With the new Trump Administration hellbent on keeping foreigners out of America, Valve Corporation sees possible problems for their Dota 2 International competition. The event draws thousands of people from all across the world to participate in the massive gaming tournament. Players, teams and fans from across the globe travel to the United States for the highly profitable e-sport.
Valve Software’s Erik Johnson, speaking at a press release, stated that any new restrictions on visitor visas will have a negative impact on the popular Dota 2 International Competition. In 2012, the first international competition took place in Germany. Ever since that then, the yearly competition has been held in Seattle, Washington which is Valve's base of operations.
The competition attracts the world’s biggest Dota 2 teams and players. The event has massive cash prizes. Last year, the tournament posted a staggering $20 million prize pool. The Chinese team Wings Gaming won the tournament last year.
Johnson stated that visa restrictions have already been a problem for the tournament. Senior politicians in Washington State had to pull strings in order to allow players to legally enter the United States. Gabe Newell, Valve Chief, said that the novelty of e-sports can pose a problem as published by Polygon.
Newell states that Pulitzer Prize winners and Opera singers do not have a problem because border officials are aware of who these people are. However, e-sports players are often young men who have no ties to the United States. Newell explained that if visa rules becomes too onerous, Valve would have to move the tournament out of the country. Newell is dismayed that some company staff who are not born in America, are currently unable to visit their home country for fear of not being allowed back in to the United States as reported by VG 24/7.