Gamers generally try to stay away from politics, but when politics get in the way of gaming, there’s no choice but for gamers to speak up. Unless you’ve been in a coma this entire weekend, you should be aware by now that President Trump has issued an executive order to limit entry to the United States to citizens of 7 Muslim countries. Now before you put on your “why should I care?” hat, just take a minute and remember that there are gamers (especially mobile gamers) from all over the world; heck, chances are you’ve probably played with or against gamers from Iraq or Iran in Clash Royale or Vainglory.
IraqiZorro, as his in-game name suggests, is originally from Iraq, and happens to be both a co-owner and competitor for Gankstars, one of the leading eSports organizations competing in Vainglory. After spending the past year competing for Gankstars Cerberus in Europe, IraqiZorro was scheduled to move back to the US to join Gankstars Sirius as per the team’s announcement earlier this week. With the US entry limit in place, not only is IraqiZorro unable to join his team in US soil, but he is now also unable to enter the US to compete in any of the Vainglory’s tournaments.
Super Evil Mega Corp (SEMC)’s Head of Community PlayoffBeard first surfaced this news with a tweet stating his support for IraqiZorro during this difficult period. Shortly after, SEMC CEO Kristian Segerstrale shared his Medium post regarding the situation, which was actually his internal email to his staff at SEMC. The post is a great read, and needless to say, the SEMC team (like most tech companies) are very critical of the new policy. Regardless of your political stance, I believe as gamers and eSports enthusiasts that we would all prefer open competition, and for the best gamers in the world to have the opportunity to compete against each other. We hope that IraqiZorro, and other gamers similarly affected by these new policies, will be able to freely enter and compete in the US again soon.