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LFY tackling visa issues two weeks before TI7

Dota 2 Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani


Photo courtesy of EPICENTER 2017

One of LGD's squads - LFY are tackling visa issues concerning two of their players - Du "Monet" Peng and He "Inflame" Yongzheng. Denied once, the organization has already made arrangements for a second round of interviews.

According to an official LGD weibo post that was translated and posted on Reddit - including photos of the official documents and letters provided to the embassy, the two players were denied entrance to the US in a matter of only minutes. 


photo courtesy of LGD weibo

While visa issues have a history of complicating LAN attendance in the US by foreign teams, in the case of Inflame the denial is even more shocking as he already was in possession of a current visa but requested a replacement after losing his passport. Being turned down is even more painful as he missed The Boston Major due to denial in the first place. Following that unfortunate situation, LGD took steps to obtain a longer term visa for Chinese midplayer to ensure they would avoid denial issues in the future. Monet has already been to the United States three times without so much of a problem since obtaining the original visa after missing Boston.

With the event kicking off two weeks from now, LGD is already pursuing a second interview and making arrangements to continue their visa process. The organization are no strangers to the intricacies and subjective nature of the US visa process. For TI6 LGD Gaming’s Xue “September” Zhichuan had been denied his visa after trying for a fourth time and was not able attend the event. He was replaced by coach/substitute Wang “Banana” Jiao. For the Boston Major LFY played with two substitutes with Monet and Luo "Lpc" Puchao missing out due to visa issues. 

These are the first but most likely not the last visa reports that will start trickling in as the teams are preparing for their United States travel. Just this past June, Clutch Gamers missed the Dota Summit 7 when the team was denied visas.

For the last two years Valve relied on US Senator Maria Cantwell to step in and assist struggling teams trying to get to The International. Senator Cantwell was able to step in and help both TnC and Execration obtain their visas in the witching hours before The International 2016. The teams were able to arrive in Seattle with only moments to spare - approximately three days before the group stage kicked off. 

Both September and Zhou “Yang” Haiyang from ViCi Gaming Reborn were not as lucky and missed the opportunity of a lifetime being denied access to TI6.

The International 2017

The International 2017 will take place at KeyArena, Seattle Washington. Eighteen teams from around the world will compete starting August 2nd in the group stage. Sixteen teams will advance to the main event scheduled to take place August 7-12th. The prize pool for TI7 is already over a record shattering $21 million.

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QUICKPOLL

Will LFY be able to sort out their visa issues in time?

Yes, both players will end up in Seattle
Thank you for voting!
Not likely, at least one will miss it
Thank you for voting!
Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani
Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2

Discussion

  • Dota "DotaTwo" Two ,
    I hope that senator will help again to all teams!!
  • luciano "lopsd" leguizamon ,
    KKona
  • Johnathan "r0xo" Loxton ,
    I am not sure if this ever happens in other countries (the reddit thread does mention China doing the same to US citizens) but any times visas are handled like this it really just seems like incompetence or stupid regulations. So you can provide proof that you are going there to earn money, that will be provided by a big company. You have proof of where you will stay and dates (included flight tickets I assume?) and probably the best of all, it has never happened that a person applying for a visa for this purpose (by that I mean TI) has overstayed their welcome. So the event they are there for, and the company they are proven to be an employee of both have perfect records, but nah dude sorry. It really just seems that it happens because there are either no set in stone criteria for entrance or they are just not applied in practice.I know the reason behind this is political, but well done. You punish young people wanting to make a living because you don't like their government. One that they can't even speak out against.
    • Cristy "Pandoradota2" Ramadani ,
      For all visas you have to essentially prove you are not going to illegally stay... so the biggest issues come from applicants from poor countries going to richer countries or between communist countries and Western countries. Its 100% about 'flight risk' based on the individual and unfortunately its 'subjective' to the person doing the interview. There are criteria (example ties to home are things like bank accounts, home, children, job etc and how often traveled elsewhere without problems etc) but if the person interviewing doesn't feel comfortable then GG... I have talked extensively with US embassy and border control on the topic in the past and have worked with players in limited travel countries obtain visas. If i had to guess... Monet is having problems coz he lost his passport - which the US sees as suspicious... a lost passport could really mean its on the blackmarket with a visa already in it etc and could be altered etc... so the interviewer might have been aprehensive about that situation (this is just 100% my opinion based on what I know of the embassy's and Monet's visa situation)
      • Arvell "revyrain" Skynative ,
        Yea.. mostly the US embassy tries as hard as they could to prevent any visitors from overstaying. It happens to my countrymen too. But as long as we have jobs, or business, and house back in our country generally it's not hard to get a US Visa. They will think that we have something to go back to from the US to our country. But then what I curious is, can't these players just inform the embassy in the interview, something like, 'we are bound to LGD/LFY's contract so we must go back to China, or they will fire us.' ? And also mention any of the upcoming Dota events elsewhere (worldwide, or China-based, no matter the Tiers, no matter the locations), that they have to attend to so they must exit the US pretty soon. Do these kind of reason work ? Have any of the chinese players tried this argument ?
        • Cristy "Pandoradota2" Ramadani ,
          One point that I have always used and with luck is a letter of guarantee from the player's org stating they would be responsible for that person returning in the amount of X amount of money (usually an average year's salary) if there person did not return. That accompanied with the org's financial records to prove they can pay it has been something I have always added. This was recommended to me once from the embassy as it helps to prove the person - if they were to flee - would not be a 'financial burden' to the country. Not sure its 100% fail proof but it was an actual recommendation and statement and has helped push through visas in the past for player that should have had difficulty getting one.

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