The final championship round of the e-sports event based in Japan, the “Red Bull 5G”, spans across several genres of games including fighting games, sports games, puzzles, and free games; and the racing division of the event is hosted on Gran Turismo 6. This final event was held on December 21, at the “Akiba Square” in the town of Akihabara in Tokyo, Japan. The Gran Turismo 6 match of the racing category was basically a GT championship competition between eastern and western Japan, with fierce competitors that have emerged from around 9000 participants. Historically Eastern Japan has maintained the lead, with 2 wins in a row in the last 2 years. And the guys who brought victory to the east in the last 2 years, are the top Japanese GT players “YAM” and “Yamadu”. However, things took a turn for the unexpected this year, with both of them dropping out in the regional qualifiers!
Below are the two new representatives of eastern Japan, who beat YAM in the regional qualifiers and brought the wave of the new generation into the competition:
He is a dedicated player with a clear objective of acquiring the championship prize; an invitation to the F1 Japan GP. His rival is “negi”, the western Japan finalist who set the fastest laptime in the qualifier.
The silent crouching tiger. The cool, quiet one that hides his true colors. In the qualifier, he and “calsonic” defeated “YAM”; he is the other player who champions the undefeated eastern Japan team.
The western Japan representatives who aims to overturn the 2 year consecutive loss for western Japan:
He is the only one with experience being a finalist in the racing division this year. Though that also means he had lost 2 years in a row, in this year’s qualifier he marked the best lap of the qualifier on his second lap. In terms of speed, stability, and strength under duress, he is a top class GT player.
He was the big mouthed, bad boy character in the official player introduction video; a new comer who has just started Gran Turismo from this 5G qualifier!
The Red Bull 5G competition works like this:
This is a team battle in which the team who wins 3 matches in 5 categories first takes the overall win. So just winning the racing category isn’t enough; if they lose in the other categories they will lose the match. A variety of strategies must come together in the teams to achieve an overall victory, and requires teamwork amongst the eastern/western teams.
The pre-match festival before the big day has a role in solidifying this teamwork. I think many people might imagine a group of quiet characters when they think of “Japanese gamers”. But perhaps because there’ s a leader figure on each side who have had experience as finalists in the event, everyone seems to be open and at ease in their teams. And while being very unique characters, you get the sense that they are all fighting for the same objective.
As a racing game, steering controllers and a variety of network adjustments are required for a fair match. So a crew from Polyphony Digital also participated in the event to provide technical support. And for race settings, a detailed discussion between drivers is essential, so a driver’s meeting was held after the pre-event festival. In order to have all finalists race at their best, an exchange of opinions regarding a variety of topics is crucial.
The next day, the day of judgment is upon them.
The Red Bull 5G is fought as a team battle between east and west, but in the racing division, the team with the car that finishes in 1st place will win the event, rather than through a combined lap time. The circuit used for the final is Red Bull’s very own Red Bull Ring in Austria. This is a classic circuit that was known in the past as the A1 Ring. The competition car is the Red Bull X2014 Standard in team colors, red for east and blue for west.
The qualifier race to determine the final grid position was held on the Red Bull Ring Short Course.
With honda spinning out on his own and ayumu and calsonic rubbing fenders, negi takes pole position with an uncontested advantage.
Regarding this collision between ayumu and calsonic, it seemed at first that ayumu forced himself on the inside; but it later came to light after the race that ayumu’s car had jumped after hitting the cornerstone, causing a loss of control. This is what caused him to hit calsonic’s car. With this unfortunate accident for both, there was concern that they might carry the added pressure into the final race.
In order from the top on the final starting grid was negi (west), calsonic (east), ayumu (west), and honda (west).
Turmoil continued in the final race held on the full course of the Red Bull Ring. honda who was 4th on the starting grid passes ayumu at the entry into the first corner, raising his position. But in the next corner, ayumu comes out of honda’s slip stream into the inside of the corner.
But this again resulted in a collision between him and calsonic who was ahead. The gremlins of the Red Bull Ring must be bringing them together somehow. “calsonic” on the receiving end of the collision raises his left hand in anger, and ayumu having caused 2 collisions at his fault, seems to have totally lost his will to fight.
The mash up resulted in the same situation as the qualifier, with negi in pole position gaining a huge lead ahead of the others.
Later, ayumu who had dropped to 4th overtook honda again and rose to 3rd, but thereafter the order of negi, calsonic, ayumu, honda remained the same until the end of the race.
negi, who reminded spectators of “YAM” in his best days brought victory for the first time to western Japan.
Though calsonic in 2nd fought hard he was unrewarded, and ayumu in 3rd and honda in 2nd finished with this time difference:
The undefeated record of Eastern Japan was shattered in the winter night, in the cyber city of “AKIBA”.
This was a no-contest result for negi who achieved a decisive victory, but for the audience the collision between ayumu and calsonic was the major point of drama in the event. And their gentleman response afterward was a touching moment. After the race, ayumu was teary eyed as he apologized to “calsonic”. But then everyone gathered around to forgive him and cheer him up.
To those who love motorsports, it was great to see the sportsmanly attitude of ayumu, who after having been the cause of the accident, let the other regain his position loss before really returning to the competition.
And Western Japan dominated in the other divisions of gaming as well, gaining a decisive victory in the 5G championship.
The comments of the 4 players after the battle:
1st place: negi (western Japan) center left:
“3rd time’s a charm, finally a victory! But to tell you the truth, to become number one I really wanted to beat “YAM” in the process!!”
2nd place: calsonic (eastern Japan) Center Right:
“I’ve already put this race behind me. I’m already thinking about the next one; thinking ahead!”
3rd place: ayumu (western Japan)
“This trophy was pretty much handed to me by negi-san, but I hope to win at all sorts of games in the future and really contribute to the win!”
4th place: honda (eastern Japan)
“I’m not looking back. I’m just going with the flow, here and onwards!”
With no grudges held between them, they had a great attitude that shows the true spirit of racing. Fierce rivals but still friends, they all went out to arcades in the town of Akihabara afterwards for personal revenge matches through arcade and simulator games. With sportsmanship like that seen in the GT Academy, the Red Bull 5G tournament came to a close.
If space allowed I also wanted to bring you highlights of the battles in categories other than racing, but there was so much drama in each of the genre’s of the competition there isn’t quite enough room on the Pit Stop blog dedicated to racing. For a detailed report of the event, please visit the Red Bull 5G official website.