Macro Talk: Bringing the East to the West
Richard Lewis, the desk host of Turner's ELEAGUE, recently confirmed that Chinese team Tyloo will not be able to attend the tournament. Tyloo has not made a statement at the time of writing but according to ELEAGUE, visa issues are preventing their participation. Selfless will be playing in their stead.
Tyloo was recently disqualified from the CS:GO Asia Minor in January 2016, as one of their players, Quanqing 'qz' Wu, was found to own an alternate account that has been banned by Valve’s Anti-Cheat system. Their exclusion from tournaments, although due to varying reasons, is starting to become a recurring event.
This is the second time that an Asian team has missed an American tournament in 2016, following MongolZ, who were excluded from a minor qualifier in Columbus, Ohio.
While visa issues are not uncommon in esports, they seem to be especially prevalent in the world of Counter-Strike. Existing esports organizations like MLG have failed to help teams acquire visas thus far. However, stakeholders outside of the Counter-Strike sphere, such as Redbull, are spearheading campaigns to facilitate player visas. The recent announcement of the World esports Association (WESA) has been met with skepticism, but if it can help players arrange visas to compete, it could provide an invaluable service to the community.
Tyloo will miss out on the rare opportunity to spread their brand and represent their region to a mainstream American audience. With some naming 2016 as the year of the rise of Eastern Counter-Strike, it will be interesting to see how the issue will be resolved.
It might be time to discuss a more aggressive approach towards exposing Eastern Counter-Strike to the West.