With EVO set to kick off this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, Team SoloMid has posted an update on William “Leffen” Hjelte’s visa situation. According to his organization, Leffen will be unable to compete at the largest fighting game event in the world due to his visa application processing too late.

“Words can not describe how much competing means to me, and I’m still trying to process the fact that I’m going to be missing another tournament,” Leffen said in a statement made to Team SoloMid’s website, “I apologize to everyone who wanted to see me compete this weekend, and thanks for everyone who has continued to support me through these rough times.”

Leffen’s struggles with his visa applications have been a well-known topic among the FGC. He was forced to miss out on top-tier events such as Smash Summit, GENESIS 3 and Battle of the Five Gods due to being unable to obtain a visa that would allow him to compete in events in the States. It became such a known issue within the professional gaming community, including active personalities outside of Smash, that an official petition was submitted to the White House that garnered over one hundred thousand signatures. The official response came a while later to confirm that the USCIS has no policy that prohibits eSports athletes from obtaining a P-1 visa, which did little to solve the current problem that Leffen, and several other foreign competitors, face.

While Leffen has already gone through screening by the US Embassy and his visa has begun to process, the official approval would come too late for him to be granted access to the United States. However, once his visa is granted to him, Leffen will be able to attend every tournament he can register for from now on.

About The Author

Connor
Sr. Esports Writer

Connor is a self-proclaimed Star Wars historian, Fatal Frame enthusiast and crazy cat lady that's fascinated by the Kpop mashups on YouTube. Professional gaming is something that's fascinated him ever since he was a wee lad, especially when it came to fighting games, so now he rambles on about it in the form of articles that use way too many commas.