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Team Aster’s domineering performance at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor won them a championship and a ticket to the ESL One Los Angeles Major. While the trophy will stay in their cabinet forever, their berth at the Major might be in jeopardy due to visa issues.
Pan “Fade” Yi was in a celebratory mood after winning the championship, posting a photo of his team posing beside the Minor trophy. There was a sobering realization at the end, though, when the player said that visa issues might prevent the team from entering the U.S. for the LA Major.
According to Fade, Aster’s Sccc, Kee Chyuan “ChYuan” Ng, and himself are the players most at risk. The team didn’t apply for the visas when they were in China and will need to attempt to complete the application process in Ukraine in a tight timeframe.
The process is further complicated by the ongoing U.S. travel ban due to the coronavirus threat. All foreign nationals who have been to mainland China within the past two weeks are barred from entering the country.
Luckily for Aster, there might just be enough time for the team to clock the requisite 14 days in Ukraine before heading to China. The visa procedure may remain a problem, however.
The scarcity of Dota 2 LAN events in the U.S. means that both Fade and ChYuan have yet to travel to the country for a tournament. While Valve’s flagship The International is usually held in Seattle, Fade attended the two editions of the tournament that weren’t organized in the city.
Fade has been to Vancouver for The International 2018 and remained in China for TI9, while ChYuan has yet to attend the premier event. Sccc has previously been to the U.S. for TI, but Aster’s mid laner has misplaced his passport and, thus, his visa.
Lin “Xxs” Jing and Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao are unlikely to run into the problem. The two players have already been to Seattle for TI7 with Invictus Gaming.
Aster will try to resolve these travel issues to head to the City of Angels. The Chinese crew was the best team at the competition and Minor-winning teams have consistently surprised the field at the proceeding Major. It’d be a loss not to have the squad at the ESL One LA Major, beginning March 15, featuring a $1 million prize pool and 15,000 Dota Pro Circuit points.