Toyota GR010 Le Mans Hypercars in the colours of Italy, Japan, France and Germany on a racetrack with 'Olympic Esports Series' plastered on sponsorship boards.

Gran Turismo to Host Olympics Esports Again

Gran Turismo 7

After Valerio Gallo won gold in Tokyo 2021, the IOC’s global virtual and simulated sports competition returns with Gran Turismo 7 alongside several other games.

Image credit: Polyphony Digital

The International Olympic Committee have announced the return of their own gaming competition. First held in the lead-up to the 2021 Tokyo Games under the Olympic Virtual Series title, the success from this event has warranted another edition.

This time around, they’ve embraced the esports term and renamed it as the Olympic Esports Series. Once more, it will feature racing and the IOC will be partnering up once again with the FIA and Gran Turismo creators Polyphony Digital.

Importance of Esports

In that first edition, racing played a part despite the Olympic Games not having racing involved since the 1900 running of the Olympics. The game used was Gran Turismo Sport, and the 16 drivers all from different nations competed across multiple races with a Gr.4 Toyota 86, a GR Yaris and a Gr.3 Supra all on different tracks.

It would be that year’s eventual Gran Turismo World Series Nations Cup champion Valerio Gallo who would win gold for Italy. 2019 Nations Cup champion Mikail Hizal got silver for Germany whilst France got bronze courtesy of Baptiste Beauvois.

This year though, there are no Olympic Games for any virtual competition to coincide with, so why is it happening again? That is because of a dedicated Olympic Esports Week that the IOC are planning to host, with an onsite event in Singapore set to take place in June.

The Motor Sport event of the upcoming Olympic Esports Series has also brought the FIA and Polyphony back together after they went their separate ways when GT7 released. For the first four seasons of Gran Turismo‘s own esports competition when it took place on GT Sport, the FIA were involved and it was dubbed the FIA-certified Gran Turismo championships.

How to Qualify

On 13 April, an online time trial will open up on Gran Turismo 7 both on PS4 and PS5, of which the criteria has not been disclosed yet. Although, guessing by the usage of the Toyota GR010 Le Mans Hypercar and Deep Forest Raceway in the promotional imagery, it’s safe to assume that the online time trial will involve that car and track combination.

Once that is over, the top 16 drivers all from different countries will advance to the in-person final at Singapore’s Suntec Centre from 22-25 June. The last race of the Motor Sport event will apparently be the highlight of the Olympic Esports Week, so it may end up closing off the entire event.

Keep an eye out on GT7 in the lead up to 13 April to see how you can be in with a chance of representing your country in the Olympic Esports Series.

Will you be attempting to qualify for the Olympic Esports Series on GT7? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

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