In a season when traditional sports are in limbo, eSports have really become the go-to sporting events worldwide. Grant Turismo's Sport Mode, which has always been running quietly in the background, has really gained a lot of traction with those who love racing. Unfortunately, though, it can be a bit tough to figure out who to follow without a little help. As such, this quick guide can be a great way to figure out who the big names are this season and who looks like they are poised to break out.
FIA Gran Turismo Championship // Nations Cup - 2020
FIA Gran Turismo Championship // Manufacturer Series - 2020
Sitting in a commanding lead right now is Canada's Deafsun, who is racing under the Team Phoenix eSports banner. If you take a look at the current statistics for the Cup, you can see that he's leaving most of the competition - including his teammates - in the dust when it comes to the points standings. He's managed to place first in two out of three rounds and still come in top three in the third, Deafsun as the racer to beat in this Cup.
Coming up behind Deafsun is his fellow Team Phoenix racer Lamb. Sitting at the top of the American rankings, Lamb's point totals are the only ones anywhere close to Deafsun at the moment. What makes this so much more impressive is that Lamb's driving stats are comparatively minimal compared to Deafsun - he's only logged a third of the leader's miles at this point. Given that Lamb managed a fairly commanding Round 3 win over Deadsun, there's every chance that Lamb might be able to push ahead over the next several weeks of competition if Lamb manages to get a few good breaks.
Sitting fifth overall in the rankings is TX3_Originals, another racer with relatively few miles driven compared to the leader but who seems to be coming up fairly quickly. With an insane daily workout of over two hundred miles and two solid showings in the Nations Cup races is so far, he looks like he could be a real threat. As he puts more miles under his belt and participates in more races, it seems safe to assume that his point total is going to rise up and that he'll become even more of a threat.
Windfire is another racer in the Team Phoenix stable, and he's currently sitting in third place in the overall points standing. Despite his high rank, though, he doesn't quite have the prodigy status of the racers sitting above him - he's put in a lot of miles to get where he is, and it really feels like he's the kind of racer who has decided to sit down and grind out the necessary work. That doesn't make him any less dangerous on the track, but it does mean that it's harder to expect something new out of Windfire.
Pulling up the rear of the top five is VGS_Robert, who is only two points behind Windfire at the moment. With a really solid second-round performance, he's clearly capable of putting up bigger numbers than he has so far. Driving for Vanquish, he's got a relatively light set of stats that show his relative lack of time behind the wheel in GT, but that means he's got a lot more room for improvement than some in the Nations Cup. Whether he can push past the Team Phoenix racers is, however, still one of the biggest questions of the series.
Racing for Citroen, Deafsun is showing almost as much dominance on the Manufacturer series track as he is on the Nations track. Though he's currently sitting in second place after a hard-fought Round Five, he's still the racer to watch in this series. Currently sitting at the top of the Citroen standings and falling just shy of his fellow Team Phoenix racer Lamb, it's going to be very interesting to see if he can manage to be at the top of both events at the same time.
Lamb is sitting in first place after Round 5, driving for Subaru and going neck and neck with his Team Phoenix teammate Deafsun in every round so far. Lamb's racing in the Manufacturer Series is remarkably similar to that in the Nations Cup, but he does seem to be a little bit more consistent in this Cup. If he continues to put in more time driving and can fend off Deafsun, there's no reason to believe that he can't walk away at the top of the points here and to help secure his team total dominance over Gran Turismo racing.
The second-place Citroen racer and third place overall, Mata-boy is another one of those drivers with a relatively low daily output and less experience on practice tracks but who really brings his A-game whenever there's a real race. Still a fair bit back in the ack from the Team Phoenix racers, he's nonetheless contributing quite a bit to Citroen's overall point total and ensuring that he stays relevant during the big races. A solid Round 2 showing also proves that he's got a lot more potential than most realize, so he's a definite threat moving forward.
Driving for Nissan, OutlawQuadrant has managed to do something that relatively few racers in the series have done so far - he's overcome a fairly poor first-round showing to get into the top five. This unaffiliated racer has absolutely blown away his stats from the Exhibition stage and he's quickly closing in on the bigger names in the race. He's got two years of experience under his belt now and he's racing some of his best laps ever, so it's very possible that a few big wins could propel him to the top of the rankings if any of the other racers lose a step.
This member of the Puerto Rico eRacign Club is tied with OutlawQuadrant for total points, with two big finishes over the other driver. Though he's not having his best-ever season of racing, he is still putting up some fairly impressive numbers and looking like a real threat to some of the racers above him. Again, he's just one good day from cracking the top three, and it often feels like Marzan14 has the chops to find that good day sooner rather than later. He might be at the bottom of this list, but that doesn't mean he isn't a potential champion.
One of the most exciting things about Sport Mode is that new racers come out of the woodwork to take their shots at the top every year. While all five of the racers on each list have a fairly strong history with Gran Turismo racing, the rest of the points standings have plenty of new faces each season. If you haven't started watching, now's a great time to get into the sport and figure out which teams - and which racers- you'd like to support. With traditional sports on an indefinite pause, you owe it to yourself to get into eSports.