Petition to recognize Esports as Legitimate Sports in the US garners enough signatures, makes it to the White House and now awaiting response.
In barely less than a month after it was first put-up the signature drive for the petition to recognize Electronic Sports as a legitimate Sports in the United States of America has finally moved towards the next stage of being discussed in the White House, even possibly by the POTUS himself.
Last April 29, 2016, a petition was made towards the President of the United States, Barack Obama and the White House to recognize Esports titles and competitions as a legitimate Sporting or Sports event to help players easily acquire the needed Visas to compete in Major Tournaments held in the United States of America.
The Petition is rooted from Super Smash Bros. Melee pro William “Leffen” Hjelte, after he was deported from the US by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) back in 2015 due to conflicts with the type of Visa that he was carrying. Leffen was said to be carrying a Tourist Visa during his arrival in which the USCIS seem to have found inappropriate as he was sponsored by an American Company. In order to push through with the competition Leffen tried to apply for a P1 Visa or an Athletic Visa but was duly denied since a Super Smash Bros Melee competition was not recognized as a legitimate athletic or sports event by the USCIS.
The petition, which as of the moment has already garnered 115,168 signatures hopes to have the White House consider counting Esports events as legitimate Ahtletic Events in the USA so players coming from other countries to compete for titles such as Dota 2, Fighting Game Titles and even FPS professionals will have lesser problems when entering the country. It is noted that back in 2013, League of Legends was considered as a “sport” by the United States Government and petitioners are hoping that the same factors that were used to arrive at the said decision can also be greatly considered with this petition.
More news and updates regarding the status of this petition should be available soon as a response is to be expected from the White House within 60 days.