Gran Turismo esports is fun, fast-paced, and beyond intense. As a competitive game, it is arguably one of the most exhilarating…But why then aren’t the pros getting paid all that much? Prize pool cash is one thing, but allowing these sim-racers to promote their teams and sponsors is just as important. And that’s where the pros seem to take the most issue with Polyphony Digital, the game’s developer.
“I think this is a deeper rooted issue than just Polyphony paying players,” said Daniel Solis, the 2020 Manufacturer Series Champion. “If you take into consideration different winners’ prizes, such as the TAG Heuer watches and Sony Alpha cameras, the value of these items can actually compare to high-level tournaments in games with lower returns on investment, like Quake or Trackmania. I think the real problem lies with the lack of incentive to get major esports organizations involved. And while part of that problem does lie in Polyphony needing to find ways to get them involved, some of this is also down to the difficulty in promoting racing esports. If there’s a better way to invest in organizations, the organizations would reinvest in the players, and the economy would become more sustainable.”
Others like Kenni Hansen have quit competitive Gran Turismo esports for the exact same reasons that Solis mentioned.
“I always hope for a prize pool during live events,” said Hansen. “Or, what I think is even more important: for [Polyphony Digital] to open up to esports organizations and teams, and allow for sponsors to be shown during live events, whether […] on clothing and team gear or liveries on the cars used at events, more mentions during the broadcasts, etc.”
Because these sim-racers can’t rep their teams and sponsors while competing, it gives esports organizations very little incentive to invest in the players or league, making it nearly impossible for a competitor to parlay their success in Gran Turismo into a paying career in esports.
Now you hear a similar tune from all those who have, and still are competing in Gran Turismo, that the popular racing franchise likely has no future in competitive esports.
“Sure, I love the idea of being in a game franchise I grew up with, but there’s always that little part of me saying ‘all those efforts and events for no money,’” said former pro, Florent Pagandet. “It may sound greedy, but when we’re supposed to be the professional esports players of Gran Turismo, having no money on the line always puts in perspective all the efforts done, especially when visibility doesn’t give back much either.”
(All information was provided by Jalopnik)