PistonHeads.com Forum

RE: Prior Convictions: Why eSports can't win

RE: Prior Convictions: Why eSports can't win

Friday 12th January

Prior Convictions: Why eSports can't win

Serious gaming talent can now get you on the track. But talent has never guaranteed anything in motorsport



The concept is a decade old but the headline is still the same: "Can a Gran Turismo gamer race cars for real?!"

Of course they can?! Wait, those punctuation marks are probably superfluous. But it's telling that even Nissan is still finding the urge to use them, a decade after it launched its GT Academy, which began in 2008 and has been putting its winners - who entered the Academy through their competence on the PlayStation game Gran Turismo - into real-life races ever since. And it works: Lucas Ordonez, the winner of that 2008 competition, has twice finished on the LMP2 podium at Le Mans.

Still it goes on, too. The video below shows, yet again, former gamers at work in real racing cars. It was uploaded this week by NISMO, Nissan's performance arm, and although is of last year's Dubai 24h race, it's still a decent watch.


It features the 2016 GT Academy winner, Johnny Guindi, who was put into a GT4 class Nissan 370Z just 12 weeks after he won the competition, alongside three other, more experienced GT Academy graduates.

There are lows, there are highs and, alright, we're not talking Paddington 2 levels of inducing a tear to the eye here, but he makes his mum proud and it's evident that with the lows can come consequences. Nissan is in the business of racing real cars so it can win races and flog road cars, and the Academy is a meritocracy. If you're slow or you crash a lot, that's unhelpful. I've seen the training in action and it's good; there's world-class analysis and support, but it's honest, too. Even if you win the competition but it turns out you're not up to the job, they won't keep you on as a 'NISMO athlete'. And, unlike most of the rest of motorsport, you can't buy your seat.

GT Academy's success has made it the highest profile racing eSport, but there are other competitions, too. Next month's Race Of Champions will have a sub-segment for five winners of the world's biggest eSports racing competitions, and the winner of that race-off will get to compete in the competition-proper where I suspect, without the kind of training GT Academy provides, they'll get a kicking. But we'll see.


Anyway. OK. There's a driver here, a line-up in a GT race there. Online racing - getting in some of your 10,000 hours of perfect practice from within the confines of your front room - still doesn't give you as big a chance of making it as a racing driver as karting and a shed-load of cash does. But it does mean you compete on a more level field, because money doesn't talk.

And while gamers are not exactly dominating the world of motor racing, it's telling, isn't it? eSports are on the up, and real racer numbers are on the down. During the past decade, the number of MSA race licence holders in the UK has decreased by 3,000, or 10 per cent, and almost 90 per cent of those who have a licence are over the age of 21. Racing can be cripplingly expensive, you can spend £100k a year doing a junior karting series, and motorsport, unlike most youth sports, isn't founded on the principles of finding and nurturing young talent: race teams exist primarily to make a living. If the kids you've got in your karts happen to be quick, so much the better, but their ability to pay the bills is the most important bit.

Motorsport, though, was always thus. It has never been very democratic or meritorious, but we all know and accept that. And no matter how inexorable the rise of eSports, that will probably not change, as the fact that Nissan still needs to headline its videos 'can gamers race?' suggests. But it does make the nature of real racing ever more uncomfortably obvious.

 

Author
Discussion

havoc

Original Poster:

23,480 posts

161 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
article said:
...you can spend £100k a year doing a junior karting series.
yikes

WTAF? Given that's supposed to be 'entry level' motorsport, how is that even possible, let alone justifiable???

SystemParanoia

14,193 posts

124 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
I like how the only BAME driver wasn't named. rolleyes



Jann Mardenborough - GT Academy 2011 winner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jann_Mardenborough

Joeigglypuff

61 posts

27 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
'eSports' is a glaring error - there's no capital S. Irrelevant to the article but it is lazy journalism about a hugely popular media/industry, which this article I feel makes the mistake of dismissing as something for 'nerds' and kids. Millions of viewers will disagree!

Regardless of the above, I think it's an interesting avenue in to motorsport. In my mind it'd be a lot better if racing teams had talent rather than walking sponsorship deals in their seats.

99dndd

568 posts

15 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
SystemParanoia said:
I like how the only BAME driver wasn't named. rolleyes



Jann Mardenborough - GT Academy 2011 winner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jann_Mardenborough
19 of the 21 graduates from all parts of the world weren't named.

Your point?

mko9

723 posts

138 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
99dndd said:
SystemParanoia said:
I like how the only BAME driver wasn't named. rolleyes



Jann Mardenborough - GT Academy 2011 winner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jann_Mardenborough
19 of the 21 graduates from all parts of the world weren't named.

Your point?
There are two pictures with a total of four people in them. None of them are identified. What is you point?

Advertisement

CanoeSniffer

380 posts

13 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
99dndd said:
SystemParanoia said:
I like how the only BAME driver wasn't named. rolleyes



Jann Mardenborough - GT Academy 2011 winner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jann_Mardenborough
19 of the 21 graduates from all parts of the world weren't named.

Your point?
Just the professionally offended working on others behalf.

Gecko1978

1,736 posts

83 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
I think the point of the article is that The Nissan Academy takes a person that is great at a video game an trains them to be a great driver. Being good at the former does not make you good at the latter but entering the competition is an indication of desire to achieve in that area so a good recruiting tool.

Re the BAME comment really did the author not list out all of the entrants by name an race ever FFS get a grip being a racing driver has f all to do with your ethnicity an all to do with talent and often the cash you bring with you.


samoht

648 posts

72 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
SystemParanoia said:
I like how the only BAME driver wasn't named. rolleyes
Yeah, a clear PH anti-Welsh bias showing there.

Seriously, Jann is a great guy & runs a sweet R32 GTR, and his achievements are pretty impressive.

I really don't think that running his photo but omitting his name represents any kind of discrimination, more like just typical PH inattention to detail. To suggest that it does makes your username rather appropriate.



A bit of an incoherent article if I'm honest. I'd suggest that the number of Academy winners who have gone on to race and win in big endurance races suggests that esports can and does win.





Loyly

15,897 posts

85 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
SystemParanoia said:
I like how the only BAME driver wasn't named. rolleyes
And? Or is this some schoolyard points scoring, or a witch hunt to try and suggest PH are racist?

V10Ace

203 posts

19 months

Saturday 13th January
quotequote all
Loyly said:
And? Or is this some schoolyard points scoring, or a witch hunt to try and suggest PH are racist?
Just stop...... not one person in here order'd parrots......

And PH can be very racist... but we will just leave that there......

Pericoloso

32,404 posts

89 months

Saturday 13th January
quotequote all
I had to look up what BAME means.

Mr2Mike

18,323 posts

181 months

Saturday 13th January
quotequote all
Loyly said:
And? Or is this some schoolyard points scoring, or a witch hunt to try and suggest PH are racist?
No, just the rantings of a hand wringing loony. As you were.

FerdiZ28

633 posts

60 months

Sunday 14th January
quotequote all
SystemParanoia said:
I like how the only BAME driver wasn't named. rolleyes



Jann Mardenborough - GT Academy 2011 winner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jann_Mardenborough
Are you offended by clouds? Have a weak lemon juice and have a good look at yourself.