Leave a Comment
All you hippy tree-hugging gamers out there have actually lived long enough to see “The Man” bow to your hippiness and do something you probably never thought you would see: Call video games a legit form of national work and grant Visas to pro-gamers to come to the U.S. to play games.
Yeah, you didn't read that wrong... all you illegals trying to get to the land of the growing poor and home of the company-diving ravagers, can finally make your mark in our dying country by just being good at landing headshots in Call of Duty or trying to out-click StarCraft II players like your life depended on the powerful muscles of your index finger.
The news comes courtesy of a couple sources; first it was tipped off by eSports commentator Leigh Smith on Twitter, who let his fans and followers know about the change, tweeting...
Another announcement you all maybe missed. The US Governement recognises the #LCS as a Sport on par with NBA,NFL,NHL so pro's get visas now— Leigh Smith (@RiotDeman) July 12, 2013
“So the United States Government recognizes League of Legends pro-players as professional athletes and awards Visas under that title.
So this is groundbreaking for eSports. Now we can start looking at international players that come over. It's a much easier process because they're actually recognized by the government. It's a huge thing.”
This didn't happen overnight, though.
Riot, gamers and eSport refugees had to work hard to convince the U.S. Government to unbridle the buckles that keep their butt cheeks firmly clasped together and ease up on the restrictions for international tournament players who sometimes have to come and go for seasonal eSport romps being held Stateside.
According to Allen...
“This was a lengthy process; we had a lot of people fighting for this and it wasn't something that happened overnight.
This was a constant back and forth of 'show us more proof... is this realistic?' and that sort of thing. Eventually it got to the point where they were like 'we have no reason to say no... okay, this is legitimate'”
This should most certainly boost the appeal of the eSports arena for a number of organizers and competitors the world around, as it boosts the international flavor (and sponsorship money) for events and tournaments on a global scale.
Even more than that, this definitely moves gaming culture further out of the “living in your mom's basement” territory and closer to the “fat Dorito-eating kid who makes a living shooting people in the face” territory. I'm 100% okay with the second stereotype becoming the norm.
Now all Hollywood has to do is make a movie where some poor kid from Yugoslavia has to enter a tournament where he can win a U.S. Visa to compete in the world championship League of Legends match in order to make enough money to save his dying mom. The Wizard: Oscar-bait edition. Make it happen.