Qualifying for the Hearthstone Regional Championships means that players are just a few wins away from the World Championship. But for one Polish player, his journey might end sooner than that.
Bartłomiej "ikealyou" Zawadzki tweeted earlier today that his U.S. visa application, which he needs to take part in the tournament, had been rejected. According to the player he was given a mixture of reasons, from poor ties to his country to having applied for the wrong type of visa. According to ikealyou, he applied for a B1/B2 business visa—but his rejection letter did not specify which other type of visa he should have applied for.
Despite the event being for European players, the championship is broadcast from California. Though for the prelim stage players travel to a venue in their country, the championships require all players to be in the California studio.
For Blizzard, this means they can use the same set and production team for the event, as well as make things easier for regular casters who live in California like Dan "Frodan" Chou, TJ Sanders, and Brian Kibler.
With the championships still three weeks away, ikealyou is appealing the visa decision with help from Blizzard and a lawyer. Should he still be unable to compete, the winner of an unstreamed qualifier among those who missed out in the final round of the prelims will take his place.