Visas Continue to be Distributed to Pro Gamers
By: Michael J. Poropat
The term "athlete" is often not associated with gamers. However, over the last year the word has become more and more synonymous with eSports players. Back in July of this year, Riot had battled for one of their Canadian League of Legends players, Danny "Shuphtur" Le, to get a visa and be allowed to compete in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). This monumental moment in eSports history was followed up rather quickly when professional StarCraft player Kim “Violet” Dong was awarded his visa in early December. Now, a third professional eSports player has joined the ranked of visa-awarded athlete. The StarCraft superstar Terran player Choi "Polt" Seong Hun. The team of both Polt and Violet, CSA or Cyber Solutions Agency, filed most of the paper work which consisted of over 500 pages for each of the and fought most of the battle.
The association of gamers as athletes is one that has been long sought by the eSports industry and now that it has happened, many more doors are opening up. It's possible that the recognition of pro gamer as athletes by the government could lead to the NCAA allowing eSports to be played competitively and allow gamers to be given scholarship and other awards based on their video game skills. Slowly but surely eSports is being recognized as professional sport, and it seems that its only a matter of time before its as popular as sports like MMA or the NFL.