A 100,000 strong petition brings eSports to the White House

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President Obama has until November this year to make any last changes which will inevitably define his presidency. Obama has perhaps been one of North America’s more accessible presidents in recent years, and with this in mind, he could go out with allowing easier access to North America for eSports athletes.

The decision needs to be hasty, because come November, Donald Trump may be too busy building his Wall, Hilary Clinton will be deciding which State Secrets to leak next, and Bernie Sanders will be too busy fighting for the little people. We haven’t heard much about “eSports” in any campaign speeches, but the 100,000 person petition signed after Super Smash Bros. player William “Leffen” Hjelte was deported from the United States for being on a tourist VISA and not a work VISA.

LEffen

This has been a persisting problem in the United States after a number of eSports players have been barred from entering the country to compete at eSports competitions. They’re offered neither a sporting VISA or work VISA for their travels, and often break the rules by competing, and winning prize money, which violates the terms of a tourism VISA.

According to eSports Observer the United States Government now has 60 days to offer an official statement regarding the petition, but many feel it is unlikely that eSports will be granted the same VISA as conventional sports. The US have in the past offered P1 VISAs for League of Legends players, but these specific cases are few when considering the amount of VISA issues which have plagued eSports over the years.

It’s no secret that eSports has gone mainstream over the past few months. Major news and sporting sites such as ESPN, Yahoo, and others have jumped on board with extensive coverage, and let’s not forget the Turner ELEAGUE which will be taking place later this month.

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Please, Mr. President, allow us to unironically say “Thanks, Obama” just one more time.

 

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Last Updated: May 25, 2016

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit's esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere - but my work here is independent of that.

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