THE US REC­OG­NIZES GAMERS AS ATH­LETES

HWM (Malaysia) - - TRENDS -

LEAGUE OF LEG­ENDS The global na­ture of gam­ing means that e-sports ath­letes hail from ev­ery cor­ner of the world. While it is pos­si­ble to hold com­pe­ti­tions on­line, for the sake of spec­ta­cle ma­jor events are held at venues where com­peti­tors con­gre­gate to bat­tle. Un­for­tu­nately, at­ten­dance for many gamers is con­tin­gent on the avail­abil­ity of visas.

Riot Games how­ever, has made head­way in solv­ing this prob­lem. The de­vel­op­ers are be­hind League of Leg­ends; one of the most pop­u­lar mul­ti­ple on­line bat­tle arena (MOBA) games to­day. In ad­di­tion, they are also in­volved in im­ple­ment­ing the game’s global com­pe­ti­tion and e-sports as­pects.

In re­cent months, Riot Games has suc­cess­fully pe­ti­tioned and con­vinced US Im­mi­gra­tion to treat League of Leg­ends like it would any other sport. Rather than ap­ply­ing for work per­mits or tourist visas, League of Leg­ends play­ers will now be con­sid­ered ath­letes and be el­i­gi­ble for longer du­ra­tions of stay. The de­ci­sion was made af­ter it was es­tab­lished that an in­di­vid­ual could make a liv­ing off of League of Leg­ends.

Danny “Shiph­tur” Le from Canada, a pro­fes­sional gamer for League of Leg­ends, is the first in­di­vid­ual to ob­tain a visa which clas­si­fies him as an “in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized” ath­lete. He will be com­ing down to the United States of Amer­ica to train for the up­com­ing League of Le­gend world cham­pi­onships.

This change gives League of Leg­ends’ e-sports com­pe­ti­tion the same des­ig­na­tion

"League of Leg­ends play­ers will now be con­sid­ered ath­letes and be el­i­gi­ble for longer du­ra­tions of stay in the US. "

as the NBA, NHL, MLS or other sports leagues; it means League of Le­gend gamers will get the same treat­ment as David Beck­ham did when he moved to L.A Galaxy.

League of Leg­ends play­ers take on the role of a hero. Heroes fall un­der many cat­e­gories such as melee, ranged or sup­port based on their abil­i­ties.

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