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The Laurel Cup champion: Maxen13

Maxen13 made a point of securing a strong lead on tracks throughout Prague, Rio de Janerio and other exciting locales featured in “Forza 6” and selected for The Laurel Cup. Pictured above: The light hitting the Laurel Cup Champion’s McLaren makes for a heroic image on this Sebring track.

Maxen13

The Xbox Ambassadors Program’s inaugural Laurel Cup has come and gone, bringing with it the first ever champion of the Mister Discord-hosted series of races: Maxen13.

Maxen’s an Alpha who’s been with the Program long enough to help out more than a few parents around the holidays (an event he describes as quite fulfilling) and earn the title of “Ambassadors Founder.” If his commitment to the Program is mirrored easily in another topic, it’s his appreciation and understanding of racing games. He talks of them using phrases like “top speed” and “turning into curves.” He separates them into “arcade-style” and “SIM-like,” organizing his favorite titles into these two categories. He recommends players select vehicles based off of the layout of a specific track, advising: “Pick cars that are suitable for the track. If the track has lots of corners and not very many straights, don’t go for top speed.”

The Ambassadors that tuned in for the April 7 stream would probably agree that all this and more were important factors in Maxen’s victory. The community of Ambassadors present for the stream would also add in some friendly teasing, evidenced by Maxen’s post-victory response of “Oh, I got lots of grief!” and in the competition’s Twitch chat. Despite the win (and the community’s comfort with poking fun at one another), the Laurel Cup Champion showed modesty after, stating that the competition could have ended very differently given the level of skill present among his fellow Ambassadors.

While the A- and R-class races earned the future champion a fair bit of praise from commentators Mister Discord and Miss Valent1ne, Maxen’s entry into The Laurel Cup wasn’t an easy one. In fact, the opening C-class race was rough from the perspectives of both the driver and the viewer; the first race saw more collisions than those that came later, with Maxen being involved in a fair few. Mister Discord, already a known racing game enthusiast, commented after: “Maxen had us all fooled after the first race. It seemed he was struggling to get command over his car with all the contact he was making. However, he quickly settled any uncertainty we had in his racing prowess after crossing the finish line first in the next seven races and ultimately securing his title as the fastest Ambassador in the world.”

Maxen recalled it differently, describing that first race as frustrating. “[…I]t definitely looked like I was taking people out,” he commented after viewing the archived Twitch stream, adding that a number of factors contributed to this. Maxen attributed a lack of ease with his starting vehicle’s acceleration (the Honda Civic ’97), as well as his preference for driving in “cockpit view,” which allows for a steering-wheel-forward perspective, to what the spectators were seeing and commenting on during that first race.

Despite the early frustrations and even the turnaround, Maxen later seemed not only excited by his victory but also by the event itself, repeatedly praising the driving he saw from the seven other racers (including DopeGum, who placed second, and EpicLouie, who finished third overall). A true fan of the community surrounding the Ambassadors Program, Maxen hopes to see even greater participation in future Play Dates and is excited by the idea of future Laurel Cups, for which he’ll definitely return: “I have to defend my title now. Before I even crossed the finish line, I saw people [in the Twitch chat] saying they were going to try to take my title away in the next Laurel Cup.”