Immigrant “League of Legends” Gamers Now Qualify for U.S. Visas

July 15, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

For non-American gamers, the epic journey of immigration just got a little bit easier. High-level League of Legends players will now be eligible for the same visas as other pro-athletes trying to enter the country. This could allow champions of the multiplayer online battle arena to join U.S.  teams, and even stay here for up to five years, a privilege that previously excluded “non-athletic” sports.

League of Legends is free to all and even offers, for the most skilled players, the opportunity to make a living off the game.

The recent change was approved by US Immigration and Citizen Services after some heavy convincing by publisher Riot Games, who consider this a major victory for E-sports in general.

“A lot of people have been dismissive of it because they don’t understand the scope of this,” Riot VP Dustin Beck said. “Our viewership numbers are stronger than 80 or 90 percent of the sports covered on ESPN.”