A French teenager known as TX3_NEXL won the second season of the World Rally Championship eSports Grand Final, despite using a simple PS4 controller setup instead of a wheel setup.
The 18-year-old, who was narrowly denied a spot in the grand final last year, won the three stage title decider on the WRC 6 game by 16.510 seconds from his rivals Jonno and Hesto, who were both using a wheel and pedals setup.
TX3_NEXL went into the deciding stage, held on Finland's iconic Ouninpohja, with a 6.5 second lead over Jonno, and put in an immaculate on-the-edge performance to extend that by a full 10 seconds.
"I was very confident. I really wanted to win, and it just happened," said TX3_NEXL.
The Frenchman wins a Hyundai i20 with the key presented to him by 2018 Hyundai WRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen, as well as a copy of the latest WRC game, WRC 7, and TX3_NEXL intends to compete again in 2018.
Jonno's chances of victory were ruined by an error on the second stage, Finland's Harju super special, in which he ran wide and picked up "yellow damage" to his engine, which primarily reduces performance.
The Briton holds the record on the game for the stage though, and still outpaced Hesto for second.
Hesto had the drawback of running first in the grand final, with his rivals able to watch him go through the stages first.
An imprecise run through Portugal's Fafe stage set a precedent for the remaining two, which culminated in him being pitched into the trees on Ouninpohja after missing the turn-in to a high-speed corner.
The eSports WRC season runs alongside the real-life championship, and includes all 13 rallies, although entrants can only carry their 10 best scores to the final stages of the competition. TX3_NEXL dominated the regular season, winning eight times.
The top eight in the standings were invited to the final, held at Hyundai Motorsport's rally base in Alzenau, Germany. The final itself included six qualifying stages and the three stage grand final, which was fought out between the three fastest drivers from the qualifying stages.
Story by Elliot Wood