Whilst politics and the video games industry should not interfere with each other’s business, Trump’s decision to change visa regulations could influence Valve’s The International tournament. The travel ‘ban’ negatively impacts one of the biggest eSports events, and that’s a huge problem.
The International has been held in Seattle, Washington for a few years now, but due to recent changes it might not be possible for all contenders to enter the United States legally. Politicians have already started to pull strings, but Valve’s Gabe Newell doesn’t have a good feeling about this.
“Opera singers and Pullitzer Prize winners don’t have a problem because border officials know what they are looking at.” Newell fairly implies that eSports players are not famous, the eSports scene is still nascent, and that the event might be moved to another country if the changed regulations remain in place.
In 2016 the sixth annual edition of The International took place from August 2 to August 13, with a 20.8 million dollar prize pool. The winning team, Wings Gaming, won the grand prize of over 9 million dollars.
We should all start playing that game, right?