Chinese Hearthstone Players Hit US Visa Barriers

In her first round of applications for a US Visa, Hearthstone Global Wild Tournament winner SHRoyalBaiZe (or just BaiZe) was denied her visa, according to a post on her Weibo from June 19. On June 22nd, however, her second visa application was approved, allowing her to participate in the Tournament in the US next week.

At the end of April, Blizzard announced that the top 64 Ranked players from the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific in Wild for the month of May would qualify for an official Wild tournament. Their official announcement at the end of May clarified:

Regional qualifiers will be double elimination, with the top two players from the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific advancing to the single elimination playoffs, where they will be joined by the top two players from China.

In order to prepare for their trip to the US in the event of their success, all bracketed Chinese players applied for visas. According to a post on the Hearthstone forum, both BaiZe and two other Hearthstone players, Andeluoni and OMPF, were denied their visas to the United States to participate in the tournament. In fact, all six players from China were denied their visas:

Update: 6/6 Top 6 at CN qualifier of Wild Open failed at getting US visa. Event next week. Lucky we have Shanghai for Spring Championship…

— Team Celestial (@CelestialSinn) June 21, 2017

The two winners from China were ultimately BaiZe and Shenhaiyuyi. However, since their applications were denied, Breath and LvGe won by default, as they were the only ones from the bracket with US visas.

On June 19th, BaiZe wrote on her Weibo that when she went for an interview for her visa application, showing her tournament invitation and answering a few questions, she was rejected. She says they didn’t ask her about work, property, or anything else that she had prepared documents and answers for, and that it was all “muddled”. She writes, “Even though we knew a lot of things would be difficult and that there might not be a good outcome, we’re now all very discouraged.” She goes on to explain how Blizzard had been her whole childhood—she played Warcraft 3 throughout junior high, DotA in high school, and World of Warcraft in university. “I was really looking forward to this, being able to play this wonderful game on the greatest stage,” she writes. She felt that, despite all her hard work, her dreaming, her accomplishments—she got so far only to fall short at the very end. “I have no strength,” she writes. “Having strength is too exhausting.”

Luckily and happily, on July 22nd she updated her Weibo to say, “Second visa passed.” This was confirmed by Team Celestial on Twitter:

Update: SHRoyalbaize got her visa today after a second try. She will be participating in the main event of Wild Open!

— Team Celestial (@CelestialSinn) June 22, 2017

We wish BaiZe the best, and will be sure to keep you all updated on the progress of the Chinese players at the tournament! Breath and LvGe will be playing against each other to determine who the second Chinese player at the tournament will be.

Special thanks to Reddit user /u/czhihong for clarifying details.

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