It's a problem that has plagued NA for years, players and coaches sometimes struggle to get their visas approved in timely fashion. This year, it's Team Liquid's turn, with three members having trouble. Both of the team's junglers, Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen and Shern "Shernfire" Cherng Tai, are experiencing delays, along with the main roster's head coach, Jang "Cain" Nu-ri.
Last year, OpTic Academy coach, Kublai "Kubz" Barlas, was stuck in Canada for months, and then for the Spring Academy Finals, Erik "Treatz" Wessén had to play from out of the country. Alberto "Crumbz" Rengifo was also delayed in his 2019 Spring Split participation for visa issues as well, and before that a few years ago, he had to go to Korea, unable to acquire a work visa in the United States.
There are plenty more examples of this, and this year, Liquid is unfortunate enough to have their own. Steve "LiQuiD112" Arhancet mentioned the team has already been impacted, since they're having trouble practicing without either jungler, nor their coach. He also mentions they may not even be ready by the beginning of the Split, meaning they'd have to look for some emergency subs and potentially find some other coaching.
While everyone starts slowly in Spring after the annual roster dissolving of the off-season, the January practice time and early season scrims are crucial for long term development and playoff placings. We all want to see NA challenge Liquid for the throne, but if this is what does them in, it would make for an awfully anticlimactic and unfair situation.
Germany recently created an esports visa that specifically solves this problem for the LEC, but for now the US has no such fast-track for esports pros. For now, we can only hope that Liquid can solve the problem and we find solutions for the future.
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