It’s no secret that the eSport events Gran Turismo produce, known as the World Tour, are some of the best produced and biggest known simracing events on the calendar. The first stop for 2020 was in Sydney, Australia and it quickly became one of the highest rated World Tour events of all time. It had plenty of home grown favourites, some intense rivalries and the closest race finish in the events history.
It was what was announced next that started some heated debate amongst the wider GT Sport community, as the qualifying regions for the upcoming World Tour events would change slightly and the old saying “People don’t like change” couldn’t ring louder here.
In short 3 regions now becomes 5 and the European region remains one of the most populated, with the general consensus now being that the EMEA region is too competitive and due to the nature of the Manufacturers series qualifying rules, faster drivers will be missing out on World Tour events to smaller regions, where the competition isn’t as competitive.
There hasn’t been an official statement from Polyphony Digital (PD) the games publisher and event organiser but here at Demo 1 Garage we suspect that the reason behind the change could have something to do with the FIA, who officially sanction these events alongside Gran Turismo and PD.
There have been other frustrations as well spoken about by the GT Sport community, including some of its fastest qualifying drivers, about prize monies and the updated qualifying race schedule but it is the region problem that still continues to be talked about. The following Tweet thread was one of the examples that was being retweeted over Twitter this past week and it has simracing enthusiasts split.
You can see here that even the fastest guys are struggling with the challenge presented ahead of the EMEA drivers but with the FIA involved its unlikely that community outrage will change anything here, unless the FIA themselves get the data they are possibly looking for here and decide its more beneficial to revert back. To understand why they are saying this you need to understand the qualifying protocol it goes like so.
In order to qualify for the world tour event and represent your chosen manufacturer in the Manufacturer series you must finish as the best driver in your region for your manufacturer and from there the three highest point scoring drivers from all 5 regions will essentially qualify. So the argument in this case put forward that is Valerio Gallo aka. JIM_BRacer is one of the fastest drivers for Honda but hes only the 4th highest scoring driver and therefor wouldn’t qualify if this was a qualifying season, as the current FIA season is an exhibition series and doesn’t count towards any World Tour events.
Maybe going back to 3 regions, instead of 5. So EMEA, North + South America and Asia + Oceania. That would equalize the competition in these 3 blocks— 𝙅𝙄𝙈 𝘽𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙚𝙧 | V. Gallo (@JIM_BRacer) March 4, 2020
We asked Valerio about this and what his ideal solution would be and he said that the 3 region system should be the system used instead. The impression is that many people are voicing their displeasure but not many have a alternate idea or solution. The EMEA region is certainly big and competitive but alternate solutions seem hard to find.
With the FIA working so closely with Gran Turismo and PD, things such as this where inevitable as they have always stated that the Federation (FIA) would love the utilise gaming to not only bridge the gap between real world and simracing but also test and try things, which are just not possible in the real world. This may just be why things have changed and it means it is unlikely to go back anytime soon.
Checkout our video on the topic exploring what is going on and the search for some alternate strategies and solutions to the current region issue.