With the 2020 eSports WRC season finale postponed due to Covid-19, the Anonimo Christmas Challenge gave eSports WRC competitors one final mission for the year, with Swiss Watchmakers Anonimo offering up a Anonimo Militare WRC Edition watch, valued at EUR 5,000, for the champion.
The Challenge became the first Weekly Challenge played on the recently released WRC 9, albeit with a slightly more challenging format. Rather than the standard two-stage weekly challenge, competitors this time were required to take on four stages – Arvaja, Arvaja Reverse, Laukka and Laukka Reverse.
In a relatively open playing field, challengers had limited time to acquaint themselves with the four stages, which were only added to the game in November.
Unsurprisingly, given the prize package on offer, the Christmas Challenge enticed a top calibre of competitors, including the return of 2018 eSports WRC world champion and FIA Junior WRC competitor Jon Armstrong, Finnish rallycross driver Tommi Hallman and 2020 eSports WRC Regular Season champion Sami-Joe.
Of the 1934 starters, 570 managed to complete the full challenge and put themselves in the running for the prize. With less than 24 hours remaining, it appeared that the watch would be going to Armstrong or 2020 Neste Rally Finland eChallenge Champion Mihalo, competing under the name WrcSetups.com.
However, as to be expected, top competitors Nexl and Sami-Joe, left their official challenges late, immediately making an impact on the leaderboard. When the challenge closed at 08:00 CET on Wednesday (30 December) morning, it was Nexl on top, more than 12 seconds clear of second-placed Mihalo (WrcSetups.com) and over 13 seconds ahead of third-placed Sami-Joe.
Overall, the event offered a perfect conclusion to the year, as well as giving an insight into what can be expected when the 2021 eSports WRC season gets underway, in just over a fortnight. Anybody who owns WRC 9 is invited to compete in 2021.
See the final top-10 standings here: