Hearthstone star told 'YouTube is not a media,' denied U.S. visa
Andrey "Trolden" Nolden is one of the most beloved Hearthstone content creators on the web. His YouTube series, "Funny and Lucky Moments," documents plays that are, well, funny and lucky. Nolden, who is Russian, has has been releasin these clips for nearly a year, and has grown quite a fan following. As proof of his success, he was recently given an invitation to Blizzard Entertainment's massive festival, Blizzcon. There, he was planning on making fun videos for fans exclusively for the event's broadcast.
But after a trip to the US embassy, Nolden's plans have been shattered.
.@USEmbassyPrague just denied me Visa by basically saying that YouTube is not a media and there is no reason for me to go to US. WOW
— Andrey Nolden (@HearthTrolden) October 22, 2014
Nolden gave more insight to his situation in additional comments to GosuGamers . According to the embassy staffers, Nolden would have to be a Blizzard employee to receive a visa. Redditors speculated that the rejection was possibly due to him applying for a media visa rather than a simple tourist visa. However, Nolden stated that was not the case.
I asked them if it would be different I was to apply for a different visa, but the embassy told me the result would be the same - a rejection.”
Furthermore, Nolden believes that his Russian nationality might be a part of the cause for the rejection. He reached out to other Russian and Ukranian fansites and discovered that they were facing similar situations.
At this point, it appears Nolden's only recourse is to get more help from Blizzard.
@AlphaFerg @PlayHearthstone Blizzard are really awesome, sending me a new invitation, will have a new interview on Tuesday/Wednesday
— Andrey Nolden (@HearthTrolden) October 23, 2014
Unfortunately for him, this same strategy was used by two Filipino Hearthstone players that were to compete in the Blizzcon Qualifiers. Despite being among the best players in the world, and having full support from Blizzard, those visas were denied as well.