Wuhan Dragon grounded by visa woes

Championship Gaming Series franchise Wuhan Dragon have been forced to abandon their bid for the US$1 million (S$1.45 million) prize pool at the World Final due to international travel visa issues.

CGS had made repeated unsuccessful attempts through the US State Department and the US Embassy in Bejing to obtain the necessary visas for the team from China, according to a press release dated Wednesday.

Wuhan Dragon is the latest in a series of esports teams and individuals that have been denied entry into the US for a tournament. In October half the Malaysia World Cyber Games team, including Counter-Strike 1.6 Head Referee Douglas “Auricom” Chin, were refused visas and could not participate in the WCG Grand Finals held in Seattle.

“We are profoundly disappointed by the news that visas have been denied to the Wuhan Dragon players,” said CGS Commissioner Andy Reif. “The gamers are the real victims here; they are being denied the right to prove themselves at the World Final. We are committed to finding a solution to this situation for the 2008 season.”

The CGS World Final will proceed with only 11 of the 12 teams originally slated to participate, with Wuhan Dragon’s original opponents Mexico City Furia receiving a bye.

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