viOLet Secures 5-Year Pro Athlete VisaWed 11th Dec 2013 - 4:27pm eSports
Fans of Kim “viOLet” Dong Hwan were sad to see a tremendous talent take a back seat in competitions this year due to visa-related complications. In truth, viOLet’s entire pro gaming career has been plagued by major set-backs: a house-fire prompting his release from SK Gaming’s WC3 squad, health problems in the crowded MVP team house, and most recently, visa difficulties causing him to forfeit two major tournaments. As such, it is all the more rewarding to announce that viOLet has overcome one more hurdle to become the first professional Starcraft 2 player to receive P-1A visa, verifying him as a professional athlete who may travel and earn money in the United States for the next five years. For more information on viOLet and his visa process, see TheDailyDot’s coverage: http://www.dailydot.com/esports/kim-violet-dong-hwan-recognized-athlete-us-government/
Andrew Tomlinson, Founder/Owner
"Dong Hwan is the kind of guy you meet and you just know he is bound for greatness, I have always believed in him. He was my college roommate for a year in 2012, and when he had to return to Korea last year it felt like I had lost a brother. At the first sign of an issue with viOLet’s visa, we made the decision to keep him grounded until a solution was found. Battling these issues with him has been one of the most taxing and emotional roller coasters I have ever faced in my life. Seven months of work, and 500 pages later it has paid off, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for Dong Hwan. I want to especially thank all those who helped in this long process with us, without your valuable support I am not sure if viOLet would still be in eSports."
Dong Hwan “viOLet” Kim: (Other than typos, below is the 100% unedited statement from him)
“Hello everyone, I’m really happy and smiling in my face writing to you! :D
This year, 2013, was so stressful: mental stress, body stress...just huge stress till last week.
I’ve been so jealous when others Koreans traveled to the USA for tournaments. I have been trying to go to USA as well, but I got denied 3 times, and I was almost ready to give up.. really almost, it was lots drama... But my manager found out another last way, and we worked hard together. If we got denied this last time too, yea, I would pretty much have to retire .. no more esports (and I’m pretty sure a lot of people think I’m retired from pro-gaming already)!! But I am not, and so I started working on my stressful visa work with Andrew! :D
AND TODAY, finally, I got the P1-A stamp visa on my passport! OH MY HECK YEA !! That means I’m going to USA next Monday and will meet all my ‘merican friends, and I’m going to meet you guys again at tournaments!! That’s so awesome!! I’m so super exciting about that, how about you guys? viOlet is coming to you pretty soon! :D JAGERBOMB TIME HUH? I don't know what should I said, I’m just super exciting about that, thats all.. You don’t know how happy I am, I’m like flying dude :D
I really appreciate my manager, Andrew, and CSA. They worked really hard for 7 months to get my visa. He was also really stressed about it, same as me... but Andrew never gave up , kept working, and working really good too; that why I got my visa. They are the best ever! Thank god! :D Also my bros, you know who my bros are.
And now, I’m going to say I’m coming back to SC2, I’m coming back to USA...viOLet is coming! I still can't believe it .. omg.. omg.. I’m going to start packing now :D Bye, guys! I will talk more about that when I get there ! I will do new interview :D ! Please wait for me soooooooooooooooooooon!"
ViOLet, his management, and his friends would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the following organizations and individuals for their help in securing this visa, without which the endeavor would not have been possible:
Jacqueline Geller, Paul Sams, & the eSports Team - Blizzard Entertainment
Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham - TwitchTV
Ryan “Fwiz” Wyatt & Zach “Mioff” Mazzotta - Machinima
Russel Pfister - NASL
Fuji Whittenburg and Kenneth Rowles - WolfsDorf Immigration Lawfirm