Team Rave’s recent immigration and visa problems are getting national attention from media and government officials alike. Talks between the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and Rave Dota seem to be making progress amidst talks of lawsuits and organizations calling for action from the community.
As previously reported, Raves’ immigration and visa issues began when Rave withdrew from the MLG Columbus due to being denied the request for an expedited interview date. The team were then offloaded from the plane during their trip back to Korea from the Philippines. Philippine Boarder Security prevented three of the players from leaving the country, despite the required and appropriate documentation at hand.
Senator Bam Aquino, a self admitted Dota 2 and Rave fan, got involved. Senator Aquino is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship and the Senate Committee on Youth.
Government should be able to provide an environment where our athletes, online or offline, be able to hone their skills, compete in world class competitions, and give honor and pride to our country. We will continue helping them in any way we can because we believe in their potential in bringing honor to our country.
Senator Aquino continued to press the government to provide answers and resolutions to the issues:
— Mineski (@Mineski) April 6, 2015
In a series of conversations that have occurred between the involved parties, it appears that the issues originate from a grey area in the law regarding OECs. BI states that “the three passengers traveling under Filipino passports carried Korean E-6 visas, which is a working visa issued for those who are seeking to make profit through entertainment, sports, and the like.” This would indicate that an OEC is required since the players are employed and seeing to make profit. However, Senator Aquino has pointed out that the OEC is not necessary, as the team is without a sponsor, therefore without employment in Korea, and has no salary income.
The OEC issue
Rave Dota 2 team was refused exit from the Philippines to return to their base in Korea. It was stated through a Facebook comment by Rave’s administrator, Khatie Santos, that Rave have had a talk with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and have come to a conclusion that the team does not require an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to exit the Philippines.
Both sides have agreed that Rave does not require an OEC, however Rave’s administrator, Khatie Santos, indicated that they are filing a legal case against the BI.
.@RaveDota2's recent travel issues has not only gotten the attention of a local senator, a government org but also Philippines national news
— Matthew Bailey (@Cyborgmatt) April 8, 2015
— Exd Lordes (@Exdfghjkl) April 7, 2015
In addition to the television reports, online nees has also been bringing attention to the matter.
— Mineski (@Mineski) April 8, 2015
Former DotA player and current CEO of Mineski International Incorporated, Ronald “Rhom” Robins, has challenged the Filipino gaming community to make changes and take action:
What eSports need now is a pro-active group that would represent the gaming industry, a formal association with its own rules and bylaws to represent the entire eSports and gaming community. This would allow us to have a more credible voice by having reputable organizers, publishers, team managers, and other personalities to work together as stakeholders for this very community that we all love.
Korea and China already have eSports associations: the Association for Chinese Esports (ACE) and the Korean Esports Association (KESPA). These organizations monitor not only the quality of tournaments, but also the conditions of the players and organizations.
A few months ago, there was some indication that EU, NA and CIS players were also already discussing something to put in place:
So DOTA2 players from different teams are going to Seattle. Seems like Players Associacion is really close
— Vitalii Volochai (@v1lat) February 9, 2015
Rave Dota Team
Rave Dota will still need to obtain their visas for the US in order to attend The Summit 3. Recently, the team was forced to withdraw from StarLadder StarSeries XII and MLG Columbus due to visa issues, and have been eliminated from ESL One Frankfurt.
Rave Dota current roster
Jio “Jeyo” Madayag
Mark “Cast” Pilar
Djardel “chrissy” Jicko b. Mampusti
Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa
Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross