After gaining a bit of hopeful traction by signing the Overwatch League’s first female player, Kim “Geguri” Seyeon the Shanghai Dragons face another obstacle in their uphill battle to the top: Visas.
Unikrn reports that Seyeon and her new teammates will have to wait until sometime later in Phase 2 of the league to start playing since the team has been delayed by the Visa application process. “Based on Visa application times, we predict that our four new recruits will arrive in the US later in Phase Two,” said Shangai Dragons team manager Van in Chinese social media site Weibo.
The Visas the Dragons need, P-1 visas, can take months or weeks to fully process, and even if the Dragons began the visa process as soon as they signed them after seeing they were having a terrible season, it would have been difficult to get the new teammates in the US in time for the second phase of the league.
Other kinds of athletes face similar issues, but the timing of the Overwatch League tightens the grip a bit in this case. With such a short time between phases, it’s easy to see that a team making major changes to its lineup would face issues when it comes to recruiting international players midseason.