eSports and Travelling Abroad

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International eSports teams have often had difficulty obtaining visas for overseas events. Famous teams, like CS:GO’s Chinese stars of TyLoo, have had to drop out of the StarLadder i-League Invitational and decline an invite to the first season of ELEAGUE due to being unable to acquire visas in time for those events. Even though the U.S Government has recognized eSports athletes as being able to acquire athlete visas, it is still a long and arduous process.

Image courtesy of DreamHack

What can be done to solve this issue?

Well the same people at TyLoo seem to have found the solution to this problem as on the 12th of October, the team’s editor and international development executive, Chang “Marshall” Luo announce on theScore eSports’s website that the team had acquired 10-year-long entry visas into the United States.

“All our players and the coach have passed the US visa interview, that means they will obtain a 10-year-long, multi-entry visa for the United States,” Marshall said in a statement to theScore eSports. “We are expecting to collect back their passports from the Embassy in five days, then we will start our journey.”

Image courtesy of ESL

Not only does this mean that TyLoo can freely can in and out of the US anytime a competition comes around, but it has also opened the way for other teams in similar situations to do the same thing. More often than not, if a team is unable to attend the tournament for whatever reason, the spot will be given to the next best team who didn’t quite make it for whatever reason and in my opinion, that is extremely unfair. Something else that tournament organizers could do for teams who are unable to travel to the US because of visa problems, is simply help them.

It should be no surprise by now that eSports tournaments have insane prize pools, especially when you look at DOTA 2’s $20 million+ The International tournament. Since the world of eSports is meant to be a friendly environment where everyone has a chance at participating and making it big, I believe tournament organizers like ESL and Riot should help each other out as well as teams who can’t make it to a tournament for one reason or another. It would really help set eSports apart from traditional sports and in my opinion, that is a good thing.

All in all, eSports have just recently started garnering mainstream media attention so there are still some things that need to be sorted out, especially after the recent PEA scandal. Personally I believe that if we keep heading down this road, eSports will overtake traditional eSports and all teams will have a chance to make it to the big leagues, it just needs some time.


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