Dyrachyo: "TOfu had tourist visa and said at the border that he is coming to work. He wasn't a professional Dota player yet"2023-08-08 16:03:00
Gaimin Gladiators carry Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov revealed the details of Erik "tOfu" Engel's US visa problems. According to his teammate, Engel was banned from visa waiver program after he said he is coming to work while having a tourist visa a few years ago. Shkredov shared that story on Storm's podcast.
TOfu had a tourist visa, and he said at the border that he is coming to work. Europeans have a visa waiver program, but he is banned there because of it. He can't go for it just because he misspoke, that's all. They turned him around and sent him back home. <...> If you have a tourist visa, you can't say that you are coming to earn money. So he will go through the embassy, just like I did.
It all happened maybe around six years ago, when he wasn't a professional Dota player yet. He will get his visa, I just don't know when and which one he will get. For example, I got a basic one for three years. And he might only get a shorter one because of this situation, maybe won't be able to come to US earlier for a local bootcamp, or something like that.
In June tOfu explained that he "had a conflict in the USA", which is making obtaining a visa for The International 2023 harder. But the player did not get into details. It seems that the problem is not solved yet.
Gaimin Gladiators had an extremely dominant season, winning all three Majors and two seasons of Dreamleague. It remains to be seen if they will be able to keep this up for the main event of the year, as the team looked more shaky on the final LAN of season in Riyadh. If Engel will not be able to solve his visa issues, going to Seattle without the full roster will definitely hurt their chances of cementing their Dota 2 legacy.