TORA British GT eSports Championship adds PC ‘cross-play’ for 2018
The TORA British GT eSports Championship will be available to even more e-racers in 2018 by offering Forza Motorsport’s PC users the chance to compete against their Xbox One counterparts for the first time in the series’ four-year history.
Turn 10’s popular sim racing title will once again play host to British GT’s only official online series this year thanks to its myriad GT3 and GT4 cars, as well as the ever-growing number of loyal and new teams and drivers. Indeed, more than 200 drivers entered last season, a number that’s expected to increase again in 2018.
First staged in 2015, the championship – which has flourished under The Online Racing Association’s stewardship – is one of the world’s most established console-based real-world eSports series. However, this year it’s also set to benefit from Forza’s new ‘cross-play’ feature, which now allows PC gamers to compete simultaneously against their console rivals for the title of TORA British GT eSports champion (GT3 and GT4).
The 2018 calendar features three real-world British GT circuits – Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and Brands Hatch GP – as well as four more intended to replicate the ‘feel’ of those UK venues not currently available in-game: Virginia International Raceway (Oulton Park), Indianapolis Road Course (Rockingham), Le Mans’ Bugatti Circuit (Snetterton) and Mugello GP (Donington Park).
The 10-round schedule also features a greater number of hour-long endurance-style races to compliment the more sprint-focused 30-minute encounters that have been used almost exclusively in previous campaigns.
As in the real-world, TORA has developed a sophisticated Balance of Performance index and testing procedure to ensure that all 24 eligible GT3 and GT4 models compete equally, and that driver skill remains the overriding factor for achieving success.
The emergence of new-for-2018 real-world GT3 and GT4 cars will also be seen in British GT’s eSports championship. Notable GT3 additions include Aston Martin, BMW and Porsche, while Audi, BMW and Jaguar – whose F-TYPE can only be found in British GT this year – represent fresh GT4 options. All entries must also carry the same official partner branding, windscreen banners and number panels as mandated by British GT’s graphical charter.
But that’s not all. 2018 also features a vastly improved and integrated media element as TORA steps up its output with YMTV by providing live streaming for every round plus the inclusion of a highlights package from the real-world championship for the first time.
Drivers are also permitted to use either a steering wheel/pedals or handheld controller.
TORA President, Matt Hunter: “Switching to Forza Motorsport at the start of 2017 proved a very popular decision, and we are taking that a step further this year by embracing Turn 10’s latest features. While the championship originally started out on Xbox we were always keen to one day find a common platform for computer and console users. With cross-play we have achieved just that, and I am now looking forward to introducing even more e-racers to our official British GT series.”
Virginia International Raceway ‘hosts’ this season’s opening round on April 15, two weeks after British GT’s real-world curtain-raiser at Oulton Park.
In addition to its Forza Motorsport platform, TORA and British GT will also consider staging separate, non-championship events on Gran Turismo Sport later this year.
2018 TORA British GT eSports Championship
Apr 15 - Rounds 1/2 - Virginia International Raceway
May 6 - Round 3 - Indianapolis Road Course Alt
Jun 3 - Rounds 4/5 - LM Bugatti Circuit
Jul 8 - Round 6 - Silverstone
Aug 12 - Round 7 – Spa-Francorchamps
Sep 2 - Rounds 8/9 - Brands Hatch GP
Sep 16 - Round 10 - Mugello GP
For more information and to sign up visit www.theonlineracingassociation.com, or follow TORA on Twitter via @TheReal_TORA