Gran Turismo Sport player Terence “LMP_TLallave” Lallave took to social media to express his disappointment over Polyphony Digital’s decision to disqualify him from the international event this coming September 20.
With dreams of becoming the best esports racing driver, Lallave strived to be among the top players in GT’s global leaderboards. Initially, it seemed like his hard work paid off when GT Sport’s Online Operation team emailed him an invitation to participate in its prestigious “Gran Turismo World Tour 2018” happening in Salzburg, Austria.
Terence “LMP_TLallave” Lallave has been an avid Gran Turismo gamer since the early versions of the title. As GT evolved, the game has opened opportunities for him to compete with other players locally on various live events and in online leagues with players from around the world. In addition, Lallave was among the Top 6 Nissan GT Academy Philippines finalists who made it to the International Finals in Silverstone, United Kingdom back in 2015.
Thanks to his exemplary performance in the points rankings of FIA GT Sport, Terence was selected as a candidate to this year’s Gran Turismo World Tour.
The GT World Tour features the best players from various regions all over the world and will serve as a prologue to the much bigger FIA Gran Turismo Nations and Manufacturers finals next month.
However, Polyphony Digital, creator of the game, ultimately disqualified him from the event for NOT having a PH PSN.
Due to the lack of a dedicated PSN in the Philippines, Lallave, like most Filipino Playstation players, registered under the Hongkong Playstation Network (HK PSN). Because he is not an HK resident, local HK gamers expressed their dismay over having Lallave represent their country in the international event. He has since been the subject of online bashing, with several local players saying he deliberately used the HK PSN to qualify at the expense of actual HK gamers.
Dear Mr. Lallave,
If you tried use your HKG psn and try your luck to represent HKG to GT world tour / FIA events, just kindly let you know, all mainstream HKG players are gonna report this issue to GT sport official. We only need real HK players. Cheers
— Winson Wong (@WinsonWong13) September 1, 2018
While their concerns are understandable, Lallave adamantly stresses that it was due to the lack of a PH PSN that he resorted to signing up under a different network. Lallave is a dedicated GT Sport gamer who only wishes for an opportunity to compete in the international stage. He has since apologized publicly to HK gamers but maintains that he qualified because of his own effort and determination.
I would like to apologize to all HKG GT Sport drivers I would like to clear that it is not my fault that there is no Philippine PSN acct ever since PSN was launched I have put 100% effort and determination in the FIA races and its dissapointing that all of u think of me that way
— Terence Lallave (@LallaveTerence) September 1, 2018
The deeper issue
The Philippines is just one in a list of countries without a dedicated Playstation Network. Filipino gamers have actually campaigned and even requested for Sony to establish one. A popular forum even has players inquiring about this over a decade ago, all to no avail.
While not having a PH PSN does not affect most games, the same is not true for GT Sport. The Philippines is not in the list of countries eligible to participate. It’s important to note that all of the countries included have their own PSNs. While GT Sport did not clearly specify its reason for exclusion, competitive or top ranking players like Lallave have no choice but to stay at a standstill.
While technically Lallave is truly not an HK resident, and thus is not eligible to represent the country in the World Tour, should he be faulted for wanting to participate despite the obvious setbacks that have not been resolved for years? Should skillful gamers from obscure regions not have opportunities to participate in global tournaments due to this faulty technicality?
Explain me this??? You shouldn't ship your GAMES IN PHILIPPINES if we are not allowed to join FIA or GT WORLD TOUR
You broke my heart today, my life has been a lie. pic.twitter.com/yEE5Gy3D0A
— Ren (@r3n_Ren) September 2, 2018
The community’s support
Since Lallave’s call for the public’s attention, many fellow gamers have expressed their support of the Filipino player. Community members took to social media to appeal for a change in Polyphony Digital’s decision. To them, everyone should have a fair chance of participating in global competitions. PSN or no PSN, Lallave earned his spot among the country’s best GT Sport players. He was able to qualify due to his skill and hard work, besting other players from around the world.
For Terence, his fight is a significant one for the Philippines. He wanted to prove that Filipinos are undoubtedly one of the most passionate gamers in the world.
“Gaming has always been a part of my life it has developed my talent and love for racing games as the years went by and through those years I’ve witnessed the evolution of racing games and all other games in general. I really value my love for gaming it is something immeasurable to any amount of money and I’m very happy with all the achievements ive made in these video games all through these years.
Its very important for me to be able to make this World Tour event at Gran Turismo because i want to let the world know that our little country has loads of talent and that we are very competitive people in the crafts that we specialize on.
I would be honored to raise our country’s flag in 1 of the most prestigious eSports race events ever made.
To date, Polyphony Digital’s decision showed no signs of changing, despite drawing criticism. For now it seems, until Sony establishes dedicated PSNs in more regions, gamers would have to resort to registering under other regions to play or enjoy their favorite games.