Valve’s $18 million Dota 2 event, the International 6, is less than two weeks away, and visa issues are a problem once again, with Chinese roster LGD Gaming announcing that one of its players will not be able to attend.
Xue "September" Zhichuan, one of LGD’s support players, was not able to secure a visa in time for the event on Aug. 3, effectively reducing the squad to four starters. Fortunately for the Manila Major semifinalists, the team’s coach Wang "Banana" Jiao will be filling in for September during their campaign in Seattle.
The situation is not favorable for LGD by any means, but the team is fortunate to have a veteran like Banana amidst their ranks. This is primarily due to the fact that, aside from acting as the roster’s coach, he is also listed as an official substitute player for LGD. Had he not been a part of the roster in such a capacity, the odds are that he wouldn’t have been allowed to compete at the International due to Valve’s strenuous roster lock, which has punished last-minute roster substitutions in the past by stripping teams of their invitation.
Banana is also a former champion of the International, a feat he accomplished with current LGD captain Zhang “xiao8” Ning in 2014. Realistically, however, the omission of September could affect the team’s performance rather drastically. This would be a sad conclusion for LGD given that they were one of the obvious picks from the East to do well at Valve’s flagship event given their recent performances against international and domestic opposition.
LGD are not the only team plagued by visa issues, two teams based in the Philippines are also struggling to make the International 6 after their original applications were denied. Both teams are in the process of putting together a second round of applications, but this time they’re not doing it alone, instead aided by Philippine senator Bam Aquino.