Valve Considers Moving The International in Light of Travel Ban
Earlier in the month, we started to see the effect President Donald Trump’s travel ban is having on players from seven North African and Middle Eastern countries trying to travel to the U.S. for tournaments. Now Valve is considering the next logical step – if players can’t travel to the U.S. for tournaments, take the tournaments to them.
At a roundtable discussion in Seattle, CEO Gabe Newell and Dota 2 developer Erik Johnson discussed the possibility of moving The International—one of the biggest
“Any pressure on visas for getting into the United States is worrisome for us,” Johnson told Venture Beat. “We do a huge amount of work every year when we host The International.”
Even under the old rules, he pointed out, Valve has had to work with Senator Maria Cantwell on three separate occasions to help players attain visas. By that estimate, there’s no telling how many high-profile—a relative term here—players will be turned away at the border under stricter immigration controls.
“This is a case where your average
“When you’re an unemployed [teenager from Syria] without strong ties to this country, it’s more challenging.”
Despite these hurdles, Johnson maintained that the event was going forward “no matter what”. But it could mean a large number of U.S. Dota 2 fans unable to travel to the event.