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U.S. recognizes eSports players as professional athletes
U.S. recognizes eSports players as professional athletes
July 12, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

July 12, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
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League of Legends sets precedent yet again. Riot Games eSports manager Nick Allen reveals to GameSpot that in bringing international LoL players Stateside, the United States government is beginning to issue the players visas as "professional athletes."

"The United States government recognizes League of Legends pro players as professional athletes, and awards visas to essentially work in the United States under that title," Allen explains in a video interview with GameSpot.

It was no easy task to obtain the visas, Allen says, with Riot engaging in a prolonged back-and-forth with the U.S. government until the studio had provided enough proof to back up its argument. However, by setting this precedent, Riot may help pave the way for more eSports pro players to obtain athlete visas in the future.

The "groundbreaking" move will afford international eSports tournaments "a much easier process," Allen says, "because [players will be] actually recognized by the government. This is a huge thing."


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