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2022 Esports midseason review | FOS Future Lab

04th July 2022
Andrew Evans

The majority of major esports series are on a pause right now. Some are taking a little mid-season breather, while others are gearing up for their regular spot on the second-half of the calendar, but it gives us a good chance to catch up with the season so far and have a look at what’s coming up over the next few weeks and months.

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So far, 2022 has been the season of new champions. That started with the Porsche Esports Supercup, which ran from February through to June, and saw Portugal’s Diogo Pinto take his first ever title.

The season started with intrigue as reigning champion Joshua Rogers and four other drivers from the VRS Coanda esports team withdrew before turning a wheel – as the team became the official works Porsche Esports team: Porsche Coanda Esports.

That left 2020 winner Sebastian Job as a firm favourite to recapture the title, but a weak opening two rounds at Hockenheim and Catalunya left the Brit on the back foot. 

Despite a remarkable run of form, winning seven of the 20 races and taking half of the pole positions, he ended up second overall behind Pinto. It was Pinto’s consistency, never failing to score points, that secured this maiden title, and the $50,000 prize.

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Job also had to settle for second in the domestic Porsche Carrera Cup GB Esports series, after a nail-biting finish to the season saw the title’s destination decided after the chequered flag.

It was Ellis, supported by Apex Racing team-mate Peter Berryman, who took the title Job won in 2021, after establishing a lead by the middle of the season and defending it to the last. 

Indeed it looked to have come down to a single point, as Berryman took the fastest lap away from Job on the last lap of the last race, though post-race penalties made the title’s destination - and £7,500 prize money - more secure for Ellis.

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One series in full swing right now is the GT World Challenge. This year it’s staging three continental sprint championships and a global endurance series, each with five races, and all are finely poised ahead of the second half of the season starting later this month.

Daire McCormack heads up the Pro class in the European sprint series after three rounds, with the Irish driver taking two wins to hold an 18-point advantage over David Tonizza. The only other winning driver is defending champion James Baldwin, who sits fourth overall behind Tobias Gronewald.

In the Silver class it’s Dominik Blajer who leads the way, having won all three races. His nearest challenger, Robbie Stapleford, is 17 points back after three straight second places.

The Americas championship is more wide open, with three different drivers – Luke Whitehead, Gregor Schill, and Harry Spiers – taking the wins thus far. Whitehead holds the overall lead by 16 points from the consistent Igor Rodrigues, with Schill third.

Chris Harteveld won the opening two rounds in Silver class, and holds a 21-point lead in the class from Luke Southall. Harteveld had a poor race last time out, with Angel Inostroza taking the win to jump up to fourth.

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Chaos befell the Asia championship early on, with what transpired to be an outside attack on the Assetto Corsa Competizione servers used to host the race. 

However Philippa Boquida won both the original race and the restaged one, to become the first ever female overall winner of a GTWC Esports event. Remarkably she’s also a Silver class driver, and backed that up with another class win at Imola to comfortably lead the category from Marco Wong.

The Pro class is tied though, with 2020 champion Andika Rama Maulana and Dillan Tan trading wins and second place finishes to sit on 64 points apiece.

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Those cyber attacks also affected the Intercontinental GT Challenge, with the 24 Hours of Spa abandoned a few hours in. That means only one race has been possible, with Lamborghini’s official Esports team leading the table with a squad that includes 2021 Lamborghini Real Race winner Jordan Sherratt.

Sherratt’s successor will be decided in the 2022 staging of the official Lamborghini event. That’s due to get underway this month, with the final qualifying rounds now over and some familiar names – Luke Whitehead, Daire McCormack, Igor Rodrigues – among those who’ll race in the Group Stage.

Ferrari’s own official Esports series is still in its qualification stages, although the second set of qualifiers is now open to the public. These hot lap events, which anyone with Assetto Corsa or AC Competizione can attempt, will allow players to qualify for regional finals this September.

The V10 R League is closing in on its final stages later in July. Defending champion BMW has been knocked out already, while Yas Heat and 2020 winner Redline top the group tables.

Gran Turismo is also set for its first live event in two years, as qualifiers head to Austria for the World Series Showdown later this month.

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