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United States Games Idle

StarCraft II Gamer Receives US Pro-Athlete Visa 114

dotarray writes "The world's first professional StarCraft II gamer has been granted a five-year pro athlete visa for the United States, making Kim 'viOLet' Dong Hwan the first of his kind. viOLet was one of the first gamers to apply for the P-1A visa when they were introduced in July. The new paperwork doesn't mean that he can live permanently in the U.S., but it does mean he'll be treated like other (more traditional) athletes, able to easily enter the country temporarily to participate in tournaments."
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StarCraft II Gamer Receives US Pro-Athlete Visa

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  • Ackbar says (Score:3, Funny)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @06:42AM (#45668997) Homepage

    It's a trap!

    • This is a fully operational Nydus Worm.

    • Re:Ackbar says (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:29AM (#45670073)

      Ah Ackbar, the true hero to end the empire.
      Unlike Luke, who abandon his post and joined with the enemy.
      Or Solo and Lieha who, just barely achieved their mission by turning a cloak and dagger mission to a full frontal assault, killing many civilians.

      Ackbar, caught the trap quickly and professionally organized his troops to hold the line until he had the tactical advantage.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2013 @06:49AM (#45669027)

    Genuinely curious. Does this sort of thing apply to chess, poker, and other "less-traditional sports"?

    • by aiadot ( 3055455 ) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @07:36AM (#45669177)
      According to my local Japanese US embassy, there is no mention about what type of gaming/sport is allowed. They just say that it must have a certain degree of international recognition and the event must also be distinguished. Furthermore the whole reason this new visa was created was because Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, the biggest MOBA PC game, lobbied for it, so I think it's safe to say that getting a visa for electronic gaming is easier than getting one for traditional table gaming tournaments.
      • Video games like Tetris and StarCraft are proprietary. This means one entity has the state-backed power to prevent any particular person from playing a sport. It's not like being "banned from baseball" where a player can join another league, as the game's publisher has the power to shut a league down by asserting the publisher's exclusive right to perform the game publicly. These companies also have veto power over implementations of a "sport". It's as if The Tennis Company could sue a city for putting up a
        • Or something free like beach volleyball, where a Brazilian pro player was (at least partially) baned for being outspoken about something. Sadly I can't find a source.
          But I agree that 'Sport' isn't the right label here. It should be labeled as a 'competition' just like every other 'sport'. After all we watch a competition between professionals (people that devoted way more time to a activity, then we could be bothered to, and there got really good at it) based on set rules. IMO we only call professional spo
        • by aiadot ( 3055455 )
          You bring a pretty interesting point. While I respect your point of view, on the other hand we have to remember that the entities behind e-sports are for profit companies and if they do anything that pisses off the community they'll end up losing users to rival games and lose money. Furthermore, while traditional games and sports are public domain, the entities that organize the events are not very different from your standard corporation. Anyone that can potentially do or say something that can potentially
          • if they do anything that pisses off the community they'll end up losing users to rival games and lose money

            What (legal) alternative was there when The Tetris Company made the infinite spin feature of Tetris Worlds official despite reviewers' claims that "it actually breaks Tetris"? That's as if basketball players had to switch to netball or team handball, or if American football players had to switch to rugby. Not all skills transfer [wikipedia.org].

            Furthermore, while traditional games and sports are public domain, the entities that organize the events are not very different from your standard corporation. Anyone that can potentially do or say something that can potentially go against their or their partner's interests can be put out of the game.

            Black players kicked out of Major League Baseball started parallel Negro League [wikipedia.org]. Had the National League and American League been able to assert actual exclusive rights over basebal

    • by Buzer ( 809214 )

      At least some sports (like pro wrestling) actually wan to avoid getting defined as sports in legal sense as it can bring bunch of problems (like Title IX). There are some legal thoughts available athttp://dpgatlaw.com/2013/07/23/inviting-regulation-the-sportsification-of-video-games/ [dpgatlaw.com].

    • I think some people do it under the table for other sports this person did it the legal way.

      I know some other people who do stuff international and they really don't get visas for it.

  • This needs the giant foot icon.

    • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

      After I RTFA, it seems a Jägerbomb icon might be more desirable and appropriate. I haven't realized it before, but Slashdot really needs a Jägerbomb icon!

  • Can a professional Angry Birds player (plays every afternoon with his colleagues) apply for a P-1A Visa?
  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @07:36AM (#45669175) Homepage Journal

    Because many competitive tournament visitors are atheletes, the State Department website designer chose to follow the vernacular to call it an "athletic visa". The US immigration code from the Immigration and Nationization Act of 1965 refers to "alien athletes, artists, and entertainers, and their spouses and children." The Starcraft gamer was issued a "P1" visa according to TFA which applies to "individual or team athletes, or members of an entertainment group (P-1B) that are internationally recognized. A maximum of 25,000 P visas are issued annually."[wikipedia] The whole article plays on a reader-friendly title for a government a web page. .

    In other words, P1 is the same for Gary Kasparov or Jet Li. It's designed to keep USA employers from issuing "track and field" competitions to pick grapes, without impeding Hollywood or Olympic events.

    • by Alioth ( 221270 )

      I thought there was already an O (I think) visa for people who are outstanding in their field (i.e. musicians, bands, entertainers etc).

      It does seem odd to call it an "athletic visa" when this P visa is also for entertainment groups (presumably, musicians will now be getting this kind of visa).

      Generally I wouldn't call a Starcraft pro an athlete, nor would I call Starcraft a sport (I wouldn't call chess a sport. I wouldn't even call golf a sport - it's a pleasant past-time, but not a sport). Don't mistake t

  • My personal opinion is that gaming can in fact be a sport, Much as foreign chess players can secure this type of visa when playing in america, im sure pundits will laud this as a spurious visa ($criticism=Obama->new($issue)). Yet taking a moment to play Starcraft II on its normal setting one arrives at a determined sense of exactly how challenging this game can be. A real opponent competing in a tournament can, and does, easily outmatch the AI for the game even on its most brutal setting. Anything mo
  • Well its a great news for all the athletes as they need to get training about fitness and other activities with this it will help them out for better performance. As some sports are related to states and not other countries. The best part of this thing is traveling around the state meet new players get better advices.
  • Can't this country produce quality game players of it's own?

    Who would have thought America would have fallen so far that our couch potatoes are getting replaced by imports.

    • with only people in the usa being able to play.

      • with only people in the usa being able to play.

        That's what the rest of us were wondering about the World Series in baseball before Montreal and Toronto got teams.

    • I don't think the US works like you think it does. Its success has been based on varying degrees of home grown talent and imported talent.

      While the top earners in e-sports, apart from Fatal1ty, aren't from the US, 7 out of the top 20 are employed by a US organization (EG/[A]). The picture gets more favorable for the US the further down one goes in the top 100. As far as SC2:HotS goes the US has the famdom scene locked. I would guesstimate that ~80% of successful players are either Korean or play for a US
    • There are no top-tier American Starcraft players that I'm aware of; the current North American champion is a Canadian girl.

      We do have good League of Legends teams.

  • League of Legends was actually the first game to have a pro issued a sports visa. To quote a friend "They're recognised as athletes for visa purposes because they come into the country and compete and then leave again so as far as immigration is concerned that's the one that fits them best. Unfortunately the vast majority of posters are too stupid to understand that and the topic turns to shit." source http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=421180 [teamliquid.net]
  • Not so Fast (Score:4, Funny)

    by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:16AM (#45669969) Journal
    He just tested positive for Red Bul,l taurine, Monster Energy drink, and NoDoz. Banned.
  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:23AM (#45670033)

    After he went to Russia to play a match?

    • No, he was wanted by the State Department for going to Yugoslavia during the war in the 1990's when all travel by US citizens was banned. He played a rematch of his famous match with Boris Spassky. He sought asylum in Japan, then was granted full citizenship in Iceland, and was still wanted at the time of his death in 2008.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @11:14AM (#45670525) Homepage Journal
    Now he just needs to whore himself out to Red Bull and he'll be set for life! It's the American dream!
  • We all know that playing Starcraft shouldn't be considered a sport... but who puts forth a rubric for judging what's what? I do, that's who!

    **Sport** (Rugby, Tennis, etc.)
    --Competitive (against an opponent)
    --Directly oppositional (opponent attempts to prevent one's success)
    --Non-subjective scoring (ball through a hoop, player passes line, etc. Disagreeing with the referee doesn't imply subjectivity)
    --Requires excellent physical condition to achieve excellence in the sport

    **Race** (NASCAR, Horse Racing, Mara

    • do you think a pianist requires physical control? do you think an expert pianist has more physical control than an amateur?
    • lot of people even say the koreans are dominating sc2 because of their superior physical control - in the business, we call it "mechanics"
  • This article [technobuffalo.com] tells about playing games and the relation to to the brain's capacity. I saw a documentary about younger people (25 year old if I remember right) that their brain showed more activity (more active neuropathways) then an older person (30 or something similar).

    I just can't find the other documentary

May all your PUSHes be POPped.