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
Revolutionary genetic drug trial will herald 'new era' in the fight against cancer
Peak District National Park celebrates 63rd birthday (and its stunning views) with a Google Doodle
Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Big Bang Theory to get special Star Wars episode with help from Lucasfilm
- 3 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 4 Pharrell Williams 'Happy': British Muslims dance to song in video
- 5 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We provide business administration softw...