GT Sport continues to be a popular choice for accessible esports competitions. Following on from the current FIA Championships, Red Bull Homestretch and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing GT Cup competitions, the Olympic Virtual Series Motor Sport Event is now available within the game.
The Virtual Olympic Games is an initiative by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to shine a light on the burgeoning world of esports. It will be held during the run-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics that starts on the 23rd July 2021 in Tokyo.
‘Motor Sport’ isn’t the only virtual series, with baseball, cycling, rowing and sailing also represented.
To enter, simply load up GT Sport on PS4 or PS5 and visit the Time Trial section under the ‘Sport’ option. Crucially, the competition is open to everyone, with any control type and on an ecosystem that stretches over 123.7 million devices at the last count. As predicted, the recent 1.65 update added the competition to the game.
Entry is open from the 13th May to the 23rd May 2021 and is simply an online time trial leaderboard challenge. You can set as many attempts as you wish, and the top 16 competitors will take place in a live World Final, broadcast on the 23rd June 2021. Incidentally, this date represents 127 years since the birth of the modern Olympic Games.
The entries will be broken down by region, the following number of participants from each area will be included in the World Final:
- Europe / Middle East / Africa – 7
- Asia – 4
- North America –2
- Central & South America –2
- Oceania –1
The World Final will consist of three races, with the IOC winner the person who accumulates the most points. This will be held on the 23rd June 2021.
Having a form of motorsport, let alone virtual motorsport, affiliated with the Olympics is a significant step forward for the wider esports community.
As Gran Turismo Series Producer, Kazunori Yamauchi, explained: “This is a historic day not only for us at Gran Turismo, but seen from the history of motor sport as well.”
If you’d like a full list of countries eligible to take part, you can visit the Gran Turismo website.
The qualifying event itself is held on the Tokyo Expressway – South Inner Loop. Set in Tokyo, I always imagined that this was the GT Sport development team deciding to map their commute into work as an in-game track. It’s set right in the heart of the Japanese capital, features unforgiving walls on either side of the asphalt and two very tight hairpins.
Once you’ve filled in an in-console form, where I struggled to remember my PlayStation password, you’re all set. The car is the Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept Gr.3 in a rather natty special Olympic-themed livery. It’s using Racing Hard tyres, and all tuning is prohibited to keep it a level playing field.
So, go, right now. Stop reading this, start entering. It’s the (virtual) Olympics, in a video game!