TNC and Execration in danger of not getting their visas in time for TI6
image source: TNC's facebook account
The two Filipino teams, that are supposed to be in Seattle at the beginning of August to compete for the first time at The International, are facing big difficulties in securing their US Visa.
The eligibility of eSports professionals, or maybe lack of it, to acquire a P1 Athlete’s Visa for the United States of America is potentially jeopardizing the Philippine teams’, TNC and Execration, chances of competing in The International 6, the biggest Dota 2 tournament for 2016.
Execration has qualified for the Wild Card competition, vying for the chance to make it to the playoffs, while TnC has already secured a slot in the Main Event, having topped the Southeast Asian Qualifier. The main event of The International 6 is set to commence on the 8th of August, but a few days ahead of the actual competition that will be held in KeyArena the teams will have to compete in the group stage, which will be also held in Seattle, meaning that both teams only have a limited amount of time to secure the necessary documents.
According to the management of both teams, they were advised by the United States embassy to apply for P1 (Athlete) Visas instead of the B1-B2 Visas (Business-Tourist); however, it would take an increased amount of time. Both teams had applied for their Visas last July 8th (Execration) and July 15th (TNC); the letter given to them by Valve advised said teams to apply for B1/B2 Visas, which was reportedly used by other teams in past The International tournaments.
Both teams were told to resubmit their applications and during their second attempt, they were informed that both teams were qualified to fly, however they needed to apply for a P1 VIsa instead of the initial B1/B2 as was instructed. The setback has prompted both teams to ask for help from the Office of Senator Benigno Paolo 'Bam' Aquino, a well-known supporter of eSports in the Philippines, who had helped Team Rave with their Visa issues last year.
Visa problems are not new in the eSports industry, which is why a petition was submitted to the White House last April (2016), urging the acceptance of eSports as a legitimate sport discipline.
Here are the statements by both managers regarding the issue:
Paulo Sy, TNC Manager:
Arvin Risos, manager and owner of Execration:
Later today we will release an interview for GosuGamers with Execration’s captain Kimuel ‘Kim0’ Rodi and the team drafter Abed ‘Abed’ Yusop, however it does not include the sensitive visa subject as it was conducted before their applications were rejected.
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source: Esports Inquirer