If you’re a StarCraft 2 fan, it is likely you’ve heard of gamer Kim Dong Hwan, also known as Violet, who holds the title of professional gamer and now the distinct honor of being the first StarCraft player granted a traditional pro athlete visa in the United States. The news is said to have brought Hwan to tears, and is the second ever instance of gamers being recognized as athletes by the US.
Earlier this year, the United States elected to allow professional gamers the right to apply for the same visa that a traditionally-recognized athlete would apply for. The first gamer ever to receive this type of visa was Danny Le, a League of Legends player who was granted a visa earlier this year. Now Hwan has also made history, being the first StarCraft player to be awarded the same honor.
Hwan was the recipient of a silver medal in the North American StarLeague last December, and was soon after hit with hard times as three requests to get a student visa this year were denied. As a result, the gamer had to forfeit in the WCS thrice, rumors sprung up saying that he had violated previous visas, and his entire career hung in a sort of unfortunate jeopardy.
That came to an end today with the announcement of his awarded visa, which was revealed by Cyber Solutions Agency. The gamer’s representative demonstrated how big of a win this is for Hwan, saying that, “He either got the visa or entered the Korean Military.” With the visa, “Violet” is granted life in the states for five years, during which time his is authorized to work and will, he hopes, achieve citizenship.