THE US RECOGNIZES GAMERS AS ATHLETES
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.