We just recently witnessed the heartbreak of Bren Esports’s Valorant team after their visa applications to attend the VCT Masters in Berlin, Germany were denied. It would have been the first major FPS tournament for a Filipino team thanks to their dominant qualifying performance in the regional leg, making it a real bitter pill to swallow.
When rumours of the denial began circulating around the number one seed in Southeast Asia, there was quite a ruckus online about rushing to conclusions before any word came out and #BringBRENToBerlin trended in support. Unfortunately, the bad news was confirmed by the tour organizers themselves, sealing the team’s fate a week before the tourney kicks off this first week of September.
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) September 3, 2021
It’s not the first time we’ve had to deal with visa issues, though. Let’s look back at the times Filipino teams have had to struggle with bureaucracy and not being able to travel freely to compete!
EnDerr fails to make it to the World Cyber Games (2011)
Probably the most legendary Pinoy StarCraft 2 player of all time, EnDerr won the right to compete in the 2011 World Cyber Games Grand Finals in Busan, South Korea but his visa was denied by the Korean embassy in what was the first of many visa issues to plague the GOAT’s career.
It was a shocker as his team leader, Mineski’s Marlon Marcelo, basically said what everyone was thinking – it didn’t make sense because 1. It’s in South Korea which was known for their government support of esports even back then and 2. StarCraft 2 is basically a religion over there.
Rave prevented from returning to South Korea, misses out on MLG (2015)
After their historic performance at the 2015 Dota 2 Asian Championships (and a then unprecedented US$150,000 prize), several Rave players on the way back to train in South Korea were literally pulled out of their plane seats by Filipino authorities – for a lack of an “Overseas Employment Certificate.”
It stank in the eyes of local fans especially as Cast, Chrissy, and Ryo had previously been flying in and out of the country unimpeded. To make things even worse, they failed to secure visas to the inaugural joinDota MLG Pro League finals in the USA and Starladder 12 in Romania at practically the same time as the plane incident.
TNC and Execration get their visas one day before flying to TI6 (2016)
The crappy thing about applying for visas is the lead time required. After qualifying for The International 2016, TNC Pro Team (they weren’t Predator back then!) and Execration did the hard work of applying early – however, they were denied by the US embassy and told to reapply due to the type of visa they applied for. It would be impossible though as everyone knew there was a months-long wait required.
They managed to clutch a new visa the day before their flight though, rather memorably it also took the heavyweight assistance of Senator Bam Aquino for them to pull it off. So this is actually not a denial but it probably doesn’t get any closer than that!
Team Adroit Captain (and SEA Games Gold Medalist) Boombacs Misses ESL (2020)
The team will fly to LA this week and with them will be our stand-in whom we will announce soon!
— Adroit Esports (@AdroitDota) March 9, 2020
While it’s possible for entire teams to miss out on tournaments due to visa issues (that goes for non-Filipino orgs as well by the way) single players missing out while the rest of their mates get to fly is also an ugly result of visa requirements.
Team Adroit captain Marvin “Boombacs” Rushton was denied a visa to compete at the ESL Los Angeles Major in 2020, and the team had to secure a stand-in for probably the worst player to lose.
It was pretty memorable since Boomy and co. (playing as Team Sibol) just made history as the first ever SEA Games gold medalists for Dota 2 in 2019. Guess that wasn’t enough to make him legit to travel.
Honorable(?) Mention: Kuku gets banned from Chongqing Major (2018)
After talking to the organizers of the Chongqing Major, it was confirmed to us that the following may happen if Kuku will attend the Major:
1. He might not be able to enter the country
2. The city government will possibly cancel the tournament should he attend
— TNC Predator 🇵🇭 (@TNCPredator) December 2, 2018
Nothing to do with visas really but after TNC Predator Dota 2 player Kuku typed “ching chong” in chat during a public match, Chinese viewers immediately kicked up a firestorm saying he should be dropped from the upcoming Chongqing Major in China and banned from entering the country altogether.
After a lot of talk and uncertainty, Valve themselves dropped the banhammer on Kuku and officially prevented him from competing – as well as docking points from TNC for their behavior during it all.
The rest of TNC went on and competed in Chongqing in the end, bowing out in the Lower Bracket of the group stage. Kuku did eventually return with everyone else to Shanghai in 2019 to compete in that year’s The International (he survived.)
This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here