This weekend the second half of Round 1 took place with Matches 3 & 4 unfolding on Twitch & Mixer. It was Indycar vs LMP this week in the multiclass races that took place between the seven teams. There were supposed to be eight teams but in Match 4 we found out that SMP pulled out of the day’s events. SMP Esports is a new endeavor for the Russian based race organization so it was a shame to see one of the invited teams to be a no show. However, this would only compound a later issue with their subsequent absence, as the field would now be 9 drivers and not the 12 drivers like in the first three matches. Giving an unfair advantage to Redbull Racing Esports (RBR) and helping them secure an easy points succession over Williams Esports who faced a very tough field and also held Redbull Racing to only 98 points. While TX3 in Match 3 held Redbull Racing back and only let them net 100 points. After three matches with 12 competitors, it is in Match 4 RBR gets only 109 points against 6 drivers. I think after two weekends the cracks are showing in a team that needed 3 matches to best the score of Williams and with fewer competitors, at that.
In Match 3 we are able to watch the behemoths Redbull Racing and JOTA Esports lock horns. With Sauber Esports and Mordor Gaming Club (MGC) coming to mix it up with them on Maple Valley. This fictional track debuted in the first Forza Motorsport game of the franchise. We would also get our first looks at MGC who are the only Chinese esports team in this years FRC invitational. But it wasn’t the driving of MGC that was called into question in Race 1. Instead, we see RBR Laige take out JOTA Bowkett and his own teammate RBR Venom just within the first three turns. This would force Bowkett to pit but Laige would have to make a stop and go within a safe zone. Since pits are not proper on Forza Motorsport there is a rule in place for this. A moderator for the Forza stream on Twitch, Mesasphere, shared the rule with the chat. It goes as follows:
“A “safe zone” is set for each track and a stop/go penalty is to take place in that zone as they can’t stop the car for a prescribed amount of time in the pits.”
He would go on and elaborate it is up to the coach to ensure his driver does their stop & go in the proper safe zone. Once Laige served his penalty he only dropped back and finished in fourth! Sauber Dave aka DaveySkills would take the win at Maple Valley. RBR b0x and JOTA Commando would round out the podium after a chaotic first few turns to the first race of the day. “It’s going to be a rock fight!” Andy, it was one heck of a rock fight in the first race!
Race 2 would be another chaotic mess in the beginning. These cars all have different launches and brake zones so it’s bound to happen. We see some unfortunate mistakes and poor driving on Mordor Gaming Club’s part. A collision with Sauber Zoom would yeet JOTA South off the track before Turn 3. MGC actually backed off and in Race 3 and you see them try to show us their racecraft. The Chinese team’s translator would post to Twitter how sorry they were for their mistakes. How they apologize for having jitters and this is the first race of this caliber these young drivers have been a part of. They directly mentioned Sauber Zoom & JOTA South admitting fault. This gesture to the Forza community is truly one of the best things I’ve seen this season. We are all leary of new teams and even after a bad showing, we encourage them to dig deeper next race. To shrug off the jitters and come back stronger and show us why MGC was invited!
RBR Laige would take the win at Silverstone but, again, he would be the only one from his team on the podium. JOTA would put two guys on the podium with Bowkett & Commando in second & third respectively. Race 3 would be a lot of good racing with little to no drama. With almost a repeat finish of the podium from last race, RBR Laige and JOTA Bowkett take first and second. Sauber Dave would post his second podium of the day finishing in third at Road America. After Race 3 we see Redbull Racing emerge with 100 points. JOTA Esports walked away with a strong 80 points. Sauber managed to get 60 points after being involved with too much contact. Mordor Gaming Club would get 18 points after the jitters got the best of them.
RBR Laige would once again not sweep the P1 finish for this match but his teammate RBR b0X was looking dominant and strong as he made passes and gained boosts for the day. With strong performances from Venom, as well, we see the team finally hit the triple-digit score like Willaims did in Match 1. If JOTA South wasn’t wrecked in two races then RBR may not have gotten to the 100 point mark at all. We can only hope Mordor Gaming Club shakes off the jitters and has a stronger showing next time. But these cars and track combos left even Sauber Zoom upset in the chat. It doesn’t take much to send these cars careening off the tarmac and into the grass, or worse, the tire walls.
As I mentioned at the start of the article SMP would pull out of this match and leave the competing grid with only 9 drivers instead of the 12 in the previous three matches. Using the same cars we see RBR Esports come to battle against TX3 & Alien Motorsports (AMS). The ensuing matches were pretty controversial. Because in the other three matches the teams were battling 9 other drivers from three other teams. Since everyone racing now scores points for their teams it left the teams of the first three matches with fewer points from tougher matches. TX3 Lightning made sure to stop Laige from getting a P1 sweep of the match by passing Laige on the start/finish and never looking back. In Round 1 Williams Mitch would sweep his round by securing a first-place finish in all three races. The only driver from Round 1 with this accomplishment. RBR Laige, like Mitch, did secure four P1 finishes over the day, showing he is still a strong competitor.
Virginia International Raceway (VIR) was the next track and in the end, we see TX3 penalties play a crucial part in this race. TX3 Lightning and RBR Laige would get stuck like two dogs in heat in turn one. This left Lightning off the Podium and took away his P1 finish. Had he secured this win cleanly we wouldn’t be talking about the next race as much. In Race 3 of the last Match, we see some insane driving by everyone. I say that with a lot of sarcasm because the race was pretty clean and spaced out. But there would be a move made by RBR b0x that would make Williams RR pipe up in chat. Saying that b0x used an exploit within the Forza Race Regulations to prevent a time penalty from being incurred. Even Shea Adams made the comment of how that doesn’t make sense how b0x went wide then came all the way right on the long back straight of the old runway of Sebring.
Twitter would erupt with drivers and competitors arguing about the exploit. RBR Venom would later delete his tweets defending the exploit and his teammate for using the exploit. This debacle would help Redbull Racing secure 109 points for their match. Even with fewer people to compete against we see the top players finding game exploits and using them to mar the experience of the FRC. Guess there is no honor or respect when it’s $250,000 prize pool. I do hope we see this issue resolved and that next time there are 12 drivers (instead of just 9).
Once again the ForzaRC commentary team is really knocking this one out of the park! Andy loosening up with Mechberg is great to see. I hope these two start vibing because I think they clash in the right kind of way. I feel like toes are trying not to be stepped on but they should also remember just because you disagree doesn’t mean you are right or wrong. People agree or they don’t. It’s on the viewer to side with the analysts they think is right. With the right magic, I can see Brian and Andy be at odds and truly give us a clearer idea of what’s at stake in the next races. Katie Osborne would be these weeks guest analyst who set up questions for these two superb analysts. Last year, she made a pretty big impact on the community and to see her back is great. You could even find her in the chat mid races asking questions to ask Flip and Mechberg.
Week two of Alie & Shea was even better than last week. We see Shea ease into it a bit more and Alie’s chemistry with her is improving which offers us an even better color commentary. I really like these two and I feel like the community is roasting her proper and welcoming her. If Forza people like you we tend to roast you. I hope I am right on this assumption because her real-world knowledge paired with Alie’s in-game knowledge leads to some cool talks and information I wouldn’t get just playing Forza. These two really have amazing chemistry. I don’t know if I’m more jealous of Alie or Shea because they both look to be having so much fun there! And someone gets that girl a calculator!
Overall this week was another thrilling event with plenty of on-track and off-track dramas. I hope we get something sorted out with SMP and that in case this happens again that we aren’t left with fewer drivers than in previous matches. I know it’s not perfect but on the bright side, the racing has been better and more competitive. Along with the commentary, analysts and overall presentation the ForzaRC is a much-improved experience. Be sure to tune in next Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 10 am Pacific on Twitch, Mixer and Youtube. You can find me there on Twitch!
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