Cover image source: @PUBG Mobile
With TeamIND and Indian Tigers already failing to secure their visas in time for the PMCO Prelims, Indian PUBGM fans now have to face another piece of devastating news. Team SouL, who won the India qualifier and had a direct slot in the event have also had their visas rejected for the second time. SouL Ronak, revealed this via an Instagram story which has since been deleted.
With their visa application for Germany being rejected for the second time, it's unlikely that the players can apply again since most embassies have a waiting period before re-application. SouL’s chances of playing in Berling have drastically reduced and only with immense pressure by an external body will it be possible for the players to actually acquire visas.
It’s a bit of a stretch to say that it is the fault of the Indian government for not having a recognized body to deal with this. There are teams from many countries who do not have an esports body who are attending the PMCO Finals. Countries from SEA like Indonesia, Thailand and even a few from the ME also have weak passports like India. However, players from these countries have all managed to secure visas for the event. The reason for this is the fact that the players all belong to reputed and known organizations such as RRQ, Team Secret, Purple Mood and Bigetron. While these orgs may not be as big as other global names such as Team Liquid or Cloud9, they certainly have been around long enough to help their players in these matters.
In the global landscape, one of the key functions of esports orgs is to help players with the visa process and help them attend LANs. However, when we look at the 3 Indian teams, none of them belong to organizations which have any past experience of attending LANs outside the country.
In the past, quite a few Indian teams have attended LANs in foreign countries but an overwhelming majority of them belong to established organizations such as Entity and Signify.
It’s becoming apparent that the reason for the denial of visas for all 3 teams is circled around a few key factors.
1.Insufficient justification for the purpose of travel.
This is generally due to shoddy paperwork and can be solved by proper invites and the host having the power and reach to get their voice heard.
2. Insufficient proof of subsistence
This means that the players have failed to prove that they have the means to support themselves while in the country and most likely is due to their bank accounts not being in order.
3. Insufficient proof of leaving territory before visa expiresThis is a quite common reason given to applicants of countries with low ranked passports. The age of the players, the fact that they have little to nothing to show for in terms of stable jobs and salaries all raise flags when embassies check the application.
While the situation is indeed grim for the teams and players, hopefully, the entire esports community comes out better prepared for next time. It’s unlikely that PUBGM will steer away from India since it is one the biggest markets for the game. India will have its chance again and we must be better prepared.