eSports have come a long way in terms of entertainment and popularity, and now they’ve reached another major milestone – they’ve helped a player obtain a visa usually reserved for athletes.
Kim “ViOLet” Dong Hwan, a South Korean professional game player who works his magic in StarCraft 2, has qualified to receive a P-1A visa from the American government, meaning he can officially compete in tournaments within the United States, according to Cyber Solutions Agency.
Usually reserved for internationally recognized athletes, the P-1A allows “ViOLet” to compete, provided that he meets the criteria that comes with the visa. This includes “coming to the United States to participate in an individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.”
This visa allows “ViOLet” to reside and compete in the U.S. over the next five years. “I’ve been so jealous when other Koreans traveled to the USA for tournaments,” he said. “I have been trying to go to (the) USA as well, but I got denied three times, and I was almost ready to give up…really almost. It was lots of drama. But my manager found out another last way, and we worked hard together. If we got denied this last time too, yeah, I would pretty much have to retire…”
Hwan follows Canadian player Danny “Shiptur” Le in getting his visa for game tournaments for League of Legends.