Vegas eRace: Gamer Bono Huis beats professional drivers to win $200,000
(CNN) — Ten professionals. Twenty gamers. One million dollar jackpot.
Since its inaugural season in 2014-15, Formula E has delivered street racing to some of the world’s biggest cities, and Saturday saw that trend continue.
Except for one small difference: It was in the virtual world.
The Las Vegas eRace pitted 10 professional Formula E drivers against 20 eSports fanatics for a chance to win a chunk of a $1 million prize.
Gamer Bono Huis eventually came out on to top secure the $200,000 prize for first place, after on-the-road winner Olli Pahkala was handed a 12-second penalty for a technical glitch which saw him receive an unfair FanBoost advantage.
“This first eRace in Las Vegas was a great success,” Alejandro Agag, Formula E founder and CEO, said.
“It’s exciting to have brought Formula E into the inner sanctum of CES – the biggest and most influential technology show in the world. I think this can be the first in a big future for Formula E in eSports racing.
“We will continue to pursue new and innovative ways to improve our presence in this fast growing landscape, while maintaining fan engagement at the forefront of all our initiatives.”
The race was hosted in front of a packed crowd at Vegas’ Venetian Hotel where Dutchman Huis also scooped an additional $25,000 jackpot for pole position.
Professional Felix Rosenqvist showed a penchant for eSports as he came second to finish as the best-placed Formula E driver.
Following a post-race investigation, Pahkala’s penalty eventually saw him drop to third place to round off the podium.
Professionals Jose Maria Lopez, Sam Bird, Daniel Abt and Nelson Piquet Jr. also finished in the top 10 to further emphasize the narrow margins between the Formula E drivers and sim racers.
Renault e.dams driver David Greco crossed the line in 15th but set the fastest lap to scoop the $10,000 prize.
Having topped every session throughout the event, in which every driver competed in a simulation cockpit, few could argue Huis wasn’t a deserving overall winner.
Formula E will return to the US on July 15 and 16 for the inaugural New York City ePrix which takes place against the backdrop of Lower Manhattan.
CNN’s Supercharged will bring you all the action and reaction to the race and news from CES in this month’s show, which debuts on January 21.