Mikkelsen crowns eSports champion

Teenage gamer Lohan Blanc, known as TX3_NEXL, won the eSports WRC Championship with a dominant performance in the final at Hyundai Motorsport’s Alzenau base in Germany.

The 18-year-old Frenchman was unlucky to finish fourth in the inaugural final 12 months ago, but was virtually unbeatable this year in both the regular season and the championship climax.

Despite using a simple PS4 controller rather than a wheel and pedal set-up favoured by his fellow finalists, TX3_NEXL was fastest over all three stages in the three-player title decider to win by 16.447sec.

British specialist Jonathan Holmes, known as Jonno, finished second, with Germany’s Henrik Stoldt, who competes as Hesto, 7.748sec further back.

All three enjoyed clean runs through Portugal’s Fafe test before Jonno lost time in Finland’s Harju street stage after running wide and incurring engine damage.

Hesto settled for third after crashing into the trees in the final iconic Ouninpohja stage, in which TX3_NEXL was quickest by more than 10sec.

Jonathan 'Jonno' Holmes finished second

Eight wins in the championship year, which ran parallel to the real-life WRC calendar, sent TX3_NEXL to Alzenau as the top-ranked gamer among the eight finalists, representing France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Bulgaria and Greece.

He won six of the seven qualification stages to reach the grand final with a comfortable 38.653sec advantage over Jonno, and a further 7.939sec margin to Hesto. All three went forward to the shootout.

TX3_NEXL won a Hyundai i20 road car and Norwegian WRC star Andreas Mikkelsen presented him with the keys. The eight finalists enjoyed a tour of the Korean manufacturer’s WRC workshop with Mikkelsen and Spanish team-mate Dani Sordo.

More than 5,000 gamers entered the eSports WRC, organised by WRC Promoter, Bigben Interactive and Kylotonn Games.

Final results were:
1. Lohan ‘TX3_NEXL’ Blanc (France) 7min 57.419sec
2. Jonathan ‘Jonno’ Holmes (Great Britain) + 16.447sec 
3. Henrik ‘Hesto’ Stoldt (Germany) + 24.195sec


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