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StarCraft II Gamer Receives US Pro-Athlete Visa

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the do-you-even-push-buttons? dept.

United States 114

dotarray writes "The world's first professional StarCraft II gamer has been granted a five-year pro athlete visa for the United States, making Kim 'viOLet' Dong Hwan the first of his kind. viOLet was one of the first gamers to apply for the P-1A visa when they were introduced in July. The new paperwork doesn't mean that he can live permanently in the U.S., but it does mean he'll be treated like other (more traditional) athletes, able to easily enter the country temporarily to participate in tournaments."

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114 comments

Doritoes and Wheaties (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45668993)

So, is Doritoes going to start putting professional gamers on their bags like Wheaties does with ball players on theor cereal? Are we goning to be seeing fat kids with Cokes and Doritoes yelling, "I'm in training! I have t eat this way!"

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669059)

LOL EVERYONE WHO PLAYS VIDEO GAMES IS FAT LOL AND EATS DO RIDE LOL

The guy looks to be in damn good shape, better shape than most Americans. He gets paid to smash letters on a keyboard just like a huge employment sector already has been for decades. Just because it can be more enjoyable means it needs a stigma attached to it?

Perhaps the envy will wear off of you one day.

Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669325)

People envy him?

I find video games boring (unchallenging), nauseating, and lonely.

There's nothing like meeting people in person - chatting online doesn't cut it - and participating in a physical activity: tennis, soccer, softball, etc .... contributes to one's overall well-being on many levels: emotional, physical, health and social.

In shape? Thin doesn't mean he's in shape. And it's pretty sad when one's weight is used as a single benchmark for fitness. He could be thin because he's a chain smoker, lives off of caffeine, cancer, .....

And yes most video game players ARE overweight. It's one of the MAJOR causes of obesity in our US society.

Envy, indeed.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (3, Insightful)

rioki (1328185) | about 7 months ago | (#45669365)

And yes most video game players ARE overweight. It's one of the MAJOR causes of obesity in our US society.

Citation or it did not happen. I accept that a large amount of obese people play video games and watch television, they also drive a car. News Flash: Driving a car instead of biking to work may make you fat: most drivers ARE overweight.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669445)

Here's one [post-gazette.com]

Another [cdc.gov]

And another [childrens.org] Many people would agree that “back in the day” insufficient exercise would never be a problem for kids. However, in age that dwells on video games, computer programs, and many indoor activities, children are beginning to focus more on instant gratification and less on old fashion fun (unfortunately, this includes playing outside).

Obviously, it's because kids are sitting and not moving around, but ... just read parts about "instant gratification".

News Flash: Driving a car instead of biking to work may make you fat: most drivers ARE overweight.

Oh good grief. Yeah, I see all those people saying, "Yeah, I bored, Let's go sit in a traffic jam for several hours tonight instead of going for a walk."

Computers and video games are making us fatter and more isolated: Facebook and Slashdot are nowhere near what personal human interaction can off and as a result it's making more hostile and anti-social.

Speaking of too much screen time, I need to go. Correcting the Internet every time it's wrong is tiring.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669463)

Video games and television are linked to obesity. As in, such activities are some of the factors involved, not all. Bottom line: If you eat too much and don't exercise enough, you're probably going to get fat.

Facebook and Slashdot are nowhere near what personal human interaction can off and as a result it's making more hostile and anti-social.

Face-to-face human interaction is filled with lies and facades. People say what they're truly thinking and do what truly interests them when they're mostly anonymous, and hold back in public for fear of retribution.

To get to the core of the issue... (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#45669489)

Diving a car is a risk factor for obesity; professional race drivers are not obese.

Re:To get to the core of the issue... (4, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 7 months ago | (#45669849)

Being *American* is a risk factor for obesity.

Re:To get to the core of the issue... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#45670571)

Hold on, diving a car? That's a risk factor for something else entirely.

Re:To get to the core of the issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45671749)

Hold on, diving a car? That's a risk factor for something else entirely.

And being able to laugh at yourself is a risk factor for being an awesome person. :D

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45673011)

Speaking of too much screen time, I need to go. Correcting the Internet every time it's wrong is tiring.

Translation: "I know, deep down, that I'm full of crap and doomed to lose this argument. I'm going to bow out now while I can still just barely fool myself into thinking I still have a shred of dignity. But I'll still continue to obsessively refresh the thread during my "absence" because I still need to know what everyone is saying about me."

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 7 months ago | (#45670701)

Actually, let me give you a stat.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24998497

Kids today are slower than their parents. Let me give you another thought, when did video games become popular? Interestingly the heyday of tv did not cause kids to become slower or fatter. Driving a car? Well that has been a grand American tradition since the 50's. There is only one thing left... Video games! I am not putting all of the blame on it, but it is too much of a coincidence. And please don't start quoting Correlation does not imply causation, kids are not moving around enough today largely due video games!

Now about older people being fat? Actually yeah that is how it always has been. Look at this stat: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Overweight_and_obesity_-_BMI_statistics [europa.eu]

See the interesting trend? As you get older you get fatter. Now here is the problem, young kids are fat, and they are only going to get fatter as they get older.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (1)

KramberryKoncerto (2552046) | about 7 months ago | (#45671831)

And please don't start quoting Correlation does not imply causation

Some people use it to say nay to strong statistical results backed by solid scientific investigation to causality, but the quote is exactly for you kind of folk who look at statistics, come up with their own theories and believe in them willy-nilly without ever thinking about the responsibility to go through the process of formal validation. Perhaps there's more junk food or even nutrition level in general. Perhaps parents don't have as much time to bring kids outside or guide them to play sports. Perhaps more people live in cities, where there's simply less space to run around; I live in a place where you need to queue overnight just to book an indoor basketball court, all year long. Perhaps the reproductive disadvantages of genes related to obesity have been alleviated by modern technology and some change in societal values, so obese offsprings have become more common. Perhaps there's a kind of commonly used product, not even food, that specifically induces some kind of hormonal disorder which leads to obesity. I can give you lots of possible explanations and none of them are any worse than yours.

You also have to know that the demographic that sits in all day, every day, to play video games is quite small compared to the entire population. Many kids play games, but it takes a certain amount of obsession to be indulged, that's why gaming nerds are always a minority. Either way in many cases I doubt videogames genuinely displaced exercise; given your data you can't say they'd otherwise have done more sports, a very significant portion could have still watched TVs or read a book or something. Moreover, it's not so easy for a teenager to become obese just because of lack of exercise; adolescent metabolism is high so it takes a middle-aged some regular aerobic exercise to match, and kids don't have that many years to build up their weight; there are often causes that played bigger roles, such as uncontrolled eating and stress.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45672445)

And please don't start quoting Correlation does not imply causation

My declarations also sound true when I request that no one show otherwise.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (1)

chilvence (1210312) | about 7 months ago | (#45669389)

Um.... the one does not preclude the existence of the other you know.

And if it helps, the number one cause of obesity in the US is Cars. Because you know, you write off that age old human exercise known as walking to where you are going. I know it may be controversial, but you don't actually have to dress up in spandex in order to stay fit, take it from someone who is rational.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669409)

People envy him?

I'm sure some people do. I enjoy playing games, but would not want to do it for a living.

I find video games boring (unchallenging), nauseating, and lonely.

Yeah. I find spreadsheets nauseting, boring, and lonely, yet there are million people who earn their living by handling them.

There's nothing like meeting people in person - chatting online doesn't cut it - and participating in a physical activity: tennis, soccer, softball, etc .... contributes to one's overall well-being on many levels: emotional, physical, health and social.

So are you saying everyone should be a professional tennis player? Most real pro gamers do have hobbies other than the game. In Korea they have training schedules, physical training, like jogging or walking. For the exact reasons you specified.

In shape? Thin doesn't mean he's in shape. And it's pretty sad when one's weight is used as a single benchmark for fitness. He could be thin because he's a chain smoker, lives off of caffeine, cancer, .....

He is still in better shape than about 70% of americans. Also, why should he have to be in a great shape? It's not like chess players have to be in absolutely great physical shape.

And yes most video game players ARE overweight. It's one of the MAJOR causes of obesity in our US society.

Envy, indeed.

Not where I live. Then again, we are getting there slowly. I'd also wager we play more computer games here than in US. The main causes are cars, elevators, online ordering, lack of free or very cheap exercise options etc. Games have mostly cut to the time spent in front of TV.

Re:Outlier: video games DO contribute to obesity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669935)

People envy him?

Yes, but most people does the same thing as you and think that competitive gaming is remotely similar to gaming for entertainment.
For most of these players it is hard work, long days and very little pay for everyone except for the absolute top players.
The best players on the other hand can get pretty lucrative sponsorship deals and a reasonably sized audience. [ibtimes.com]

I find video games boring (unchallenging), nauseating, and lonely.

That is because you don't play against other players and what you do have nothing to do with competitive gaming and e-sports.
As for loneliness that doesn't appear to be a problem, there are plenty of fangirls around. Enough for the girlfirends of players to complain about it.

And yes most video game players ARE overweight. It's one of the MAJOR causes of obesity in our US society.

Again, you are confusing competitive gaming with the way you play games.
These guys have access to physical therapists and exercises on regular basis. Those who don't can't handle hour-long games where you have to keep your concentration every second.

An interesting tidbit from the e-sports conference in Valencia 2011 was that the representative from CBSi mentioned that e-sports in general generates more viewer-minutes every month than super-bowl does under its entire season.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669377)

Like many other "sports", it contributes nothing to the planet. nothing. nada. nil. After he's dead nobody will even remember who he is, or even care because his contribution to humanity will be nothing. People won't give two shits about your uber micro, or the fact that you can slam buttons faster than anyone else on the planet.

He may have a skill, but I'm sure there is some better use for it than playing starcraft. Most of the world doesn't give two shits about it.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 7 months ago | (#45671383)

What are we gonna do? Use these athletes as drone battalion commanders or something? Like that would ever work out... Somebody would probably lock them up and make them work for evil governments.

Lets ban SC2 from Arab countries pronto!!!

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45671837)

The biggest difference is professional esports players don't get paid billions of dollars for doing what, to them, is not very much work. The second biggest would be that physical sports and esports utilize completely different sets of human ability. I would wager there are no american pro athletes that could keep up with a pro sc2 player in SC2 and vice versa.

That said, professional athletes of any kind do contribute to humanity. Not all of them, but many inspire people to do better.

After he's dead nobody will even remember who he is, or even care

I bet you know who Babe Ruth is.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (1)

poopdeville (841677) | about 7 months ago | (#45672727)

Sports contribute in the same way movies, music, games, and comedy do. They provide entertainment.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#45669475)

If you read up on these guys, the amount of discipline they demonstrate is amazing: daily 8- or 10-hour training sessions just to keep their reaction times high enough, never mind developing new strategy or approaches to the game. With that kind of mindset I'd be unsurprised if they were all fitness obsessives.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#45670049)

Well if you are going to be a professional gamer, being fat may be at a disadvantage. When you need your arms to twitch and type and move a pointer at split second speed, you can't have your arms bogged down by an extra Kilogram of fat.

Now for the average gamer. You could be 300kg and still play the game decently. However if you are professionally and need to beat times by split seconds then you better be in better shape, as well if you are going to be playing all the time, you need some endurance.

Now gammers if they are so involved in the game that they are not eating, I bet they can stay fairly thin.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45671873)

Well if you are going to be a professional gamer, being fat may be at a disadvantage. When you need your arms to twitch and type and move a pointer at split second speed, you can't have your arms bogged down by an extra Kilogram of fat.

If you're moving your whole arm to control the mouse, you're doing it wrong.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45671045)

Nah, I creamed him in Dota anyway. He's meh.

Re:Doritoes and Wheaties (3, Insightful)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 7 months ago | (#45669081)

So, is Doritoes going to start putting professional gamers on their bags like Wheaties does with ball players on theor cereal? Are we goning to be seeing fat kids with Cokes and Doritoes yelling, "I'm in training! I have t eat this way!"

Ummm...Fat?

https://www.google.nl/search?q=Kim+'viOLet'+Dong+Hwan&espv=216&es_sm=119&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ [google.nl]

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669105)

Wait after the 5 years are over. He will look like Kim Yong Un afterwards.

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (2)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 7 months ago | (#45669217)

Your argument is specious. While lack of physical activity may contribute to obesity, there is nothing to say all people who are not physically active are obese. Indeed, he may very well be going to the gym 3 hours a day. We have no way of knowing from him being a professional video game player

Re: Doritoes and Wheaties (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 7 months ago | (#45670637)

I'm skinny and until recently I never exercised , how much I eat has been a running joke and source of amazement at work. It makes my wife and a lot of other people annoyed that I can sit at the computer all day and eat whatever with out worrying about my weight.

I have two brothers that are the same way they eat whatever don't exercise and are skinny

I exercise to build muscle because my back was hurting in the morning when I woke up not to maintain my weight. My wife thinks one day I'll start gaining weight, but that usually happens to a guy in his 30s which are in the review mirror for me.

Re:Doritoes and Wheaties (4, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 7 months ago | (#45669119)

something like this? [twitpic.com]

Re:Doritoes and Wheaties (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669571)

And people wonder how the US Immigration System can be so badly broken that the US Government grants professional athlete visas to video gamers. Shoot the Prez already.

Re:Doritoes and Wheaties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669613)

Well, yeah, Doritos is pushing a lot of money into gaming events.

haters gonna hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45671777)

n/t

Ackbar says (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#45668997)

It's a trap!

Re:Ackbar says (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 7 months ago | (#45669895)

This is a fully operational Nydus Worm.

Re:Ackbar says (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#45670073)

Ah Ackbar, the true hero to end the empire.
Unlike Luke, who abandon his post and joined with the enemy.
Or Solo and Lieha who, just barely achieved their mission by turning a cloak and dagger mission to a full frontal assault, killing many civilians.

Ackbar, caught the trap quickly and professionally organized his troops to hold the line until he had the tactical advantage.

News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669001)

Why do I remember this being common in the esports scene.

They let commies in? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669005)

Why?

Re:They let commies in? (2)

rioki (1328185) | about 7 months ago | (#45669385)

I am pretty sure that he is from SOUTH Korea.

Are other 'sports' treated similarly? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669027)

Genuinely curious. Does this sort of thing apply to chess, poker, and other "less-traditional sports"?

Re:Are other 'sports' treated similarly? (3, Informative)

aiadot (3055455) | about 7 months ago | (#45669177)

According to my local Japanese US embassy, there is no mention about what type of gaming/sport is allowed. They just say that it must have a certain degree of international recognition and the event must also be distinguished. Furthermore the whole reason this new visa was created was because Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, the biggest MOBA PC game, lobbied for it, so I think it's safe to say that getting a visa for electronic gaming is easier than getting one for traditional table gaming tournaments.

A company can actually ban someone from a sport (2)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#45669769)

Video games like Tetris and StarCraft are proprietary. This means one entity has the state-backed power to prevent any particular person from playing a sport. It's not like being "banned from baseball" where a player can join another league, as the game's publisher has the power to shut a league down by asserting the publisher's exclusive right to perform the game publicly. These companies also have veto power over implementations of a "sport". It's as if The Tennis Company could sue a city for putting up an unlicensed tennis court in a public park. So I don't see how a proprietary activity deserves international recognition in the same way as, say, something free like Chess or Go.

Re:A company can actually ban someone from a sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669951)

I'm sure you can get banned from any sport if you try doping for example.

Re:A company can actually ban someone from a sport (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#45671349)

In a free sport, someone who no longer dopes isn't legally barred from starting his own league unless, perhaps, he actually gets put in prison.

Re:A company can actually ban someone from a sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45670761)

Obvious solution: amend/repeal the laws that gave publishers the ability to restrict public performances in the first place.

Re:A company can actually ban someone from a sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45670793)

Wow... your trolling truly knows no bounds. "A freetard until the bitter end", that's what they'll put on your gravestone.

Re:A company can actually ban someone from a sport (1)

nachtkap (951646) | about 7 months ago | (#45670899)

Or something free like beach volleyball, where a Brazilian pro player was (at least partially) baned for being outspoken about something. Sadly I can't find a source.
But I agree that 'Sport' isn't the right label here. It should be labeled as a 'competition' just like every other 'sport'. After all we watch a competition between professionals (people that devoted way more time to a activity, then we could be bothered to, and there got really good at it) based on set rules. IMO we only call professional sports 'sport' because we most likely play/played that sport.

Re:A company can actually ban someone from a sport (1)

aiadot (3055455) | about 7 months ago | (#45671125)

You bring a pretty interesting point. While I respect your point of view, on the other hand we have to remember that the entities behind e-sports are for profit companies and if they do anything that pisses off the community they'll end up losing users to rival games and lose money. Furthermore, while traditional games and sports are public domain, the entities that organize the events are not very different from your standard corporation. Anyone that can potentially do or say something that can potentially go against their or their partner's interests can be put out of the game. This is an outdated, far from perfect example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Olympics_Black_Power_salute [wikipedia.org] but I think it illustrates my point.

Switching to a different sport (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#45671657)

if they do anything that pisses off the community they'll end up losing users to rival games and lose money

What (legal) alternative was there when The Tetris Company made the infinite spin feature of Tetris Worlds official despite reviewers' claims that "it actually breaks Tetris"? That's as if basketball players had to switch to netball or team handball, or if American football players had to switch to rugby. Not all skills transfer [wikipedia.org] .

Furthermore, while traditional games and sports are public domain, the entities that organize the events are not very different from your standard corporation. Anyone that can potentially do or say something that can potentially go against their or their partner's interests can be put out of the game.

Black players kicked out of Major League Baseball started parallel Negro League [wikipedia.org] . Had the National League and American League been able to assert actual exclusive rights over baseball, there might not have been a Negro league or any other independent professional baseball promotions [wikipedia.org] . Heck, there might not have even been an American League.

Re:Are other 'sports' treated similarly? (1)

Buzer (809214) | about 7 months ago | (#45669205)

At least some sports (like pro wrestling) actually wan to avoid getting defined as sports in legal sense as it can bring bunch of problems (like Title IX). There are some legal thoughts available athttp://dpgatlaw.com/2013/07/23/inviting-regulation-the-sportsification-of-video-games/ [dpgatlaw.com] .

Re:Are other 'sports' treated similarly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669393)

The fact that you call poker a sport is all kinds of wrong. Any game where the underlying principle is randomized chance is just a crapshoot. Poker is as much a sport as number guessing.

Re:Are other 'sports' treated similarly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669447)

Arrogant ignorance spews from your frothing orifice. The most entertaining games involve an element of chance which can be mitigated by applying a strategy. I welcome your futile rebuttal.

Re:Are other 'sports' treated similarly? (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 7 months ago | (#45669731)

What makes a game a sport though?

My take on it is physical rather than mental exertion. So in my mind dominos, chess, poker and starcraft (1 or 2) are all games. Doesn't make them any less watchable or admirable though.

Re:Are other 'sports' treated similarly? (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 7 months ago | (#45669747)

Oh, and wrestlers are neither. They fall into the entertainment industry category. At least the WWF do. Those sumo dudes, well they need a category all of their own...

Wrestling for real (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#45669795)

World Wildlife Fund? Panda wrestling? Get the F out.

But seriously, would you consider MMA a sport? It's essentially professional wrestling without all the fakeness.

I think some people do it under the table for othe (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#45669957)

I think some people do it under the table for other sports this person did it the legal way.

I know some other people who do stuff international and they really don't get visas for it.

Top kek (1)

dosius (230542) | about 7 months ago | (#45669029)

This needs the giant foot icon.

Re:Top kek (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 7 months ago | (#45669123)

After I RTFA, it seems a Jägerbomb icon might be more desirable and appropriate. I haven't realized it before, but Slashdot really needs a Jägerbomb icon!

Invitation from USA = Jail (-1, Troll)

HansKloss (665474) | about 7 months ago | (#45669061)

Avoid, avoid, avoid. What can you expect in USA:
- get shot
- being imprisoned
- become slave
- minimum wage worker
Some people just never learn tricks of regimes or go ahead and live your "American Nightmare"

USSA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45670415)

United States of Soviet America? I like the way that soundz!

Angry Birds (1)

ketomax (2859503) | about 7 months ago | (#45669143)

Can a professional Angry Birds player (plays every afternoon with his colleagues) apply for a P-1A Visa?

Re:Angry Birds (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 7 months ago | (#45669201)

Your definition of "professional" doesn't match everyone else's.

Re:Angry Birds (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#45669779)

Hah! Although, if you take vanilla Angry Birds and manage to get full 3 stars in all levels, you are quite tough guy.

Re:Angry Birds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669425)

So.. this player earns his or hers living (professional) by playing angry birds?

You know, game testers are actually professional players. The earn money by playing some game.

P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (4, Informative)

retroworks (652802) | about 7 months ago | (#45669175)

Because many competitive tournament visitors are atheletes, the State Department website designer chose to follow the vernacular to call it an "athletic visa". The US immigration code from the Immigration and Nationization Act of 1965 refers to "alien athletes, artists, and entertainers, and their spouses and children." The Starcraft gamer was issued a "P1" visa according to TFA which applies to "individual or team athletes, or members of an entertainment group (P-1B) that are internationally recognized. A maximum of 25,000 P visas are issued annually."[wikipedia] The whole article plays on a reader-friendly title for a government a web page. .

In other words, P1 is the same for Gary Kasparov or Jet Li. It's designed to keep USA employers from issuing "track and field" competitions to pick grapes, without impeding Hollywood or Olympic events.

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 7 months ago | (#45669233)

I thought there was already an O (I think) visa for people who are outstanding in their field (i.e. musicians, bands, entertainers etc).

It does seem odd to call it an "athletic visa" when this P visa is also for entertainment groups (presumably, musicians will now be getting this kind of visa).

Generally I wouldn't call a Starcraft pro an athlete, nor would I call Starcraft a sport (I wouldn't call chess a sport. I wouldn't even call golf a sport - it's a pleasant past-time, but not a sport). Don't mistake this for me devaluing gaming tournaments - I enjoy them, I watch pro-league SC2, I've even participated in a few Starcraft tournaments and I play too much SC2 for my own good. But even playing in top level SC tournaments does not make you an athlete nor does it make SC2 a sport.

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669469)

It's all definitions. Very hard to draw the line between athlete or non-athlete. Chess, Computer Gamimg, Golf, Javelin, Fencing, Sumo wrestling, Martial arts, Motorsports, Shooting, Archery, Gymnastics, Ski Jumping, Synchronized swimming, Dancing, etc. Who is an athlete and who isn't? Does it require physical activity? Does athete have to be in good shape? Archers, Golfers, Shooters, javelin throwers etc, don't have to be very fit. Is driving a car sports? It does require you to be in very good physical shape. Rally and F1 drivers pretty much have to exercise to be able to last through competitions.

The bottom line is thay all do something others enjoy following and watching. They are all entertainers.

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669823)

It's all definitions. Very hard to draw the line between athlete or non-athlete. [...] Does it require physical activity?

Yes.

That wasn't so hard after all.

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 7 months ago | (#45669861)

If you are simple minded, life is indeed simple, my friend.

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 7 months ago | (#45670107)

Where I draw the line is:

* Does it involve strenuous physical activity?
* Does it entail some level of risk greater than just every day activity?
* Does it involve competition?

If it does, it's a sport in my book. If not, it might be entertaining, it might be fun, but it's a pasttime. Starcraft 2 fails on the first two counts. Golf fails on the first two counts in my book. Snooker fails in the first two counts. I think of all these things as perhaps being entertaining and highly competitive, but not really a sport much less athletic. Motor racing does require all three, as does football, rugby, cricket, tennis, arm-wrestling etc. so I consider them sports. Motor racing for me falls into the set of sports but falls outside of the set of athletics (although you need to be in good shape to be a competitive motor racer in many categories, and it does involve strenuous physical activity).

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 7 months ago | (#45671267)

What about shooting? That's at the Olympics, but does not require strenuous physical activity.

Also, it's difficult to argue sports like tennis are high risk activities.

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (1)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 7 months ago | (#45673075)

Sports [wikipedia.org] is not only about physical prowess. It can be about the mind as well. Chess and bridge is qualifies as sports. In my book it makes sense since it takes an enormous amount of skill to become a master at these "sports". Starcraft goes in the same category since it involves lots of strategy...just like chess

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669503)

An O visa is for the best of the best of the best of nearly any field. A P visa is for somebody very good at a small list of fields. An O visa is the one where if you look up eligibility requirements, they straight-facedly list a Nobel Prize as an example of something that would meet their criteria (that's for scientists of course). A P visa means that somebody might be entertained by intentionally seeking out and watching you or your team on youtube in a foreign country.

Re:P1 = Jet Li, Gary Kasparov, David Beckham Visa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45670975)

I thought there was already an O (I think) visa for people who are outstanding in their field (i.e. musicians, bands, entertainers etc).

...

O Visa allows you to work. Think of it as an H-1B, but the one that is harder to get.

P Visa is more of a guest visa. It could be easier to get for certain people, a regular guest visa. The USA is rather strict in giving out guest visas in some countries.

and the rest of immigration? (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 7 months ago | (#45669433)

My personal opinion is that gaming can in fact be a sport, Much as foreign chess players can secure this type of visa when playing in america, im sure pundits will laud this as a spurious visa ($criticism=Obama->new($issue)). Yet taking a moment to play Starcraft II on its normal setting one arrives at a determined sense of exactly how challenging this game can be. A real opponent competing in a tournament can, and does, easily outmatch the AI for the game even on its most brutal setting. Anything more than normal is enough to send the commenter to therapy.

Being an american though, I cant help but draw a contrast between the E3 visa and profesisonal sports visas in the context of traditionalist argument. the E3 applies to skilled labour, yet if you were to give one to a roofing contractor who spends 12 hours a day shingling a home or 9 hours fitting pipe in a rural texas ranch home it would draw the same criticism. is for this type of criticism the e3 prohibits "seasonal" labour like homebuilding. Although the class 3 visa is extended to foreign profesisonals it in no way reflects the tenacity and challenge faced by labour in a decidedly lower social and capital class. it also neglects to inform the reader that most 'seasonal' labor is in fact performed in regions with no discernable season such as new mexico, texas, or arizona. Much like the Starcraft gamer has his sports caste, so does the immigrant laborer have his employment caste.

South Korean Visa Waiver (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669459)

His name implies he is a national from South Korea. South Korean nationals are part of the visa waiver program and can stay in the US for up to 90 days without a visa. Why waste this visa on him?

Re:South Korean Visa Waiver (1)

edjs (1043612) | about 7 months ago | (#45669491)

The visa waiver may not apply if one is participating in a tournament that gives out prizes or otherwise remunerates the participants.

Re:South Korean Visa Waiver (1)

nachtkap (951646) | about 7 months ago | (#45670529)

He is playing for a US based team (Evil Geniuses). The do have a team house at/near SF where he has stayed for a limited amount of time. E-sports tournaments are also often part of another venue (Trade shows and Comic Con) and his team might want him there because of their sponsors. Of which there are many.

Re:South Korean Visa Waiver (1)

sabri (584428) | about 7 months ago | (#45672707)

His name implies he is a national from South Korea. South Korean nationals are part of the visa waiver program and can stay in the US for up to 90 days without a visa. Why waste this visa on him?

According to this [socialsecurity.gov] information from the Social Security Office, holders of a P-visa are eligible to receive an SSN. This means that he can actually pay taxes on his US income, should he win any major prizes.

Another reason could be that a previous visa request (such as J or F) was denied, making him ineligible for the VWP.

Good news (1)

Roseainsworth (3460221) | about 7 months ago | (#45669513)

Well its a great news for all the athletes as they need to get training about fitness and other activities with this it will help them out for better performance. As some sports are related to states and not other countries. The best part of this thing is traveling around the state meet new players get better advices.

H1B Visas and now this? (1, Funny)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 7 months ago | (#45669855)

Can't this country produce quality game players of it's own?

Who would have thought America would have fallen so far that our couch potatoes are getting replaced by imports.

Well how can we have a world championship matchs (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#45670025)

with only people in the usa being able to play.

Re:H1B Visas and now this? (1)

nachtkap (951646) | about 7 months ago | (#45670445)

I don't think the US works like you think it does. Its success has been based on varying degrees of home grown talent and imported talent.

While the top earners in e-sports, apart from Fatal1ty, aren't from the US, 7 out of the top 20 are employed by a US organization (EG/[A]). The picture gets more favorable for the US the further down one goes in the top 100. As far as SC2:HotS goes the US has the famdom scene locked. I would guesstimate that ~80% of successful players are either Korean or play for a US based team (EG or TL). In DotA2 things are a bit more spread out (between China, CIS and the US), but the US is still in a favorable spot.
[EG: Evil Geniuses; [A]: Alliance; TL: Team Liquid; CIS: former USSR]
Source: http://www.esportsearnings.com/players [esportsearnings.com]

Re:H1B Visas and now this? (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 7 months ago | (#45670709)

There are no top-tier American Starcraft players that I'm aware of; the current North American champion is a Canadian girl.

We do have good League of Legends teams.

Not the first time (2)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 7 months ago | (#45669873)

League of Legends was actually the first game to have a pro issued a sports visa. To quote a friend "They're recognised as athletes for visa purposes because they come into the country and compete and then leave again so as far as immigration is concerned that's the one that fits them best. Unfortunately the vast majority of posters are too stupid to understand that and the topic turns to shit." source http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=421180 [teamliquid.net]

I'm glad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45669955)

viOLet has been one of my very favorite SC2 players for a long time. He decided one day to just pick up and leave Korea to experience the foreign scene (Starcraft being so dominated by Koreans, that no matter your perspective, 'foreign' means 'not Korean'). Learned English, joined a foreign team, moved to America, and is a very classy guy. And for it, experienced so much trouble that is the American visa fiasco. I was thrilled to find out his visa troubles were over for the immediate future; he had to forfeit a lot of tournaments he easily qualified for, throughout all of 2013, and hopefully with this all settled I can finally see my favorite player stomp ass like he could've been doing all year.

Not so Fast (3, Funny)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 7 months ago | (#45669969)

He just tested positive for Red Bul,l taurine, Monster Energy drink, and NoDoz. Banned.

didn't Bobby Fischer get jail time for playing a (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#45670033)

After he went to Russia to play a match?

Re:didn't Bobby Fischer get jail time for playing (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 7 months ago | (#45673313)

No, he was wanted by the State Department for going to Yugoslavia during the war in the 1990's when all travel by US citizens was banned. He played a rematch of his famous match with Boris Spassky. He sought asylum in Japan, then was granted full citizenship in Iceland, and was still wanted at the time of his death in 2008.

Sweet! (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about 7 months ago | (#45670525)

Now he just needs to whore himself out to Red Bull and he'll be set for life! It's the American dream!

Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45671475)

His name is Dong Hwan.... I would have expected at least one Don Juan joke.... I'm disappoint.

LOL Dong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45671497)

heh

SC2 Is Greater Than Slashdot (0)

Hui Chen (3461831) | about 7 months ago | (#45672173)

Starcraft is every fake-nerd's nightmare. An actual means of proving intellectual aptitude that you can't bullshit around.

so (1)

Hui Chen (3461831) | about 7 months ago | (#45672283)

bring your ivy league degree, your masters thesis, your rich parents, your friends in high places, your new BMW, your fourth house in the bahamas, your heavily-diversified portfolio, and see how much they don't matter in SC2

different kinds of visa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45672629)

I know there are work visas, tourist visas and visa credit card (www.visa.com). Never heard of P-1A visa before.

Dvisions of Competitive Endeavors (1)

eepok (545733) | about 7 months ago | (#45672943)

We all know that playing Starcraft shouldn't be considered a sport... but who puts forth a rubric for judging what's what? I do, that's who!

**Sport** (Rugby, Tennis, etc.)
--Competitive (against an opponent)
--Directly oppositional (opponent attempts to prevent one's success)
--Non-subjective scoring (ball through a hoop, player passes line, etc. Disagreeing with the referee doesn't imply subjectivity)
--Requires excellent physical condition to achieve excellence in the sport

**Race** (NASCAR, Horse Racing, Marathon)
--Competitive
--Oppositional (opponent performs at the same time and may or may not actively attempt to prevent one's success)
--Non-subjective timing
--May or may not be a test of human strength/speed. Could be a test of human control over another being or machine (auto racing).

**Competition** (Gymnastics, Dance)
--Competitive
--Can have subjective scoring

**Game** (Board and video games, Golf, etc)
--Competitive
--No particular physical requirements to achieve success
--No subjective scoring

**Endeavor** (Ex. Setting records, Mountain climbing without time limits)
--Not necessarily competitive
--Goals may vary (points, time, etc.)

physical control (1)

Hui Chen (3461831) | about 7 months ago | (#45672993)

do you think a pianist requires physical control? do you think an expert pianist has more physical control than an amateur?

...hm (1)

Hui Chen (3461831) | about 7 months ago | (#45673015)

lot of people even say the koreans are dominating sc2 because of their superior physical control - in the business, we call it "mechanics"

Brain activity (1)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 7 months ago | (#45672973)

This article [technobuffalo.com] tells about playing games and the relation to to the brain's capacity. I saw a documentary about younger people (25 year old if I remember right) that their brain showed more activity (more active neuropathways) then an older person (30 or something similar).

I just can't find the other documentary

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