Las Vegas– A lack of planning resulted in an unfortunate situation for H1Z1 Pro League players and their organizations during their inaugural weekend.. The ambitious and unrealistic timelines set forth by Twin Galaxies, delays in contract approvals, and the inability to sign players until mere weeks prior to the April 21, 2018 start resulted in a scenario where insufficient time was given for player visas to be obtained. This left many players and support staff for the organizations they represent the impossible choice of not participating in the inaugural weeks or entering the USA to live and work without being paid.
Many players and organizations have allegedly entered the United States to participate in the H1Z1 Pro League under the pretense of travel for pleasure and Twin Galaxies is not permitting those organizations to pay those players and staff members. Some organizations refused to bring their foreign players to the event and they lost opportunities while being replaced with American players. Sources close to the league say that many players are planning to fly to the US after week 2, with the hopes that their visas will be in order and they can return for week 3.
Counter-Logic Gamings’ Justin “Callzyy” Collier was just one that did not get to participate in the first week of the H1Z1 Pro League due to having been paid by CLG and not having the correct visa. A proper move by CLG.
Sitting out first week of PL waiting on my Visa, however hell of a sub pickup in @Creanak_ he’s going to fit in well with our group we feeling confident for opening today tomorrow =)
Staying + you’ll see me back in the lineup soon
— CaLLzyy (@CaLLzyy_) April 21, 2018
To clear up some of the issues at hand, VPEsports reached out to prominent professional sports and immigration lawyer and former prosecutor Christine Swenson from the Swenson Law Firm for some answers. The attorney goes over two scenarios in which foreign athletes come into the United States to compete. How they are paid and where the money comes from makes all the difference in what type of visa a player needs to compete.
“So, so really the best parallel that I can draw for you for this is to compare [the players] to golfers. They come in, they do a tournament, they get their tournament money, but no salary, that’s perfectly fine on a B-Visa,” Swenson told VPEsports. “There no requirement for them to get a P-visa or even an O-visa for that matter because those are for more long-term contracts. An example of an athlete needing a P-visa would be If I’m on a basketball team coming in to compete in the United States and as part of that team in the United States I am going to get a salary and win tournaments, receiving extra money–that’s a P-visa. An O-Visa would be one those people, let’s say their point guard is scouted by the Denver Nuggets and the Nuggets say I want this guy because not only did he win this tournament here, but he won that tournament there and that other tournament over there and this other tournament and we want to pay him $10,000,000. So they’re taking one individual person and giving him an O-Visa to compete either as part of a team like in basketball or not. The fact that the players have been here on a tourist visa does not in fact require them to pursue either a P or an O-visa in order to obtain their purse money.
The problem from this past weekend seems to lie solely in whether or not the players from the H1Z1 Pro League had contracted salaries when they competed.
Swenson weighed in once more.
“They’re not allowed to receive a salary while they’re here on a tourist visa. The issue then becomes have they gone beyond the scope of their visa? If they’re considered working here as part for those teams. Those teams should have been sponsored to come into the US either by an agent or the venue that or the tournament provider on an O-visa and doing it after the fact is not gonna help those players.”