When you watch the competitors at any esports event, it’s easy to think that these are people so freakishly talented that mere mortals cannot hope to match them. The Gran Turismo Sport FIA-Certified Online Championship events are a case in point. At each event you’ll see a large proportion of those who qualify who were also at the previous event. In fact the sim racing community even has a name for them: aliens.
But one does not achieve the heady heights of becoming the GT Sport world champion on raw talent alone. To qualify as part of the Gran Turismo elite, you need to put the hours in too — and we’re talking about a lot of hours at that.
As part of the many player statistics it logs, GT Sport keeps a note of how much time you’ve spent on track. If you wish to see your own, it’s available in your Achievements section within the game — simply hover over the “Time Driven” icon too see the hours you’ve driven in the game. You can also find it through slightly more arcane means on the official Gran Turismo website where it is, confusingly, recorded in seconds…
One of GT Sport‘s habitual finalists, and GT Academy winner, Nick McMillen was curious about the drive times his rivals were putting in. Using the available data, he was able to assemble a rather interesting picture into the lives of 50 top-tier GT Sport players.
First, the headline figures. The 50 drivers — the top 10 ranked players from each region at the time — have racked up an astonishing 3,000 days of racing in GT Sport. That means that between the launch day of the game and McMillen’s snapshot on May 5, they’d averaged 2.52 hours each, every day.
Two of 2018’s regional champions, Mikail Hizal (TRL_Lightning) and Ryota Kokubun (Akagi_1942mi), actually come in at slightly under that average mark at 2.42hr each. In Hizal’s case, it’s likely that eating cookies takes up the missing six minutes. Nonetheless, both sit in the top half of this data set.
The third regional champion and eventual winner, Igor Fraga, racks up an amazing 4.16hr a day, with 98 days of combined playing time. This comes alongside a professional racing career and obviously a lot of time on other games and sims too, as evidenced by his McLaren Shadow victory.
North America’s top drivers are among the most dedicated, with three of the top five players by driving time. Kevan Pounder (Turismo-Windfire) has managed more than six hours a day since the game’s launch, with team colleague Andrew Brooks (Turismo_Deafsun) and compatriot Randall Haywood (TNR_5zigen) just behind on 5.18 apiece. They contribute to nearly 700 days, and a combined average of three hours a day, for the region’s ten drivers.
It’s their neighbors to the south that are hard to beat for obsession though. South America’s numbers are startling: Fraga is only ranked third in the continent by seat time. In fact compared to Fabian Portilla (CAR_McQueen), Fraga looks like a casual player, but even Portilla’s 4.93hr a day is small fry compared to the world’s most dedicated GT Sport player. Adriano Carrazza, somehow, had smashed out 9.73 hours every day since the game’s launch in October 2017.
Strangely, given the relative strength of the region, no players from Europe (or rather Europe, the Middle East and Africa) are in the top ten. The nearest, Baptiste Beauvois (TRL_TSUTSU), has racked up 3.23 hours per day and will be competing in his first World Tour event this weekend. Oceania’s top player, Adam Wilk (Adam_2167) isn’t far behind on 3.06 hours per day.
We’ve checked the data again recently and the top ten players from this cohort are now:
1. Adriano Carrazza (Brazil) – 9.85hr/day
2. Kevan Pounder (USA) – 6.14hr/day
3. Andrew Brooks (Canada) – 5.30hr/day
4. Randall Haywood (USA) – 5.14hr/day
5. Fabian Portilla (Chile) – 5.11hr/day
6. Mark Pinnell (Canada) – 4.50hr/day
7. Igor Fraga (Brazil) – 4.05hr/day
8. Nicolas Rubilar (Chile) – 3.78hr/day
9. Shogo Yoshida (Japan) – 3.69hr/day
10. Jonathon Wong (Hong Kong) – 3.30hr/day
Of course the game’s “Time Driven” stat doesn’t take account of how you’re driving. Players can, and do, “drive” for 24 hours a day with strategically positioned rubber bands, in order to win credits for the game’s most expensive cars. Nonetheless, these are some big numbers, and goes at least some way to show the level of dedication you need to reach the major events.
Next time someone questions why you’re playing games for 2.5 hours a day, the answer is that you’re training for the World Tour…