in esports racing? Well, here are three that really did decimate their opponents.
Brendon Leigh – 2018 F1 Esports Pro Series
After winning the inaugural F1 Esports Championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, kitchen manager Brendon Leigh was on top of the world. He won two of the three races including the last race after performing quite the move on now-Ferrari teammate Fabrizio Donoso.
But for the following year, the teams got involved and the series adopted a more conventional season structure. Leigh was snapped up by Mercedes and got to work preparing for the season ahead. Across the ten races that season, Leigh won six of them with only Mercedes teammate Daniel Bereznay, Toro Rosso’s Frederik Rasmussen and Sauber’s Salih Saltunç taking victories.
In the years since, the field has closed up and there’s much more variety in terms of winners. Ferrari driver David Tonizza won the 2019 title with three wins whilst fellow two-time champion Jarno Opmeer took three wins for Alfa Romeo in 2020 and four for Mercedes in 2021.
With how competitive F1 Esports is now, we’ll most likely never see domination on the level of Leigh’s 2018 season ever again.
Bono Huis – Formula Pro 2021
From one Mercedes single seater esports driver dominating to another. The first season of rFactor 2‘s Formula Pro took place in 2021, and it featured some of the top drivers across all of sim racing.
Bono Huis was already very successful on rFactor 2 in powerful open wheelers, winning five championships in a row in the Formula SimRacing World Championship. He had signed for Mercedes to compete in F1 Esports for the previous season, though he didn’t compete in any of the races in 2021.
Whilst not running up at the front on the F1 games, he’s more than fast enough on the more serious simulations. He certainly proved that in Formula Pro.
The season was six races in length and Huis won every single one of them, a full house, or should we say a full Huis? A 100% record is unheard of in top level competitive esports racing, even if the small number of races admittedly meant it was less likely for him to lose one of the races. Nevertheless, nothing can be taken away from Huis.
In this year’s Formula Pro championship, Huis hasn’t won a single race, with the five races so far being won by Jernej Simončič, Kevin Siggy, Marcell Csincsik and Jeffrey Rietveld (who became the only double winner this season). Despite this, Huis sits third in the standings only five points off the lead.
He could feasibly go from the champion by winning all the races to then the champion without winning any. Or will he win the finale at Laguna Seca on 1 August?
Greger Huttu – iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series
Gentleman, a short view into the past. For the more seasoned sim racing fans out there, Greger Huttu will be a name that is synonymous with competitive esports racing before the word esports was adopted in the mainstream. He started out in the 90s with racing games Indy 500 and F1GP before moving to more advanced titles like Grand Prix Masters.
Huttu is a 5-time champion in the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series, in all but one of the seasons when they used the 2009 Williams FW31. But it was the first title that really did show how legendary he was.
We just referenced how Bono Huis got a 100% record for wins in Formula Pro, Huttu couldn’t quite match that with 93.75%. But considering Huttu did 10 more races, it’s still pretty impressive. Also, out of 16 poles, he claimed 14 as well as every fastest lap. Huttu was so dominant that he didn’t even need to participate in the last two races.
It’s no surprise he’s referred to as the original undisputed greatest sim racer of all time. He’s been out of the racing scene for a while now but did compete in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Virtual as a teammate to F1 drivers Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.
Are there any dominant esports drivers we may have missed? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!