A couple of months ago, it all looked amazing for Clutch Gamers, a Malaysian Dota 2 team that took the SEA region by the storm. In April, regional qualifiers for the Summit 7. Surprising many, Clutch Gamers were the winners of those qualifiers. As such, they secured their spot at the Summit 7 that will be played later this month.
Summit 7 was not the only LAN event for which they won the spot in the qualifiers. They managed to do the same thing for three other tournaments in the last couple of weeks. Interestingly, before May, Clutch Gamers never participated at any LAN tournaments ever. However, they took the regional competitions by storm, winning almost all available spots in the Dota 2 events in the last couple of months.
The euphoria did not last long as it was announced that Clutch Gamers will be forced out of the Summit 7 because players could not obtain a visa for the United States. According to the team’s officials, the team was informed by the US Embassy in the Philippines that their letters of invite are not adequate and that they have applied for the wrong type of visa.
Clutch Gamers applied for a B1/B2 visa as Beyond The Summit has instructed them. However, the Embassy did not approve their application as they said that they should have applied for the P1 visa instead. In the huge majority of cases, almost all teams apply for the same B1/B2 visa when they travel to the United States to compete.
However, the US Embassy in the Philippines demanded that the team apply for a P1 visa. The procedure for that visa lasts a couple of months, and it costs more than $5,000. The P1 visa is usually reserved for the athletes traveling for the competition but who are going to live in the United States for a certain period in order to participate in the competitions. When it comes to eSports and P1 visa, only one team has managed to get that visa. That team was Luminosity Gaming when their P1 visa request was approved.
History on Repeat
This is not the first time that the US Embassy in the Philippines is creating problems for the teams when it comes to the visa applications. Last year, TnC Gaming and Execration secured their spots at the biggest Dota 2 tournament, The International. But US Embassy obviously had something else on their mind as they denied the visas for both teams.
TnC Gaming and Execration managed to solve this problem with the intervention from Valve and the Philippines’ government member. Unfortunately for Clutch Gamers, at this moment it looks like they will not be able to secure the visas for the Summit 7.
When it comes to this tournament, the organizers have not commented on this issue yet, and they have not said anything about replacing Clutch Gamers with some other team.
US Embassy Causes Troubles for Clutch Gamers
Clutch Gamers had a very good period in the last couple of months. For the first time, last week they participated at the Manila Masters where they finished in the top eight. Even though they will probably miss the Summit 7, Clutch Gamers will be traveling to Moscow for the EPICENTER’s Dota 2 tournament that will be starting on June 4th.
For Clutch Gamers the fact that they will not be attending Summit 7 is devastating, but they managed to win many spots in the upcoming events so that might cheer them up a bit and it will be starting with EPICENTER: Moscow 2017.