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Visa Issues for EU/NA LCS players and what can be done about it

Petition at bottom

lolesports competitive ruling: So last friday Riot announced that Echo Fox would not compete because they could not field an eligible roster. For the beginning of the LCS Riot Games was going off the honor system that teams with foreign players had visa's set up and their players were/would be eligible. However multiple  reports from teams (I wonder which teams actually cared to have this checked?) have been questioning eligibility status of foreign players. Thus resulting in Echo Fox having 3 substitutions for sundays game.

Echo Fox Players affected by  U.S. Visa paperwork Issues:

  • Park "kfo" Jeong-hun
  • Anthony “Hard” Barkhovtsev
  • Henrik “Froggen” Hansen

They were not the only team affected by visa issues however. Both Unicorns of Love and ROCCAT have players that have ran into similiar visa issues, this time within Germany and will not play until resolved.

Players affected by German Visa Issues

  • UoL Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov
  • ROCCAT Edward "Edward" Abgaryan
  • H2K Ryu "Ryu" Sang-ook

Unicorns of Love announced on their facebook page:

Unicorns,Today we have really sad news to share with you guys.Our Russian friend Danil "Diamondprox" Reshetnikov will...

Posted by Unicorns Of Love on Monday, January 25, 2016

ROCCAT in same boat now with this:

Today we have to announce a change to our LCS roster due to visa issues with Armenian player Edward "Edward" Abgaryan....

Posted by Team ROCCAT on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Summary

UoLlove

In regard to Visa issues

Many players and fans have commented on the situation and are not happy taking to social media to express their frustration. The likely situation is that Germany doesn't actually know the state of eSports and how important it has become; despite it taking place in Berlin. So the matter could potentially be fixed rather quickly as the area probably hasn't been looked upon in many years. Both riot and a few pro teams have been in talks with representatives to try and create a resolve for the issues.

Petition: A member on reddit has started a petition for Germany to allow Visas for Professional eSports Players and can be signed here: Change Germany's Visa Status on eSports athletes.

Though very little can be done on the outside, the  support is there and who knows, maybe we'll see a change in the near future.

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