viOLet recognized as the first StarCraft II professional US athlete
It's a moment Starcraft II players and eSports fanatics have all been waiting for. Kim "viOLet" Dong Hwan has been officially recognized by the United States government as a professional athlete, shoulder to shoulder with the likes of LeBron James and Wayne Gretzky.
The move to mmorts athlete for viOLet was invoked by his need for an American Work Visa. His role as a professional athlete was a vital pillar in him remaining in America and earning a living as a professional gamer. It also negated his call back to South Korea, where he would be expected to serve in the Korean military. This is only the first step in the process for viOLet, who hopes to eventually become a fully fledged American citizen. This is in-face the second pro-gamer to get professional recognition, with Shiphtur gaining his right to game as a professional League of Legends player earlier this month.
This gateway opening for professional gamers to earn the title of athlete and the ability for foreign nationals to gain a work visa as an MMO athlete may seem like a minor name change for many, but for eSports its an enormous boost and will surely hail players from all around the world to join the American leagues; upping the diversity and level of difficulty in the West ten-fold. Now that we have our first professional League of Legends and StarCraft II athletes, this is surely the beginning of something huge and will forever change the perception of eSports.