A Swedish Dota 2 legend has been denied access to the U.S., ending his involvement in The International before it had begun.
One day before the start of The International 7 group stage, former champion Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg was denied entry into the U.S. by customs. He was eventually put on a flight back to Sweden.
According to AdmiralBulldog, he was made aware of the decision after being held for seven hours by U.S. immigration at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The issue appears to be solely centered around the fact that AdmiralBulldog had not applied for nor received a work visa within the U.S., but only a B1/B2 (tourist/business) visa.
AdmiralBulldog claims however that both Valve and PGL had told him his visa would be enough. “They [Valve, PGL] asked me for passport and visa information which I provided,” he said. “I have a b1/b2 visa. It’s for tourism and business, which I didn’t think much of I’m kinda there to do business?
“The officers told me that what valve was doing is not okay, if Valve are bringing in people to work for them they need to make sure everyone has working visa.”
This wouldn’t be the first time there were visa issues surrounding talent attending The International. In the past, members of the Russian-speaking live broadcast have had considerable difficulty acquiring visas due to the amount of sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Russia. Similarly, multiple players from Eastern Europe, China, and Southeast Asia have also experienced difficulties in acquiring visas in time for the start of the event.
It is unknown if Valve will attempt to secure a replacement for AdmiralBulldog before the event begins.