We were excited Gran Turismo Sport became an official Olympic sport. After years of playing, we finally had a chance to show the world what we can do. Best of all, we might even bring home an Olympic medal for the country, and that's thanks to just playing video games. If you've been waiting for the event to begin, well, it starts today.
Gran Turismo announced that the qualifiers for the Olympic Virtual Series are now open. Drivers from all over the world can see if they have what it takes by joining the new Time Trial qualifiers. This event is under 'Sport' mode in the game.
The global qualifiers will run from May 13 to May 23, 2021. Only the 16 fastest drivers from online qualifying will participate in the World Final. The finalists will then compete to become the very first Olympic Virtual Series Motor Sport Event winner.
Unfortunately, we have some bad news for Gran Turismo Sport players residing in the Philippines. According to the announcement, participation at the World Final is limited to competitors in the select countries/territories and regions. Sadly, the Philippines is not part of that list. In Asia, only players from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand can compete at the World Final.
Thankfully, there's still a chance for a Filipino to compete at the GT Sport Olympic World Finals, but without the Philippine flag. The official announcement says competitors must be “residing” in the following regions and countries. Take note, they used the word “residing”. It does not necessarily mean that person has to be a citizen of the country they are residing in.
With that, we're hoping a Filipino driver does make it to the Gran Turismo World Final, even without bearing the Philippine flag. But still, we can't help but feel sad for our local e-sport drivers. After watching Toyota Motor Philippines' GR GT Cup races, there is a lot of talent here.