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League of Legends Pro Players Are Eligible For Athlete Visas

by Matt Helgeson on Jul 12, 2013 at 09:31 AM

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Pro gamers are athletes, at least in the eyes of the U.S. government. In a recent interview, Riot Games' Nick Allen revealed that foreign League of Legends players are now eligible for the same travel visas that are available to professional athletes.

The news came in an interview with Gamespot UK. Allen said, "So the United States government recognizes League of Legends pro players as professional athletes and award visas to essentially work in the United States under that title. This is groundbreaking for eSports; now we can start looking at international players when they come over. It's a much easier process because they're actually recognized by the government. This is a huge thing."

We assume he means the P-1 visa which is given to professional athletes and travelling entertainers.

[Source: Gamespot and Gamespot UK]

Our Take
This is great news for Riot, League of Legends, and professional gamers of all stripes. The professional gaming scene is very international, and anything that makes it easier for the world's top talent to perform in the United States is a good thing. It's also another sign of the growing legitimacy of professional gaming.