Visa Issues Continue to Plague Overwatch [Team China]

October 26th
written by Karahol

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Blizzard has gone to great lengths to promote Overwatch as a global esports game that allows everyone, from any region of the world, to participate and become a professional player given that he has the skill and the talent to be one.

However, there are still obstacles to overcome as far as their grand schemes are concerned and one of them getting in the way is visa issues.

The latest incident involves the Chinese players that were to represent Team China in the World Cup playoffs of 2017. Players that played in the qualifying phase in the Shanghai stage of the OWWC and made sure their team will move on to the playoffs with flying colors, are no longer part of the roster that will represent their country due to visa issues. Their replacements were made known recently by Chinese following the scene and although many were expecting the full Miraculous Youngster roster to take over the Chinese roster, it did not happen. Only two members of them will be part of the team, Leave and Zhufanjun (top right and bottom right in the image below, respectively). The other members are from LGD Gaming (LGD), Miracle Team 1 (MT1) and Oh My God (OMG).

[You can catch the action of Miraculous Yougster roster and other Chinese teams in APAC Premier 2017 that resumes on October 26th]

The next most recent issue with a player’s visa was about Tonic, the Main Tank player of 123 and no longer part of the team, since he departed from the roster after the Contenders S1 playoffs concluded. Tonic tried his best to secure a visa for the trip to Burbank and the new Overwatch arena, but it wasn’t possible. Read more about his struggles in this piece. His replacement at that time, ironically, was Nomy, a player from Mexico, that had his own troubles securing a visa for the finals of the NGE Winter Premier event back in January 2017 and was replaced by Chayne. Russian players have, in general, problems securing visas for events even outside America, like it happened in the Katowice group stage, where players had to be swapped for the same reason again. Other instances include the problems the Rogue lineup faced during the first weeks of Contenders S1, when they had to relocate outside the country till their visas were renewed.

With Overwatch League aiming to be a global league with teams flying and competing all around the world, such issues need to be solved fast. In reality, it has been rumored that some players weren’t picked for OWL rosters due to them not being able to complete the visa application procedure in time to be present in events OWL teams need to attend.

The first season of the league will be held in its entirety on U.S. soil and the matter is more pressing but even in the subsequent seasons, the issue will persist till a definite solution is given and players can move around freely.