Trump’s “Muslim ban” is impacting esports

3 min read

Trump’s first week as the President of the United States can be summed up in to a single question: “Oh God, what has he done now?” This is not a joke as every morning you can turn on the TV,  load up Twitter, look on Reddit and be bombarded by either “Fake News” or “Alternative Facts” presented by major media outlets. The only problem is the news isn’t fake, and one of Trump’s latest executive orders is having an impact on esports.


The ban has affected an Iraqi player who was set to enter the US to take part in a Vainglory tournament. Vainglory is a mobile game, similar to Dota and other MOBAs. The player, known as IraqiZorro, was set to move to the United States to play in the “Evil Eight” league which was starting this week.

While the player might not be well known, these initial cases do present a major foreseeable problem with the current state of international travel and affairs. If Trump ban goes through (it’s currently blocked by a federal judge ) a number of players will find difficulty in competing in the United States. While this executive order is abhorrent, its misguided focus is to slow down immigration of refugees – and athletes or professional with working VISAs are means to be exempt, in some cases, from the lengthy vetting process.

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However, esports might still find some roadblocks in areas such as this when it comes to players arriving from one of the listed countries which are currently “banned.” During the Obama presidency a similar travel ban was implemented which stopped re-entry into the United States if you’d visited a list of countries tied to terrorist organizations. This affected a player from Astralis who was unable to enter the USA to compete, so we’re not all foreign to this hiccup.

This could be nothing serious, or turn out to be a major problem for esports. Obama was an esports friendly president, will Trump follow suit?

Last Updated: January 31, 2017

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.

  • For the Emperor!
  • Hammersteyn

    At least he has the whole set

    • MonsterCheddar


    • Skyblue


  • Skittle

    It is important to note that the ban is only temporary – 90 days. What happens after those 90 days is anyone’s guess. No point in jumping to conclusions.

    I don’t think it will have a lasting, devastating (I doubt we will see more than a tiny ripple) impact on e-sports. The major players in the esports scene are from Europe, NA, SA and Asia, all the top teams will still be competing. If the ban ends after 90 days then the few previously blocked players can jump back in (albeit with a lot more paper work).

    PS I used to come to Lazygamer for video game articles but I’ve been seeing a development of peoples political opinions being inserted into more articles. It would be nice if we can stay a happy community without pushing agendas.

    • Hammersteyn

      The ban has been blocked for now. Thank heavens sanity still prevails over there

      • For the Emperor!

        Saw yesterday a list of thing a US President can and cannot do with his executive orders. Take into account that executive orders can be stopped/challenged by Congress, and the people have a right to approach the courts to fight executive orders. Some of his promises actually cannot be done this way and must go through Congress, so I see most of it failing unless he can convince them to pass it. Yes it is causing some issues right now, most will (and should) be stopped.

        • Skyblue

          Only until the majority start agreeing with him which, technically, he is already representing. I’m not condoning what he’s doing but you can’t argue the fact that he is actually prepared to back up his words (right or wrong) with action. He’s shaking the concept of PC worldwide which the anarchist in me will always admire.

      • Skyblue

        Ons sal sien.

    • Skyblue

      Love your last paragraph. Huge thumbs up.

  • Magoo

    Countries with highest Muslim populations:

    1. Indonesia – 205 million
    2. Pakistan – 178 million
    3. India – 177 million
    4. Bangladesh – 149 million
    5. Egypt – 80 million
    6. Nigeria – 76 million

    “”Muslim Ban””

    • Skyblue

      Agreed. This was targeted at “terrorist” affiliated countries and I can’t say I disagree ENTIRELY. It’s not an exact science but it is a clear message.

  • konfab

    I don’t see e-sports suffering much. It’s not like you absolutely need to be in the same country in order to play in an e-sports tournament. We do have this thing called fiber internet.

  • Skyblue

    It doesn’t really matter because if there is one thing Firefly has already taught us is that we’ll all be speaking Chinese 482 years from now ;-p

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