US border authorities declare professional gamers 'athletes'
The visas were issued to professional League of Legends players - a free multiplayer arena-style game
Tuesday 16 July 2013
The US have issued professional gamers with P-1 visas, designating the players as "individual athletes".
The gamers in question are travelling to America to compete in a tournament for the popular arena-battle game League of Legends. The decision to award P-1 visas to competitors came after lengthy discussion between Riot Games (the developers behind League of Legends) and the US government.
Nick Allen, the eSports manager for Riot Games, described the decision as "groundbreaking":
"So the United States government recognizes League of Legends pro players as professional athletes and award visas to essentially work in the United States under that title," said Allen. "This is groundbreaking for eSports; now we can start looking at international players when they come over. It's a much easier process because they're actually recognized by the government. This is a huge thing."
The players rewarded these visas will be competing in the League of Legends Season 3 Championship Finals, due to take place in Los Angeles on October 4. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend, with many more watching on the internet. Last year's grand finals attracted an online audience of over 8.2 million.
As well as attracting viewing figures, eSports are also attracted prize money. This particular League of Legends championship has a total of $8m prize money, with $1m going to the winning team. The first individual to receive the P-1 Visa will be Alberto Rengifo (alias Crumbzz) who will be competing in the championship for the British-based Team Dignitas.
Life & Style blogs
‘I had to terminate my pregnancies because I was carrying girls’ - the story of a woman forced into gender-selective abortions
Titanfall lands with a boom on Xbox One, but will it save Microsoft's console?
Tomnod: How to join the virtual search party scanning satellite imagery for missing flight MH370
'100 retweets and I'll shoot someone': American man arrested for Twitter threat
St Patrick's Day 2014: Why is Guinness black - and other mysteries surrounding Ireland's favourite drink
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hi-jacking’ began soon after take-off
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£50000 - £57000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Pan-Europ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Test Analyst (SQL, LINUX, QTP, ORACLE, MANUAL, A...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Automated Te...