TnC and Execration are heading to Seattle as their visas were approved in the witching hour before the main event. The campaign #LetPHPlay has turned to #PHWillPlay TI6 as the Philippines will have two teams represented at the most prestigious and biggest tournament in esports – TI6.
— Bam Aquino (@bamaquino) July 29, 2016
After weeks of heart wrenching anxiety and uncertainty, the two Filipino teams – TnC and Execration have finally resolved their visa issues and are heading out to TI6. With the support of Senator Bam Aquino and help once again from Senator Cantwell in the United States – #PHWillPlay TI6 is the new rally cry for the SEA region.
As of late yesterday, TnC and Execeration were still waiting for official answers and confirmation after frantically working with the US Embassy, Valve and government officials. Their last hope was for a positive answer today, Friday July 29, before the Embassy closed for the weekend. With the Wild Card starting on Tuesday and the extensive travel from SEA to the US, waiting until Monday was not an option.
Whether it was the campaign, the prayers, the assistance from all parties or just fate, both teams are packing their bags and heading to the event and opportunity of a lifetime.
TI6 marks the first time two, let alone one two Filipino teams will be competing in the Internationals.
TnC Pro Gaming will advance directly to the main event, participating in the group stage as they qualified in the second SEA regional qualifiers. They will compete against the likes of top world renowned teams – Team Liquid, OG, Na’Vi, MVP.Phoenix, LGD Gaming, Newbee, ViCi Gaming.Reborn, Alliance, Evil Geniuses, Digital Chaos, Team Secret, Fnatic, Wings Gaming and two other teams that will prevail from the Wild Card stage.
Execration will be competing on Tuesday, August 2nd in the TI6 Wild Card series. The Filipinos will compete against compLexity Gaming, Escape Gaming and EHOME for one of two slots remaining for the main event.
From #LetPHPlay to #PHWillPlay TI6
— SEAesportOfficial (@SEAesport) July 24, 2016
The managers of the two Southeast Asian teams had told Esports Inquirer that they were advised by the US Embassy to apply for P1 Athletes visas instead of B1/B2 visas (Business-Tourist). Reportedly, Execration had first applied for US TI6 visas on July 8th, while TnC started the visa application procedures on July 15th. According to the two teams, they initially applied for B1/B2 visas under Valve’s advisement and the Visa application definitions.
The two teams have received guidance from Valve and Senator Bam Aquino (the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship and the Senate Committee on Youth, in the Philippines), a self admitted Dota 2 fan, who helped Team Rave with their visa complications on several occasions, last year.
Senator Bam Aquino then launched the #LetPHPlay campaign, calling for fans, players and community members to rally behind the two teams and drag attention to the matter.
In the process it appears that United States Senator Cantwell had gotten involved. Last year, after an onslaught of visa denials right before The International 5, Valve reached out to US Senator Maria Cantwell and asked for help providing assistance to struggling teams.
The International 6
This year’s main event will take place at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington, between August 8th-13th. All 16 participating teams will advance to the main event and will receive a share of the TI6 prize pool.
The International 6 prize pool has outpaced The International 5 one from the very beginning. As of July 27th, the total TI6 prize pool has already broken last year’s record, thus becoming the largest in esports history with a staggering $18,881,731.