One of the remnants of esports’ history of being seen as ‘not a sport’ is visa issues. Every so often, an international tournament will be soiled somewhat by a team not being able to compete because getting a visa can be tricky.
There’s a host of political and cultural reasons for that, but when a team gets their chances scuppered because of visa issues, it sucks for everyone involved. Now, players from the Philippines should have an easier time.
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Esports players from the Philippines can now apply for athletics licenses, as players from Dota 2 teams TNC Pro Team and Execration have been granted these licenses in the leadup to The International 2017.
This was reported by ESPN, who quoted the the Philippines’ Games and Amusements Board legal counsel Ermar U. Benitez saying “We like to think of it as an exploration. We’ve spoken with industry stakeholders, and we want to serve as a guide for the future development of the industry.” Perhaps, the Philippines can lead the way for countries that don’t currently have these systems in place.
That said, they’re relying on laws published in 1976, and so Benitez says that “eventually, in the very near future, we’ll have more specific, responsive, in-depth, and relevant supervision and regulation for esports, we will engage the industry itself to help us with this.”
The International starts in just over a week, so it’s good to know TNC Pro Team and Execration should be arriving with their full squads.