A Video Gamer Gets A Visa As A Professional Athlete
By Bill Doyle
Danny “Shipthur” Le, one of the top League of Legends players in the world, will become the first foreign video game player to be allowed to enter the U.S. under the same type of visa that professional athletes get.
According to the Los Angeles Times,
League of Legends is a virtual capture-the-flag game in which two teams of fantasy characters compete for a glowing orb. Le is so deft at racing down the virtual field and opening up gaps for teammates that he recently became the first so-called eSports player to be granted a type of visa normally awarded to athletes featured daily on ESPN.
Like other stars on sports teams, Le needed the visa to live and practice with his Riverside squad. In the professional league, all five members of the team must be gathered together physically when they compete.
Le was granted the P-1A visa, the same type of visa that foreign major league baseball players without a green card get. So, apparently, video gamers are now athletes.
The Los Angeles Times went on to report,
Riot, the game developer, told U.S. officials that the eSports league met government benchmarks for a major sports league because it had clear rules and at least six teams with combined revenues of more than $10 million.