Starting today, Gran Turismo players in Japan aged six and above have their chance to compete for their prefecture on the national stage.
GT Sport is one of the games which will be headlining the debut of esports in Japan’s prestigious National Sports Festival. The festival is an annual event celebrating sports and culture, held by a different prefecture each year. In 2019, Ibaraki — home of the Tsukuba Circuit — will play host to the event which will see esports as one of the competition categories for the first time.
Players have been able to sign up since the beginning of March, however the online qualification has only started today. Competitors will have three weeks to set their time in a special section within the game’s Sport Mode. It’s a hotlap qualifier, and players can try as many times as they like:
Track: Suzuka Circuit
Tires: Racing Hard
The top 20 players in each of the age categories — Junior (6-17) and Adult (18+) — from each prefecture other than Ibaraki will advance through to a regional final. There’s a special rankings page on the official website, along with the one in-game, to allow you to see your position.
There’s 12 regional finals, running from May 11 through August 12. At each, players will participate in a five-lap final race at Fuji Speedway, again in Gr.3 cars, in 10 player elimination races. These will determine the top two in each prefecture in each category who will participate at Ibaraki in October.
The finals events are as follows:
- May 11 – “Okinawa” (Okinawa); Okinawa
- May 19 – “Shikoku” (Ehime); Kagawa, Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime
- May 25 – “Kyushu” (Fukuoka); Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima
- June 2 – “Hokuriku” (Ishikawa); Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui
- June 9 – “Chugoku 1” (Hiroshima); Hiroshima, Shimane, Yamaguchi
- June 16 – “Chugoku 2” (Okayama); Tottori, Okayama
- June 29 – “Koshinetsu” (Nagano); Niigata, Nagano, Yamanashi
- July 6/7 – “Tohoku” (Miyagi); Yamagata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Aomori, Akita, Iwate
- July 13/14 – “Kansai” (Osaka); Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Hyogo
- July 21 – “Hokkaido” (Hokkaido); Hokkaido
- July 28 – “Chubu” (Aichi); Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Mie
- August 10-12 – “Kanto” (Tokyo); Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tochigi, Gunma
All players who register for the online qualifier will also get a special PS4 theme featuring Sony mascots Toro and Kuro.