Today a chain of events unfolded that will not allow us to participate in the GFinity Call of Duty Summer Masters. There were a number of events that set this into motion that prevented our team’s participation and we’ll be releasing all of the information that we have as an organization, in regards to why our team will be unable to compete tomorrow morning.
The main issue revolves around the fact that Amar ‘Amar’ Al-Naimi was denied clearance to pass the UK border at the Calais crossing. From the information we have received and gathered, the reason for Amar’s denial at the border is still up in the air due to an unclearly marked information letter that was provided to the Team RivaL COD player. The documents states that Amar was liable to be examined, detained, and that his passport or travel documents were seized. This wasn’t the case, as we were provided the above documents as well as all of Amar’s travel documents concurrently in our attempt to resolve the issue, as the team (Torres, Kraqz and Amar), who were traveling with Amar and were allowed admittance to the UK, were eating dinner near the Calais crossing. After analyzing the facts presented to us as an organization throughout the entire day’s proceedings, the players, Team RivaL, and other interested parties still are not privy as to the official reason for Amar’s denial and will look to investigate further as to officially resolve the issue.
We can assume however the reasons why; Amar was equipped with a german travel document, status documents and all relevant tournament invitation documents. Amar’s documentation clearly shows his birthplace as “Iraq” and we believe that this is the key reason for his denial at the Calais crossing. It is our understanding the UK Border Police do not view Amar as a German citizen, but as a refugee. The frustration for the players and Team RivaL is due to a call made to the UK Embassy the day before (At the cost of 20 Euro’s to guarantee that someone would answer your call) where it was determined that there would be little to no issue and that Amar would be granted admittance to the UK if the documentation that we have listed above was provided. At the end of the day, we respect the UK Border Police and that they are upholding the law to protect their borders in an age where border safety has become an increasingly pressing issue. However, we believe that there is an urgent need for modern nations to quickly deal with the growing issue of eSports visa’s to protect against incidents such as this. The eSports industry is predicted to rapidly grow in net worth over the next 5-10 years and is already a major economic driver.
In an effort to provide full disclosure on all the information we have received throughout this ordeal, as stated previously, the following are facts and may or may not be relevant;
1. One of Amar's parents is married to a British National and has resided in the UK for many years.
2. Amar has lived in the UK for a year at one point in the past.
3. Outside of that time, Amar has lived in Germany for the vast majority of his life and is currently a student.
4. At the time of this statement, GFinity would not allow another stand in so that Torres, Weeman and Kraqz could attend the GFinity COD Masters due to rules that state they would allow only one stand-in. We respect GFinity's ruling but feel more correspondence on the matter could have been beneficial to both sides - we however are understanding to the fact they were preparing for a major event the next morning but are disappointed that, as are our players, Team RivaL will not be able to compete and show the immense amount of hard work and effort the team has put forth in preparation for this event.
In closing, we are saddened that our new team could not attend the GFinity COD Summer Masters but are fully committed to utilizing our resources to making sure that Amar, all players associated within our organization, and involved in the growing eSports community are fully able to attend future events. We take competition very seriously and are very clear on the route that we need to take to guarantee our teams safe passage over the border to compete in future events. Sadly due to our late pick up of Impact Reloaded and lack of information on short notice (from all parties involved) we were unable to prepare a standard visa through regular application (Two weeks or more approval time) and believe this is just another case for stronger legislation on visas for eSports events.
Team RivaL will continue to investigate the matter, as stated, and will reveal any relevant information as it comes to our attention. Please feel free to direct any questions or comments to Team RivaL management through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will do our best to answer them in a timely manner.
Thank you all for your time and as always #FearTheReaper