Valve Might Move The International If Trump’s Muslim-Ban Remains

Dota 2 The International in trouble?

One of the hottest topics on the political scene over the past month or so has been Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban. President Elect banned Muslims from a handful of countries from entering the United States. The gaming industry was affected by the travel ban as well and some companies publicly spoke against Trump’s policies and mentioned how their employees are affected.

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President Donald Trump recently gave an executive order to ban Muslim countries, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen can not enter the United States of America. The order is challenged in the court of law but it may return with full force in the future.

Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, shared a statement in support of the company’s affected employees. He made it clear that Blizzard’s legal team is in contact with them.

We were wondering how this will affect gaming events such as The International. However, we aren’t wondering anymore.  Valve’s Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson commented on the travel ban and said that any visa bans for getting into the United States is worrisome for the company and its eSports events.

For those who don’t know, The International is the annual Dota 2 event hosted by Valve. Teams from around the world come and participate for millions of dollars.

Newell stated that eSports is a nascent industry which means it is difficult for many players to get into the United States already. Newell added that it is easy for opera singers to get a visa or nobel prize winners because the State Department understands who and what these people are.

Getting the players to The International is already a challenge but Valve made it clear that the event will happen no matter what. They will find a way even if that means possibly moving The International to foreign land.

Like Blizzard Entertainment, Valve employees are also affected by the ban. There are many employees who can not go back home due to Trump’s executive order. If they leave the country they will not be allowed back in which will be the first hurdle when shifting The International outside of U.S.

Valve and many other big names are concerned and bothered by the executive order. Hopefully, the Trump administration can find a middle ground or at least make an acception for people who live in the United States and have been playing taxes for years.

Head over here to read more on how Trump’s policies are affecting eSports careers.

How do you see the eSports industry being affected by Trump’s policies? What can be done to insure steady growth of eSports and its players who come to participate from around the world? Share your views and opinions in the comments below.

For more on Dota 2 and The International, stay-tuned!

Sarmad is our Senior Editor, and is also one of the more refined and cultured among us. He's 25, a finance major, and having the time of his life writing about videogames.