Written By: Steve Vegvari
On Sunday, February 25th, WorldGaming held the GT Sport Canadian Championship Finals. The event brought in 16 of Canada’s best players in the racing genre. Interestingly enough, the event had a wider age bracket than most eSports tournaments.
People often think playing games professionally is a young man’s game. I’ve spoken to plenty of eSport players and heard the stories of hopes and dream forming when they were kids. Playing games like Halo: Combat Evolved, or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It all happens embryonically. Once eSports grew, kids who dreamed of one day playing games on a big stage grew with the industry and now could fulfill their dream.
That scenario is just one of many. For a player like Chris “beatin_the_odds” Gorski, he was of a cognizant age to see the telling signs that tournaments could ascend into what eSports are today. The 48 year old player participated in the GT Sport Finals. He raced against players all the way down to the 20 year old Jamal “RacingKing89674” Khan.
While beatin_the_odds may be not be a well known name on the scene, he has a major leg up on his competition. He has been playing racing games and develop his skill set as the games advanced.
“I have been playing racing games from as far back as I can remember. The graphics have been drastically improved.”.
“I find the amount of realism, and attention to detail brought to racing games have improved probably the most. The physics the developers are incorporating into these games nowadays it’s almost unfair to call them games anymore, but are really more like simulations.”
Back when racing games like Gran Turismo first launched on the original PlayStation, the sim-racing genre was still new and fresh to consoles. Fast forward to present day. The ways GT Sport and Forza Horizon 7are played is quite shocking.
As a seasoned player, beatin_the_odds may not have grown up with a dream of one day competing on a big stage. He saw an opportunity when he could put all those hours behind a racing rig to good use.
“I never really thought of it as pursuing a path in e-sports, but I found that with this growing phenomenon and its popularity, there are more organized events happening all the time.”
While beatin_the_odds is a veteran behind the wheel, he is aware of the everyday struggles that come with the fierce competition.
“Sim racing is very tough, and it takes a lot of patience and discipline. You are always pushing to get the lap times you need. Where every 1/100th of a second counts, and you are driving on the edge of control, it takes a lot of focus”
“I always feel I can do better. It can be a little discouraging sometimes not seeing your position higher in the standings. You analyze what you did right, what you did wrong, and learn from your mistakes. Once you get to a higher level like this, you need to put the time in to practice, and sometimes it’s hard to balance this with your family life and work.”
Many professional players will critique themselves and their opponents. With services like YouTube and Twitch readily available, players can go online and study other players and their tactics. If you constantly find yourself taking a turn too sharp, or want to shave off a couple seconds from your heat, you can go find a Twitch stream of an experienced player and learn from their tactics.
“I watch YouTube of other drivers if I’m really having a hard time. I learn different racing lines, or techniques, at a certain track to try and get faster.”
These tactics are ubiquitous among eSports players. Regardless if YouTube and Twitch are seen as new media. There is no understating how important a tool these platforms can be to seasoned players or newcomers.
As eSports becomes larger and more stable, I foresee a trend of an older age bracket coming into the fold. The community is inviting. The act of competition in video games is universal no matter what age you decide to pursue it.
For more on GT Sport keep it locked to Inside WorldGaming.
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.